[Svn] Plugin API development

Thomas Bruederli roundcube at gmail.com
Wed Feb 11 23:58:56 CET 2009

Hi Devs

I recently committed some more code for the upcoming plugin API and
also some sample plugins to demonstrate and test the API. To describe
the API I also started some documentation in the wiki:
http://trac.roundcube.net/wiki/Doc_Plugins but it's still far from
being complete.

Now we can go on with adding more hooks in the RoundCube core and
refine the current functionality of the plugin API. Kris, Ziba: you
once told me that you're working on some plugins and hooks. Are you
ready to commit these to the devel-api branch? All the others are
kindly requested to have a look at the current state of the API and
submit your concerns and suggestions.

However, there's one thing I'm not sure how to design/implement: The
cooperation of plugins and the skin.
Some plugins will want to add UI elements and complete screens/steps
to the application and now the question is how these should be built
and styled. Should the plugin put the button into place and style it
(with an icon perhaps)? This makes it easy to install plugins because
the skin doesn't need to be changed. On the other hand, a plugin can
completely mess-up the UI with ugly icons and misplaced elements. But
this requires one to alter the skins when installing a new plugin. And
what about custom screens (e.g. for the legendary RSS reader or a
filter plugin)? Do they bring their own skin templates or will they
even have the HTML output hard-coded?

I'm really unable to decide between those different approaches and I
hope you can help me out. What do you think or expect? Have you seen
other systems solving this problem in one or another way?

Best regards,

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