Lately I’ve been thinking more and more about a rasing issue about plugins.
The fact is that on the development thread there are a lot of third party plugins available (and this is awesome!), however when someone goes to the plugin facility built into volumio, there are really few plugins there.
At first we tried to solve this by creating the plugin helper, which makes it super easy for people to create and then publish the plugins on the repo. However the situation has not been changed much really.
This concerns me because I would find more user-friendly if plugins could be downloaded directly from the Volumio plugin facility, instead of going to find them into the Forum.
The second issue is that I see more and more plugins that are crashing the whole Volumio, sometimes for bad practices, some other times for mistakes that could have been avoided by requiring a bit of review by the core team. My fear is that the unstability of those plugins is undermining the Volumio experience for some.
Therefore I am thinking to solve the above two issues by disabling the plugin uploader of Volumio, and require plugin developers to submit their plugins to be published.
This will bring the following benefits:
- Users will immediately find the plugins that are available directly inside of Volumio
- When a plugin gets updated by developers, users will be able to update it inside Volumio (not possible with plugin packages)
- There will be a review done by the team before publishing a plugin, ensuring its stability and that it does not break Volumio installs
- This will make plugin management and discovery in one place, putting the bases for the plugin shop (a feature we are thiking since some time, such as the possibility for developers to choose if their plugin is free or paid, something like an app store)
The downsides are:
- There will be some delay before the publishing of a plugin from a developer, and the actual visibility in the plugin facility (since the review will take time, and there might be some back and forth between the developer and the Volumio team to optimize it).
- Some will see it as Volumio getting “more close”
So, looking forward to what you guys think. Suggestions? Ideas?