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Should smilies be rendered via plugin

Smilies are one notable case of a core plugin that can't use standard syntax. To remedy this, I suggest that the code be moved to core and the plugin made obsolete. I suggest this primarily because of performance issues, since in general I prefer things to be modular and, ideally, more core functionality would be done via plugins.

-- Contributors: MeredithLesly


Actually, it could use the standard syntax, but %SMILIE{":)"}% is just plain ugly.

The same case for SectionalEditPlugin with the <sectionbreak/&gt; tags.

Another example is a plugin that translates "on the fly" the topic text whithout needing a tag, or that highlights automatically some terms in the text. The possibilities for useful plugins without a standard syntax are endless.

We should bite the bullet and acknowledge that TML will never be deterministic, thanks to the plugins being allowed to directly manipulate the output text.

-- RafaelAlvarez - 22 May 2006

Some people have strong opinions on smilies, it should be possible to disable graphical smilies. I do not think the SmiliesPlugin should go into the core.

There are many Plugins that do not/cannot rely on expanding %VARIABLES{}%, such as BlackListPlugin, CalendarPlugin, ChartPlugin, EditTablePlugin, GlobalReplacePlugin, InterwikiPlugin, RenderListPlugin, SlideShowPlugin, SpreadSheetPlugin, TablePlugin, TopicCreatePlugin, VarCachePlugin, and more. It would be overly restrictive to request that, it would cripple the usefulness of TWiki.

-- PeterThoeny - 01 Jun 2006

You seem to have misunderstood me somewhat, although I probably wasn't all that clear in my original topic. Moving something into core doesn't preclude disabling it, although I have to note that it would be less obvious how to turn smiles off if they weren't done via plugin. I also wasn't trying to suggest that we eliminate plugins that don't use standard syntax.

I haven't examined all of the plugins you list, but TablePlugin and and SpreadSheetPlugin do use standard syntax; e.g. %CALC{.....}%, %TABLE{....}%, %SLIDESHOWSTART%. AFAIK, SmiliesPlugin and InterwikiPlugin are the only core plugins that don't use tag syntax.

Unless the overhead of plugins is reduced/eliminated, moving core plugins into core -- with the ability to disable them -- might help improve performance. That was the only reason that I suggested it at all, although improving performance seems to have fallen off of the radar screen. frown

-- MeredithLesly - 01 Jun 2006

SpreadSheetPlugin etc don't simply expand the %VARIABLE{}%, they act on surrounding text, such as nearby table cells.

-- PeterThoeny - 01 Jun 2006

I guess I wasn't clear. AFAIK, SmiliesPlugin and InterwikiPlugin are the only plugins that do nothing but replace certain strings of characters with images. The other plugins mentioned all have handlers and registered tags, which makes them typical, if somewhat complex, plugins.

This really isn't a big deal to me one way or the other. It just seemed like a fairly easy way to get a (probably fairly small) speed improvement, so I thought I'd raise it. CDot is the only one who knows how much of an improvement it would be, or how much coding it would involve.

-- MeredithLesly - 01 Jun 2006

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Topic revision: r8 - 2006-06-01 - MeredithLesly
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