[Geany-devel] Plugins Guidance

Lex Trotman elextr at xxxxx
Thu Feb 23 00:48:41 UTC 2012

On 23 February 2012 01:13, Colomban Wendling <lists.ban at herbesfolles.org> wrote:
> Le 21/02/2012 05:15, Lex Trotman a écrit :
>> In another thread
>> http://lists.uvena.de/geany/2012-February/007808.html a couple of
>> things were mentioned about guidelines for plugins to be good
>> citizens.  So I thought it worthwhile gathering any suggestions so the
>> docs could be updated in one go.
>> Items mentioned to date:
>> 1. don't set default keybindings, users will be annoyed if you
>> override their personal bindings.  Always let the user tell the plugin
>> what to use.
> I'm not convinced that saying "not set default" is the best solution to
> the conflict problem.  Couldn't Geany simply not override an already
> existent keybinding when installing a plugin's one?

Thats possible, but does Geany know that it is a plugin setting the

If we can do it, might it not also cause user confusion when
keybindings are not applied?  What about when adding several plugins
some of which clash in keybindings?

There would have to be some sort of notification (I guess by plugin
manager?) and that in itself is also probably annoying.

And even if the plugin didn't have a default shortcut, I guess if the
user set one and the plugin saved it, then the user unloaded the
plugin, set the same keybinding somewhere else and then re-loaded the
plugin you still get a clash so detecting it and notifying the user is
needed in any case.

(Sorry no solutions, just questions)

>> 2. don't spread menu items through the Geany menus, users don't know
>> where to look and if several plugins add things to the same place the
>> menu may become unworkable.  You don't know what other plugins the
>> user will enable at the same time.
> I'm not sure about this one either, though I understand that too many
> items everywhere may become a problem.
> But if the plugin provides a feature like, say, uniqueness (ref. thread
> in the general ml), the menu would better fit in edit->format or
> something;  and e.g. GeanyGenDoc places an item in "editor context
> menu"->insert.

Well, its only the plugin developers idea of where it "belongs",
personally I would not want uniqueness in format.  Also if we change
the Geany menu all the plugins have to scramble to fix themselves.

> IMO this makes the UI better than fulfilling the tools menu with various
> stuff, since it's the "appropriate place" for such an item.

Just try getting agreement on "appropriate", its a bikeshed.  Unless
the plugin has a preference to choose tools or somewhere else.

> I understand that if 10k plugins adds items in various menus it'd start
> to be annoying, but OTOH, is a tool menu with 10k items really better?

Well, at least its isolated and the usability of the rest of Geany
isn't impacted.

I don't think that there is a clear cut solution, but IMHO on balance
it is better to keep the mess constrained to one place.



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