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Plugin Index - now with sample forum post!

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I've been working on an index of plugins for some time, and now want some feedback on the idea.

Background

There are now around 259 plugins available for PDN. I for one feel its time we indexed these to make them easier to find.

Methodology

I've manually trawled the plugin forum and collated a list of plugins. In this list I have included Plugin name, Author, Notes & Description. Plugin name & author are clickable links that direct the user back to other areas of this forum (but not in these early release files). Some other links (external URLs) are also included in the list. All links are marked blue in the attached PDFs (note: these PDFs don't support URLs :( ).

My idea is to eventually post this list to the Plugin forum. I will be willing to undertake its maintenance on a monthly basis, more or less often as required.

Please download the attached ZIP file and peruse the two files on offer. I would like to know:

1. If you feel this index is a good idea.

2. The best release method: Doc, XLS, PDF or plain text in a post?

[edit]a text based post might look something like this:

BLP Converter Plugin Evan Wallace Filetype File type plugin for loading Blizzard Picture files (*.blp). Requires Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1 Redistributable Package. Click here to download.(link)

Blue/Green Screen Remover Bleek II Note: semi-broken Remove green screen / blue screen (background) from an image.

BoltBait's Pack BoltBait Plugin pack 12 effect (& 1 palette file): Color Balance, Transparency, Flip Horisontal, Flip Vertical, Pastel, Gaussian Blur Plus, Feather, Outline, Lomography, Polygon/Stars, Flames, Bevel Selection, Outline Selection, Feather Selection, Hide Image, Reveal Hidden B&W image, Reveal Hidden Color Image

[/edit]

3. Additions and amendments gratefully accepted.

Plugin Index.zip

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I've been working on an index of plugins for some time, and now want some feedback on the idea.

Background

There are now around 259 plugins available for PDN. I for one feel its time we indexed these to make them easier to find.

Methodology

I've manually trawled the plugin forum and collated a list of plugins. In this list I have included Plugin name, Author, Notes & Description. Plugin name & author are clickable links that direct the user back to other areas of this forum (but not in these early release files). Some other links (external URLs) are also included in the list. All links are marked blue in the attached PDFs (note: these PDFs don't support URLs :( ).

My idea is to eventually post this list to the Plugin forum. I will be willing to undertake its maintenance on a monthly basis, more or less often as required.

Please download the attached ZIP file and peruse the two files on offer. I would like to know:

1. If you feel this index is a good idea.

2. The best release method: Doc, XLS, PDF or plain text in a post?

[edit]a text based post might look something like this:

BLP Converter Plugin Evan Wallace Filetype File type plugin for loading Blizzard Picture files (*.blp). Requires Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1 Redistributable Package. Click here to download.(link)

Blue/Green Screen Remover Bleek II Note: semi-broken Remove green screen / blue screen (background) from an image.

BoltBait's Pack BoltBait Plugin pack 12 effect (& 1 palette file): Color Balance, Transparency, Flip Horisontal, Flip Vertical, Pastel, Gaussian Blur Plus, Feather, Outline, Lomography, Polygon/Stars, Flames, Bevel Selection, Outline Selection, Feather Selection, Hide Image, Reveal Hidden B&W image, Reveal Hidden Color Image

[/edit]

3. Additions and amendments gratefully accepted.

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The web seems to me to be the most logical way to host the list as it requires the least effort to use as well as allowing the user to find them more easily than from a simply list via categories, a search box, ect. (i'd be prepared to host it if space is the problem).

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The web seems to me to be the most logical way to host the list as it requires the least effort to use as well as allowing the user to find them more easily than from a simply list via categories, a search box, ect. (i'd be prepared to host it if space is the problem).

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That looks like a lot of work was put into researching, compiling and typing that all up.

I like the format and choice of categories, perhaps you could add a column or two for Main and Submenus (where they are located in PDN once installed) to aid in narrowing searches. I agree with what Simon stated but I can't help but think the idea could be taken a bit further, so the following is a bunch of random wild thoughts.

A small database should/could be setup (maybe with something free like Postgresql) and then a method of searching could be setup using a simple form made of a search box for each column/category name, or a single search box and a custom parser could be used to build the SQL search statements from what was typed. Perhaps this could be made into a plug-in itself. I think it would fit nicely into the Help menu in the PDN program, right under the Plug-in forum link. Of course that would most likely involve Rick to do his magic if this plug-in were to be integrated in such a way.

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That looks like a lot of work was put into researching, compiling and typing that all up.

I like the format and choice of categories, perhaps you could add a column or two for Main and Submenus (where they are located in PDN once installed) to aid in narrowing searches. I agree with what Simon stated but I can't help but think the idea could be taken a bit further, so the following is a bunch of random wild thoughts.

