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View Full Version : Install LW plugin by clicking on a link



ncr100
01-06-2013, 10:06 PM
This thread is a fork of the original discussion here http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?132513-LightWave-11-5-Release-Update-Discussion&p=1290617&viewfull=1#post1290617 - moved since original thread was about LW 11.5.

Idea: Want more features NT? Capitalize on others' efforts. Expose them for easy installation in LW itself. Imagine: Click on DP Toolkit check-box, click Install, and restart when installed. Boom. (perhaps)


I believe you mean well, but I don't believe you've adequately thought through the ways a system as proposed could be misused. There's a reason such systems aren't commonplace, despite the positive benefits they (at first) seem to offer. The security and liability risks imposed by such systems easily outnumber and outweigh all potential benefits.

I'm not concerned about the security or liability issues I've imagined would come into play with such a system. The app should still present a dialog explaining to the user, "Install untrusted 3rd party software?" [Yes] [No] [Always trust this site.] But beyond this intermediate warning dialog I see little difference between downloading + unzipping manually vs this facilitative feature.

What kinds of other concerns are there?

meshpig
01-07-2013, 12:46 AM
Yeah but what on the server is going to do the installing?

Sensei
01-07-2013, 01:32 PM
Yeah but what on the server is going to do the installing?

Authorized by NewTek developer will submit his plugins entering name, description and URL to NewTek database of plugins.
Download will be from developer website.
But database on NewTek server.
Just vendor, name and description and URL of plugin.

But what is good for free plugins is not good for commercial.

Modeler and Layout would have to connect through internet/www to NewTek database, and list them in window. User will search by name, or explore. Click Download, file from URL is loaded, unpacked and "Add PlugIns" is called on it.

ncr100
01-08-2013, 12:06 AM
Click a link ANYWHERE and install their plugin. No need to bother NewTek to share plugins. Link would be a text file(*) containing:


List of 32-bit, 64-bit, Mac plugin URLs for downloading. To actually install LightWave would download the appropriate URL from this list.
Plugin title / author name of plugin
Plugin version number / last modification date
Any more info desired...e.g security stuff


Just links "out there" on the web. At first, just this. If the idea takes hold then perhaps NewTek host a server of plugins. That's a different idea.

Also, another idea would be to track the relative popularity of plugins. This is already handled by LWPluginDB (example: http://lwplugindb.com/Search.aspx) with it's 4-star system.

That idea could be enhanced by LightWave "phoning home" to some website with a "INSTALLED THIS" message indicating the plugin was installed...score-keeping for the most installed plugins. E.g. http://plugins.intellij.net/category/index?pr=idea&category_id=89 where it says 5,000 downloads.

(*) Link could be a ZIP file with everything above, including the text file, so no extra URL download needed...for convenience's sake to keep the number of files to a minimum.

meshpig
01-08-2013, 12:37 AM
Click a link ANYWHERE and install their plugin. No need to bother NewTek to share plugins. Link would be a text file(*) containing:


List of 32-bit, 64-bit, Mac plugin URLs for downloading. To actually install LightWave would download the appropriate URL from this list.
Plugin title / author name of plugin
Plugin version number / last modification date
Any more info desired...e.g security stuff




Yeah, but what LW Plug-in needs to be installed?

Hail
01-08-2013, 03:35 AM
+1!

probiner
01-08-2013, 04:43 AM
A plugin manager doesn't hurt. Though my main issue with how we do it now is not being able to assing a menu location or a shortcut when we add a plugin (optional though).

I get meshpig line: plugins in LW are just calls, no "instalation" needed right? But they could handled a bit more like other apps and eviorments were you can add plugins manually, but there's usally also a plugin manager where you can just add the url of a plugin and bam, it's installed. It saves time when you're looking for that one trick pony and you have to try several :)

Cheers

dsol
01-09-2013, 09:15 AM
I think the security issues this would raise mean it would only work if the plugins were vetted and hosted by NT on their servers (using AWS for scaling). Of course in order to cover the costs of implementing and maintaining this, some kind of developer license fee might need to be charged, in which case you're basically implementing an iOS style app-store.

Not a trivial thing to setup, but definitely a good idea. Particularly if it offers other benefits like easy auto-updating, and the ability to move all your plugins from machine to machine just by re-authorising your web account.

ncr100
01-10-2013, 01:16 AM
Auto-updating (or at least partly automated, by notifying the user new stuff is available for download) can be accomplished with just the simplest plugin installation system. NT won't need to be involved.

Saving / restoring a plugin profile could be done through copying a list of URLs as a file.

Syncing that file to a server under a username / email could be part of a bigger, related project of enabling purchase through the interface.

Also, all this could be done via a Python plugin, as far as I know about the Python capabilities, written by a 3rd party. A "middleman" could make this happen; NewTek wouldn't be involved in the cash-side of the feature, and wouldn't be depended upon for maintaining such an online store. It's an opportunity.

dsol
01-10-2013, 03:47 AM
Yeah, I don't think you've seen how easy it is to update apps in iOS ;) Automated notification is nice, but it's a huge PITA compared to just clicking a big button saying "update all apps" (or in our case - "update all plugins").

I've written about this before - and had a discussion about it in the forums. Search for the "Core Store" posts. Here ya go! http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?104368

meshpig
01-10-2013, 04:06 AM
I don't doubt it's a good idea to have a plugin db but I already have several hundred passwords which I have to manually maintain to log into so called "time saving" ditties.

- Everyone knows too that for every machine action there's an incalculable human defecit... if you don't have an excellent accountant that bit just vanishes into the Ether:)

Lightwolf
01-10-2013, 06:33 AM
The easiest way to install them from a link would be a new type of plugin package. One that contains the binaries for all platforms (and maybe even more, such as docs) and, say, an optional XML descriptor for an update link.

Zip the whole thing up, give it a custom extension and let the browser open LW with it (which installs it). Optionally a drag and drop installation on LW should be possible as well.

The (optional) link would allow LW to check if there's a new version and then download it if there is.

Creating something outside of LW using the existing plugin system is certainly possible - but only to an extent and quite cumbersome, especially once you start to consider cross platform as well as custom plugin paths etc.

One simple example would be updating plugins - which is only possible if they're not used by LW currently. That alone is a pain to control from the outside. LW, for example, could just copy them to a temp directory and install them on the next launch.

Cheers,
Mike