Dan in CA
Thanks for the great feedback so far.
Based on your comments here are my thoughts at this point.
Using GitHub as a repository for the plugins was my first thought, but due to the varied nature of possible plugins and some restrictions of GitHub, e.g. not being able to upload individual files:
That does not appear to be a viable option.
Including plugins in the program download has a couple of issues:
1. Avoiding “bloat”.
It would be good to keep the program download and updates as small and fast as possible. Not everyone who might want to use the program is guaranteed to have a fast or reliable internet connection.
I for one would prefer to have more control over what gets downloaded and installed on my system. Allowing users to pick and choose the plugins that get downloaded to their Pi would be preferable.
I agree that managing plugins should be part of the program’s UI and not require users to ssh into the OS to make changes.
A Plugins page that would list all the installed plugins on the Pi is doable. It could include a check box next to each plugin name so the individual plugins could be enabled / disabled or even removed from the system. Currently plugins must be enabled by setting file permission and the program could change permissions without requiring a config file.
I think it might be good to have something like a wiki page + plugin repository. Not part of the program but a separate space on the web that could include descriptions and documentation for plugins so users could browse for plugins of interest. A list of plugin names in the UI would not provide all the information a user would want about a plugin. Having a separate wiki would allow plugin developers to keep their information updated without requiring users to constantly pull updates to their local systems. The plugins themselves could be hosted at various locations and links provided on the wiki.
The plugins page in the UI could include links to descriptions and documentation for installed plugins. There could also be a link to the plugins wiki and a form field for downloading and installing new plugins.
The program is evolving and your input will guide further development.