A small database should/could be setup (maybe with something free like Postgresql) and then a method of searching could be setup using a simple form made of a search box for each column/category name, or a single search box and a custom parser could be used to build the SQL search statements from what was typed. Perhaps this could be made into a plug-in itself. I think it would fit nicely into the Help menu in the PDN program, right under the Plug-in forum link. Of course that would most likely involve Rick to do his magic if this plug-in were to be integrated in such a way.

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I have suggested to the moderators before that we actually reorganize the Plugins section of this forum similar to Tutorials+, with a category for each populated submenu in your Effects menu, along with a place for plugin packs and Misc. plugins.

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I have suggested to the moderators before that we actually reorganize the Plugins section of this forum similar to Tutorials+, with a category for each populated submenu in your Effects menu, along with a place for plugin packs and Misc. plugins.

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I've heard your suggestions Mike, and agree. However this seems a lot of work and this index might suffice until that reorganization takes place.

@Simon: I really would like to keep this index within the forum. The last thing I want to do is fractionate resources.

@ stuff_gnome: I'm listening (see above reply to Simon for partial response)! Yes further columns could be added, but I do think these superfluous to the overall plan: To index the plugins. I think the menu where the effect can be found is better found in the post related to that plugin (the menu does change from time to time as users discuss the merits of placement).

Alphabetical by plugin name

Alphabetical by Author

Is my first idea for lists - that should make the plugin findable, and that's my goal.

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I've heard your suggestions Mike, and agree. However this seems a lot of work and this index might suffice until that reorganization takes place.

@Simon: I really would like to keep this index within the forum. The last thing I want to do is fractionate resources.

@ stuff_gnome: I'm listening (see above reply to Simon for partial response)! Yes further columns could be added, but I do think these superfluous to the overall plan: To index the plugins. I think the menu where the effect can be found is better found in the post related to that plugin (the menu does change from time to time as users discuss the merits of placement).

Alphabetical by plugin name

Alphabetical by Author

Is my first idea for lists - that should make the plugin findable, and that's my goal.

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@Simon: I really would like to keep this index within the forum. The last thing I want to do is fractionate resources.

Another option: Placing the list in a single PHP file that contains both the list of plugins and the functions (divided by query string, of course). This would give the user the ability to search for the resource while avoiding risking fractionating it (I presume because of reliability) as other users could modify and mirror it if need be.

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@Simon: I really would like to keep this index within the forum. The last thing I want to do is fractionate resources.

Another option: Placing the list in a single PHP file that contains both the list of plugins and the functions (divided by query string, of course). This would give the user the ability to search for the resource while avoiding risking fractionating it (I presume because of reliability) as other users could modify and mirror it if need be.

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Is this a simpler option than just posting the list on the forum? I can generate the text to cut & paste into the forum at the touch of a button (macro actually) - I wanted to make it easy to repost the list with ammendments and updates.

@ Goonfella: I was considering a new thread in the Plugin forum, with two posts initially. One for each of the mentioned lists.

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Is this a simpler option than just posting the list on the forum? I can generate the text to cut & paste into the forum at the touch of a button (macro actually) - I wanted to make it easy to repost the list with ammendments and updates.

@ Goonfella: I was considering a new thread in the Plugin forum, with two posts initially. One for each of the mentioned lists.

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I got a suggestion. Wouldn't organising each plugin by type be better? So you have multiple table each with a list of the plugins that fit in that table's category. each list in the tables could be list alphabetically by plugin name?

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I got a suggestion. Wouldn't organising each plugin by type be better? So you have multiple table each with a list of the plugins that fit in that table's category. each list in the tables could be list alphabetically by plugin name?

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Is this a simpler option than just posting the list on the forum? I can generate the text to cut & paste into the forum at the touch of a button (macro actually) - I wanted to make it easy to repost the list with ammendments and updates.

If it was positioned in a PHP file it could be easily searchable by name and category, provide links to plugins as well as not requiring the user to unzip a file.

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Is this a simpler option than just posting the list on the forum? I can generate the text to cut & paste into the forum at the touch of a button (macro actually) - I wanted to make it easy to repost the list with ammendments and updates.

If it was positioned in a PHP file it could be easily searchable by name and category, provide links to plugins as well as not requiring the user to unzip a file.

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I did consider indexing by type, but this is fairly objective. I don't claim to have downloaded and trialled every plugin (far from it), so most of what I've reproduced comes from the plugin authors original post. Sometimes it is not clear what a plugin actually does from the post alone.

What "types" or categories would you split the list into?

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I did consider indexing by type, but this is fairly objective. I don't claim to have downloaded and trialled every plugin (far from it), so most of what I've reproduced comes from the plugin authors original post. Sometimes it is not clear what a plugin actually does from the post alone.

What "types" or categories would you split the list into?

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