Removing plugins from installer and zips

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Removing plugins from installer and zips

Postby kimmov » Fri May 08, 2009 5:23 pm

I think it is time to completely stop distributing compiled plugins. I've submitted the patch few days ago: #2783915 Do not install plugins at all

I've written the reasons several times but to remind most important reasons:
  • plugins cause bugs that look like WinMerge bugs
  • nobody has been touching plugins code for years
For example, look at this bug:
#2780673 Control + Z Causes Application to Crash

Poor user probably lost data due to the crash. If I were the user seeing this bug I'd switch the tool. And there is no way for us to fix this bug in WinMerge.

Although installer hasn't been installing plugins by default for couple of stable releases it seems people are still using plugins. And risking their data. I don't think we can add visible enough warnings about dangers of using plugins so better to just stop distributing them.
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Re: Removing plugins from installer and zips

Postby matthias1955 » Thu May 14, 2009 12:38 pm

Move all avaibel plugins in a seperate trunc for download and discuss.
And tell that these are not suported anymore.
Let's see the replaies coming in in that case. You may be surprised.

As told in other items, plugins are important for WinMerge for many users. I don't think I'm one of a few only.
Don't know how much plugins are really running without bugs.
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Re: Removing plugins from installer and zips

Postby kimmov » Thu May 14, 2009 1:30 pm

matthias1955 wrote:Move all avaibel plugins in a seperate trunc for download and discuss.
And tell that these are not suported anymore.

I've no time or interest doing double releases. It would be management hell for me since people usually don't tell in bug reports the version of WinMerge. So what would be the advantage, we get the exactly same bug reports and no info if plugins were in use or not.

And, plugins have been disabled from default installer for 2.12 release. Nobody has complained yet.

matthias1955 wrote:Let's see the replaies coming in in that case. You may be surprised.

I'm not interested in any replies, unless they are patches fixing problems. Or plans or ideas for better plugin system. I've seen way too many bug reports already and wasted way too much of my time I could have used for something useful.

matthias1955 wrote:As told in other items, plugins are important for WinMerge for many users. I don't think I'm one of a few only.
Don't know how much plugins are really running without bugs.

Well, if they are so important how come we haven't seen any patches in years?

The only way to get plugins back to installer is to fix the system. And more realistically, replace the system with something new. Fixing is impossible without changing the API and breaking all existing plugins.
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Re: Removing plugins from installer and zips

Postby matthias1955 » Thu May 14, 2009 9:12 pm

No double release.
Make it possible to download all plugins or create a seperate pluginsinstallation.
Just only plugins. So this won't be changed so often, but still possible.
Support only where we also have the source in C++. :D
Haveing a sperate trunc (only plugins). we should have also less noise in others. :P

Myself I use actually two plugins frequently. Excel and my own IgnorNCNumber. Verry seldom for doc. But I need same!
Also they are running stabil.
I'm shure most of our users have allready the installed plugins and know how to handle them.
But you won't get new one without avaible plugins. I'm shure.
So I wouldn't have come over, without :ugeek:
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Re: Removing plugins from installer and zips

Postby kimmov » Sat May 23, 2009 11:20 am

One thing to remember is that lots of users are downloading WinMerge from other sites than sf.net. There are lots of file download services that have WinMerge available for download. For example lots of experimental release downloads come through betanews.

And these sites offer only the installer. So even if we had more archives or versions available majority of users had no clue about their existence. And as such they would be just time and effort wasted.
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Re: Removing plugins from installer and zips

Postby matthias1955 » Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:50 pm

Yes they do.
But after sometime they get our homepage (through our help, doc, manual etc.).
Then they will start to look for such things.
So there should be a posibillty to get them.
matthias1955
 
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Plugins support will be removed

Postby kimmov » Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:57 am

The basic fact is there is nobody touching plugins for years. Nobody wants to maintain or fix the code. Such code is going to break and will be just dangerous.

It is very very simple. If somebody wants to see plugins support in WinMerge he has to do the work. Talking does not help.

And as it appears Plugins code is currently a barrier for me to remove MFC code from compare code. This simply mean I will remove the plugins code from source tree. So it is not just removing plugins from distribution. It is about totally removing plugins and scripts support.

So in next weeks I'll simply start removing the code for plugins from source tree.
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Re: Removing plugins from installer and zips

Postby matthias1955 » Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:48 am

without a replacement you should not do.
Hearing nothing about plugins doesn't mean they aren't used!

The basic fact is there is nobody touching plugins for years

Why to change a running system?
They are running stable, so there must be less traffic.
I use only two, one is years old, the other I wrote myselve also allready one year old.
Sometimes we have a wrong handling or expection of result. Then your most answer: we remove in future.
That I cann't understand.

As I told before, no plugins or replacement, many users will run away! Maybe I'm one off the first.

I hope now some more user stands up and give their vote for plugins or a replacement.
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Re: Removing plugins from installer and zips

Postby kimmov » Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:04 pm

Plugins are nothing but trouble for users and developers.

Just to list few problems:
  • No translation support
  • no proper error handling
  • no configurability / GUI
Read more from Plugins wiki page.

And as you can see from that page I already planned to remove the plugins few stable releases ago. But I hoped there will be even some interest. No interest or any work has happened so now they go.
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Re: Removing plugins from installer and zips

Postby matthias1955 » Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:24 pm

a agree with you, so it isn't. But I need a plugin.
Wrong design of plugins (messges etc.) is not on us aslong we don't have the souce in C++.
Implement API for some scripting language

Installing a pyton etc should not be the problem, like frhed, if then your problem is solved.
But such a part is a must for me. At least we must be able to replace our plugins, we have in our trunc. Than we can go for an other solution.
Of course the function of plugins can be improted to our source. But then we need more options to do all what user need.
Like me, see patch #Linefilter - ID: 1872347 . Maybe Filter comments with some modificatios can do it.
But how about excel and word files?
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