I think you guys have done a great job so far and I'm really pleased with the new plugin feature. I'm curious though if there will be an option to install plugins manually from the desktop. I think this will be great feature to have. And what about themes and language packs, will they also be possible to install via installers?
One small thing about the plugin manager. It seems to me that the action to delete (uninstall) a plugin also erases all tables associated with the plugin. It would perhaps be wise to offer the user an option to preserve the plugin data upon uninstallation or upgrade of a plugin. I can imagine that in some cases the user will want to keep the plugin data.
To install a plugin manually, just drag'n'drop the plugin folder in the /plugins directory and if it is valid you can see it in the admin panel ; the same works for themes and language packs, which will also be available from the admin panel and FeatherBB Marketplace. Technically themes can already be hosted on the marketplace, but we wanted to work a bit on the core before completing and perfectionning the system.
Concerning the plugins uninstallation, if users want to keep the data in DB they can deactivate it instead of uninstalling : when deactivated, a plugin just stops sending and catching hooks, so that all the stuff in DB and files are still here, but the plugin doesn't work
I guess we could add an upload form, but you can upload the zip to your FTP for the moment, as beaver said. Themes and languages will follow.
About uninstallation, there are two levels: first you Deactivate the plugin, then you Uninstall it, that's when the DB data and the files are removed.
I'm just playing around with the forum and I don't have any problems uploading plugins to my test installation. However, when you guys eventually complete the coding and people start to use the Feather forum (which I'm sure is going to be popular), I think a lot of people will start to develop and use their own plugins. And this would of course be a lot easier to do when you have the possibility to install plugins manually. That said, an upload form could of course also be offered as a plugin, if you don't want to touch the admins plugin panel.
When it comes to themes and language packages, then I think it's more obvious to manage them from a download repository, as these elements are mostly used as is.
The reason why I suggested an option to leave plugin tables intact upon deletion of a plugin is that it was not obvious to me that you shouldn't delete a plugin upon upgrade (thus erasing the tables), but install a new version of the plugin on top of the old one. I think this may confuse others so you should think of a way to make people aware of this. A warning footnote in the admins plugin panel would perhaps help.
You're right we'll point that out with more complete instructions and details in the documentation, which is also a BIG piece of work we still need to do.
Meanwhile I'm working on a class to update forum core, plugins and themes. A page will indicate the available updates and a simple click on a button will handle the update process : some parts of it (including database modifications) will be left to the plugin developers so there will be no need for the forum admins to manually uninstall/reinstall plugins
And indeed an upload form as a plugin rather than integrated in the core seems a good idea ! It has been added in the todo-list of the repo, thanks for the suggestion.
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