[PD] RE : Plugin auto install feature to Pure data

colet.patrice colet.patrice at free.fr
Mon Feb 4 10:10:47 CET 2013

Hello, that's a quite interesting subject I've been thinking about for pdx since a time, thank you for the contribution... like you said it might be complicated to resolve all dependences required by an external, so I think that adding other dependences like php sql or json would make it even more complicated... Why not just using the native client interpreted langage, TCL-TK? With the help of a command line like wget included with the tcl script and a bunch of pkg files that should be enough, wouldn't it?

-------- Message d'origine --------
De : fls at rendera.com.br 
Date : 03/02/2013  20:22  (GMT+00:00) 
A : pd-list at iem.at 
Objet : [PD] Plugin auto install feature to Pure data 
Hi list

I would like to write before but unfortunately I couldn't. Some weeks ago
people started to talk about the development of some auto install
mechanism to Pure Data, like the apt-get. It is an amazing idea. I
researched and developed some thing like it to my master degree and I
would like to contrib with my 3 cents.

I studied the plugin structure of Netbeans, Eclipse, Fire Fox, deb and rpm
and my contribution is about it. Sorry if I am a little bit prolix.

The first thing is to create a plugin package. A a single file to group a
lot of files. It can be a zip package, tar, gzip or anything that already
has some C open source API to pack / unpack. This way we can upload /
download a single file and extract it localy. I will call it the package.

Inside the package is necessary to have a package descriptor. It can be a
XML file, CSV, txt, JSON or any kind of structured file to describe the
content of the package. This file should have the information about the
plugin like the author, version, website, license, OS, dependencies,
compatibility with PD "flavors" (vanilla, extended, Lork ....),
pre-installation script, post-installation script, uninstall script, key
words, ...

Pre and post installation script are used to create SQL tables, files or
other things. Maybe it is not useful in PD. Uninstall script should clean
the mess if you want to remove a plugin. Dependencies is a complex problem
because it should care about libraries and circular dependencies. Maybe it
is the hardest problem to solve.

These two things will define the PD plugin: The package file and the
plugin descriptor inside the package. The package structure should be
defined as a standard. So we should agree, for example, about the name of
the descriptor, the folder where the plugin will be and the name of the
package file. Probably a package file can be the name of the

In PD we should have a list of installed plugins. It can be a directory
with all the plugin descriptors. The user might be able to install new
plugins manually. It means a local file in my machine that I choose. PD
will open the package, copy the content to the correct folders and copy
the descriptor the the correct folder. The uninstall option will do the
oposite, delete the plugin descriptor and delete the plugin files.

To update from the web, a plugin repository need to be defined. The client
should have a list of repositories address. (It is good because different
flavors can have their own plugin repositories and the users can choose
which one they want to use.)

The plugin server can be implemented with a HTTP server. It will publish
the list of available plugins on the server. This list can be the list of
package descriptors in a tar / zip file. Locally, PD will keep these
lists, one for each server, and it will be used to look for new plugins.
Add a new server means add the server to the repositories list and
download the plugin list of the new server.

Since PD has a list of local installed plugins, if you want to check for
updates PD compares the servers plugin lists with your local list. Easy
task. Different versions should can be shown and the user would be able to
choose what to update. These descriptors can be useful also to search for
plugins by author, version, key words, versions, ...

Update a plugin means to create a list of update, download the packages to
a temp directory and install them locally.

Just to step foward, the server can have a web interface with some PHP
programming, for instance, that automatically update a package, extract
the descriptor, put it in the correct folder and put the plugins in the
correct folder. Just to be easier to maintenance.

Another tool can help developers to pack. Since I did a new plugin I can
select the folder, fill a form with the meta-data and the tool will create
the package automatically.

That's it. Sorry if I wrote too much.


f schiavoni

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