Monday, September 12, 2011

Integrating plugins: stage 1

Took a lil' bit longer than i expected (those "little things", you know), but the main p2pOS application now reads the plugin list from a 'plugins' sub-directory and can start plugins.

Essentially, a p2pOS plugin is an application that runs on a client computer (i.e. alongside the main p2pOS application) and which implements a localhost sockets-based communication protocol which allows it to connect to the p2pOS main application (said communication protocol specification is part of the p2pOS API). Thus, because the only requirement for a p2pOS plugin is to implement a sockets-based communication protocol, a plugin can be written in any programming language which provides sockets access, including interpreted languages e.g. python, or tcl/tk, etc.

As the title of this post says, it's only the first stage of the plugin framework that's been implemented so far (specifically having p2pOS detect and run plugins), or, in other words, this is how things look like now:

The next step is to implement the crossed thicK red line(s) in the image below:

So basically, once the crossed-red-lines above will be implemented, a plugin will be able to communicate with another [remote] plugin by tunneling its messages through a p2pOS-managed p2p connection, which in terms of nuts and bolts means something like this:

Finally, because i love screenshots, here's the p2pOS main application starting a plugin...

...and then stopping it:

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