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Philosophy - Plugin Installation Should be Transparent to Users

Many plugins are "transparent" to TWiki users. If, for example, I never type %COMMENT% in a topic, the fact that the CommentPlugin is (or is not) installed will never be apparent. Given that !%...% denotes a "magic" variable for TWiki, it is unlikely that anyone would type this accidentally and unknowingly activate the CommentPlugin.

Other plugins, however, are always "live" and very much 'in my face'. The SmiliesPlugin, for example, causes ascii smilies to be rendered as GIFs whether I desire this or not. I have to know about and explicitly remember to escape the plugin every time I type a :-).

This should not be.

Plugins such as SmiliesPlugin, SpacedWikiWordPlugin, and others that cause an immediate change in the look and feel across a site should be controllable by preferences. It should take a site preference to activate them. A simple user preference should be enough to deactivate them.

Given that plugins are installed by the server admin on the server and the user has no control of the installation, the user should at least be able to decide whether or not to exploit or ignore the plugin. In fact, the user community should never be aware that a new plugin has been installed, unless notified by the sys admmin. Assuredly, the user should never see the look of his or her existing pages suddenly changing.

-- VickiBrown - 02 Dec 2004

Take a look at the INSTALLEDPLUGINS and DISABLEDPLUGINS preferences in TWikiPreferences, they provide most of what you want.

INSTALLEDPLUGINS serves to define the "rendering order" of some plugins. Plugins enumerated in that preference are rendered first in the order listed.

OTOH, DISABLEDPLUGINS list all the plugins the user want to disable.

Being standard preferences, they can be used in TWikiPreferences to affect the whole installation, in the WebPreference topic to affect a specific web, or in the user topic.

But the current default behavior of TWiki is: Plugins are active unless told otherwise.

-- RafaelAlvarez - 02 Dec 2004

I understand the "current default behaviour". That's the point of this topic. I want that current default behaviour to be revisited. I think it's inappropriate for an administrator to be able to change the look and feel of my experience without my sayso.

-- VickiBrown - 16 Dec 2004

Vicki - is your site have multiple administrators, a different one per web?

-- MartinCleaver - 16 Dec 2004

TopicClassification PluginBrainstorming
TopicSummary Philosophical argument - Plugins should not be forced upon the users


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Topic revision: r4 - 2004-12-16 - MartinCleaver
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