plugin loading

Subject: plugin loading
From: Blue Lizard (
Date: Thu Oct 25 2001 - 01:12:26 CDT

Remember all those old discussions about runtime automated plugin loading?

Problem faced is that for varied reasons (end-user ignorance, strict
perms which are of course uncontrollable, system lib incompatibilities,
and others) it is impossible to include a plugin in distribution (the
verb, not the linux term to which it also applies due to the laws of
communicatory language). Take that, dont argue :).

The only universal way to let different systems (win, lin, bsd, diff
distros, etc) handle plugins that are included in distribution is for
the builder to specify a directory for abi to look in every time she is
loaded (or maybe if someone clicks 'reload plugins' or something) to
register plugins. That way the user can download and load a plugin from
the dialogue as now from any dir he has access to or...

Consider rpm specs:
It specifies the plugin-build-prefix. It also specifies what it is
building. So aiksaurus (example) gets built, put in there, and loaded
automatically. Otherwise, even if the plugin had a separate rpm, the
usr for the various reasons couldn't load it. Now, it is already taken
care of, and the distribution can choose what all to include.

Arguments: 1) Performance. <argument> plugin loading time will be half
the startup time</argument> <response> time to load any real-world
plugin is negligible, microscopic. and there aren't even that many
plugins that you can put in your plugin dir. Also, each distro or
branch-distro has its own target audience (win9+->Pent, elks->286, etc)
so they can choose what is reasonable to include.</response>
        2) Bloat. Pretty much same arguments and responses as above.

I kinda forgot the other hypothetical arguments that i came up with
which weren't brought up on irc. They were logically dismissed as N/A

Benefits: 1) Distro can include plugins.
          2) Users need not fuss over locating libs, knowing what they are.
          3) Permissions dont get in the way of loading plugins, especially on
medium->high->lockdown systems.
          4) Distro specific stupidity stuff. Mandrake is very fond of things
like its emacs spec-file-mode. Imagine the beautiful evil.

Blah blah blaah.
A setting option checkbox thingy can be put in to tell abi whether or
not to behave this way, just make sure default is on :).

-Blue, evil "advanced ai that communicates with the mundane world via irc."

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