[Request] APT ruby plugin "subscription" manager 4 SU needed

[Request] APT ruby plugin "subscription" manager 4 SU needed

Postby thinkbuild » Sat Sep 26, 2009 3:40 am

I have been impressed by Saurik's efforts to open up the iPhone as a unix platform ( http://www.saurik.com/id/1 ), and in particular the elegant, massively scalable, and stable host / depository system he has developed and deployed for the iPhone. As I understand it, cydia is an implementation of the APT (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Packaging_Tool )

For those not familiar with his system, it works like this:

• you open up his package installer - on the iPhone/Saurik version, it is named "cydia" - and it gives you a list of installable apps
• it somehow knows - i am not familiar with the tech behind this - what packages/apps are installed on your phone
• it checks this list against the depository to see if any of your packages have been upgraded
• if so, it downloads and cleanly installs the new package, deleting and removing outdated elements
• if required, it force reboots *(after a warning!)
end story

This is incredibly useful and insures that one is always up to date. It also automates management tasks and avoids known incompatibilities.

So - here is the request: Would it not be possible to create an APT-type host/depository ruby system for auto-managing all the incredible plugins available here, on smustard, and elsewhere? Why not create a master ruby (hello SMUSTARD!!!) which does this.

It would be amazing to simply "subscribe" to a plugin rather then chase after Fredo6, whaat, TIG, and the all the other incredible masters active here. Why not simply "subscribe" to Fredo6, and then when his lib is updated, I get a little message in SU - "Fredo6 has again rocked the SU world...press here to upgrade Tools On Surface & JPP to the latest Comprehensive Refresh build Number 3.2.3..."

I wish I had the skills to do this but alas - the idea is all I can provide, after all, I am an architect, not a Ruby Master ...

Thoughts/reactions greatly appreciated.

best to all

thinkbuild
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Re: [Request] APT ruby plugin "subscription" manager 4 SU needed

Postby Jim » Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:13 am

Yes, I have had similar thoughts. It would clearly benefit many people.

We have always known hosting plugins on the forum was not optimal. We built the Extensions Index to attempt to catalog the location of all the plugins, but it has not been kept up as much as needed (entirely my fault.)

So I have been thinking like you about what needs to be done, and came to the same conclusion - SketchUp users would benefit from package management to maintain the Plugins folders.
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Re: [Request] APT ruby plugin "subscription" manager 4 SU needed

Postby alexschreyer » Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:25 am

I am all for this, too. Another example for a similar implementation is the wordpress plugin system. Ultimately this would best be hosted by google, though.

I just added this idea to the current SU feature request website voting thingy. Head over there and vote for it.

Cheers,
alex
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Re: [Request] APT ruby plugin "subscription" manager 4 SU needed

Postby thinkbuild » Sat Sep 26, 2009 7:47 am

Hello.

I am happy to see that you both seem to agree with me! Finally - Jim I must admit I already posted on this topic with other references almost exactly one year ago but it seemed to veer towards (welcome) usability improvements on this site rather than towards my core idea. FYI here is a cross link to that post from 9 Oct 2008: viewtopic.php?f=180&t=13306

One thing which I think needs to be said is that this could lead to SU as an integrated marketplace for its own sales. I mean - hello! Smustard or others could sell subscriptions - maybe just a low fee - to provide a smooth updated personalized modelling environment for users who are interested but don't have the time to constantly follow the myriad of forking conversations here.
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Re: [Request] APT ruby plugin "subscription" manager 4 SU needed

Postby fredo6 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:53 pm

This is a very good idea.

It surely requires some infrastructure, and probably a local application to manage the check, and finally a disciplin for publishing scripts.

For the time being, the only thing I do in my scripts is to provide a menu pointing to the Sketchucation Forum corresponding thread in order to check if there are upgrades available.

Fredo
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Re: [Request] APT ruby plugin "subscription" manager 4 SU needed

Postby Jim » Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:15 pm

I am not sure there needs to be a centralized repository. Individual authors should be able to host their own files, but would only need to package the files to conform to the standards.

The managing application could also allow for storing an up-to-date local collection of installed and available plugins.

The managing application would only need a url and maybe a config file to add installable packages to a list. Even if some plugins share similar names, they can be differentiated by location.

Would it be a good idea to look for an existing package manager, and convert plugins to work with it? Or perhaps better to create a package manager that will understand the current state of the Plugins folder?
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Re: [Request] APT ruby plugin "subscription" manager 4 SU needed

Postby thinkbuild » Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:41 pm

Dear Fredo6, Dear Jim,

Its great that you are looking into this and that you both feel it is a good idea. I think it would be a serious way to improve to user experience and simplify things for us.

I think you should really look at Cydia - Saurik has a central directory of hosts, and hosts are simply added to his directory. This means (as you say Jim) individual developers host the plugins where they want. BUT there is still a "central directory" - which could be here at sketchucation, at smustard, or at didier bur's classic ruby depository or somewhere else. But I do think it would be quite important from a user standpoint to somehow know what's out there on the marketplace. It could be broken down into marketplaces - chinese, for example - one adds the chinese deposit and then it is fine ..., or woodworker's - with rubies that are good for CNC machining or dovetails or what not - In this way it will have the added benefit of organizing the scripts. And the person(s) running the central directory would then have a chance to help assign scripts to useful categories...this could then have a social networking component, (ie, scripts could be voted on?) or not ...

Finally, from a conceptual point of view, we are talking about creating dynamic rubies, a bit like dynamic components. The rubies themselves become active elements of the softward, SU begins morphing to each user's work-patterns...
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Re: [Request] APT ruby plugin "subscription" manager 4 SU needed

Postby alexschreyer » Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:27 pm

I think this is not too hard to implement as long as common standards are maintained. But I would prefer a central database - the plugins can be hosted somewhere else.

That way the update checker that would run when su starts only needs to check one database. Checking with individual publishers would compromise startup times.

Cheers,
alex
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Re: [Request] APT ruby plugin "subscription" manager 4 SU needed

Postby Jim » Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:09 pm

I'm not against using an existing tool, as long as the tool is available on all platforms and is easy to install.

I am not finding APT easily available on all platforms. It also would seem a person needs to have Debian (or some Linux flavor) installed to create and maintain repositories.
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Re: [Request] APT ruby plugin "subscription" manager 4 SU needed

Postby alexschreyer » Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:23 pm

Wordpress apparently uses a subversion repository for their (user submitted) plugins:
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/about/

Cheers,
Alex
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