References / Existing Implementations

PMD is somewhat cemented now for most of my projects. Even if you don't actually need the management features. This is just a list of existing parsers and usage schemes.

Python: streamtuner2pluginconf

  • Comes with a full parser, and handles plugin activation with a simple configuration hashtable.
  • plugin_meta() can extract from files or loaded modules, and pyz archives
  • The admin UI sets a .plugins{} dict with activation states:

    "plugins": {
       "bookmarks": true, 
       "cachereset": false, 
       "configwin": true, 
       "continuous_record": false, 
       "delicast": true, 
  • Plugins are scanned for meta infos on each startup (there isn't too many), and instantiated according to config list.

  • Hooks/type: aren't utilized much. Instead class types are used implicitly, or plugins register themselves with the main application.

  • config: options show up in a neat combined settings window, defaults are applied on startup / to the conf{} dict.

  • Defines an extra arg: attribute for the config: list.

Powershell: Clicky

  • Has a full parser, and utilizes both config options and other meta fields at runtime..
  • type: covers a couple of magic values (init*,inline, cli, window, …) deciding on when to run/inline a script.
  • But primarily the category: is used for UI hookup (menu structuring). Which is one of the more basic uses for PMD.
  • Defines a bunch of custom fields like hidden:, nomenu:, vars: (like config struct), key: and shortcut:, which avoids lots of code duplication for plugins/scripts.
  • But there's no plugin activation states as such. All scripts are "loaded" all the time. Though there's a basic Plugin Manager now.

Ruby: cross package maker

  • Implements just a crude parser.
  • Uses PMD partially as source for packaging info. (Wasn't intended for that, but very applicable nonetheless!)
  • Defines the #pack: specifier for relative file references. Albeit partially supports #depends: specifiers.

PHP: libconfig / Generic PHP Plugins

  • Was the original implementation. Still pretty close to the current spec.
  • Except that the config: syntax uses HTML-style rather than JSOL attributes.
  • Main goal here was a non-destructive config.php editing feature via plugin meta data