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Paint.Net Plugins Management?


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I have been using Paint.Net for quite some time, and absolutely love the program and all the plugins. I like Paint.Net better than Photoshop to be honest (Which I also have for an unknown reason... :wink: ).

I was wondering though if there were any plans to integrate some sort of Plugin Management into the application in the future (Something similar to Firefox's Add-In's Section maybe?). I was wondering what everyone's thoughts were. I find it difficult to find plugins and once installed, manage them on my computer. I like the way the Firefox Add-in's website and the application section handle all of this. Maybe a way to better organize the plugins in the Plugin Menu as well (I have seen this mentioned before on the forums. I think by Rick actually). That would be very nice.

This isn't a post to complain, I was just curious what everyone thought. Is it just me?

Thanks. :D

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Thank you for your smart a** response, but if you read, my question was different from what is discussed in that thread.

A) He was not being a smartass, he was being completely reasonable, but also trying to infuse a little bit of humor into his repsponse.

B) That is exactly what you are asking for:

Ability to organize/manage effects -- This one's interesting. Now that there are so many plugins available, people now need the ability to organize them, like into sub-menus or something. Will probably make it into a 3.x0 release (3.20? 3.50?)

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Thank you for your smart a** response, but if you read, my question was different from what is discussed in that thread.

A) He was not being a smartass, he was being completely reasonable, but also trying to infuse a little bit of humor into his repsponse.

B) That is exactly what you are asking for:

Ability to organize/manage effects -- This one's interesting. Now that there are so many plugins available, people now need the ability to organize them, like into sub-menus or something. Will probably make it into a 3.x0 release (3.20? 3.50?)

Perhaps he was thinking more along install/uninstall lines, but I don't see why that would be necessary. Just install the plugins you like.

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I was wondering though if there were any plans to integrate some sort of Plugin Management into the application in the future (Something similar to Firefox's Add-In's Section maybe?). I was wondering what everyone's thoughts were. I find it difficult to find plugins and once installed, manage them on my computer. I like the way the Firefox Add-in's website and the application section handle all of this. Maybe a way to better organize the plugins in the Plugin Menu as well (I have seen this mentioned before on the forums. I think by Rick actually). That would be very nice.

I do not understand. You speak about a website, but you want to manage them on your local computer? :?:

Or do you want to have both?

And I really don't like the way plugins are managed in Firefox itself (not the website), they only differ between plugins and themes, both without any search possibility, making them just a long, long list. I don't see what's positive about it. Also this is a popular request.

And as this is a forum, I have no idea how the plugin section could be improved.

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I apologize if I misunderstood Gladi8or2's response, but it certainly came off as cocky to me (I'm sorry if that was incorrect). As I've been attacked on this forum in the past, I may have jumped too fast.

Having read and reread that thread, I still do not think that it covers what I'm talking about, but whatever... I see people mention plugins in posts that I then cannot even find in the Plugins Forum. That frustrates me. The organization just isn't there. The only thing covered in that "Popular Feature Requests" thread was the ability to edit the Plugins Menu within Paint.Net. Though that would be a wonderful addition to the application (As there are so many plugins, and some aren't put into the appropriate sub-menus on their own), it IMO does not go far enough. I have been using Paint.Net and going through the forums for years and can't find plugins. I simply cannot imagine a newbie coming into this program and having any way of rationalizing the plugin system. As much as I would like something like this to make its way into Paint.Net, I think it is far more valuable in order to get new users to be able to easily adopt use of Paint.Net.

Just my thoughts. I apologize if it's a bit ranty...

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I do not understand. You speak about a website, but you want to manage them on your local computer? :?:

Um... Sorry if I was unclear. I think that there is definitely room for improvement with the Firefox Add-Ins section of the application, but it's certainly something. I realize that the Paint.Net plugins are managed on a forum, but if you look at how the Firefox Add-ins section of their website is handled, it is organized. It's easy to find an add-in. I routinely read tutorials, and if a link to the necessary plugins isn't provided, cannot even find these plugins... If a new version of a plugin is released, I have no way of even knowing unless I remember when I installed the old version. There are some absolutely INCREDIBLE plugins out there (It's astounding what some of the plugin authors have been able to do). I find a really good one every now and then. But they're soooo hard to find. They're not very discoverable. Maybe if there was an index of all plugins and a description of what they do (Along with links to the download location)? I don't know. I'm kind of curious what others thoughts are.

I hope that explains better.

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Ok, so you mean (not quite like in Firefox) to have menu in Paint.NET that will let you choose what plugins you want and download them?

That would kind of be nice. I like that idea.

As do I, but I'm not sure it's doable. Most, if not all, of the Paint.NET plugins are hosted offsite.

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This Plugin Management built into Paint.NET would certainly be a fantastic idea. I haven't read any of the posts in this thread with the exception of the first post, but if this were implemented, it would be great if it could show the version number of the plugins as well (however the authors decide to version their plugins, that is).

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As do I, but I'm not sure it's doable. Most, if not all, of the Paint.NET plugins are hosted offsite.

Yeah, I realize that. Maybe there's a better way of doing things? I mean, Mozilla is clearly a larger project than Paint.Net, but maybe hosting could be arranged? I don't know.

This Plugin Management built into Paint.NET would certainly be a fantastic idea. I haven't read any of the posts in this thread with the exception of the first post, but if this were implemented, it would be great if it could show the version number of the plugins as well (however the authors decide to version their plugins, that is).

That would be great. And maybe it could even check for updates to plugins as well. As it stands I never know if I'm using the newest version. Once I find a plugin I usually can't find it's thread again... lol

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As do I, but I'm not sure it's doable. Most, if not all, of the Paint.NET plugins are hosted offsite.

It may be very doable in the future! From what I hope (and hope alone), Rick or someone else will host a site where you can upload plugins, and Paint.NET will be able to track them, advising the user of them (and maybe a few preview images to go with it).

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It may be very doable in the future! From what I hope (and hope alone), Rick or someone else will host a site where you can upload plugins, and Paint.NET will be able to track them, advising the user of them (and maybe a few preview images to go with it).

That would be absolutely incredible. I REALLY hope something like that can be done in the future. I think it would make adoption of Paint.NET by newbies MUCH, MUCH, easier.

Thanks Ash for putting together that website. I didn't know about it before this. It is very helpful. There should be something like that on the Paint.NET website as an easy reference of all plugins and what they do.

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If there were a site that just hosted PDN plugins, you'd have to make sure they were worth their sever space & worth people's time & HDD space to download. If they were tested in the Plugin forum & then ok'd to go on the plugin site it would be good. Otherwise people will open pdn & it'll say a new plugin is available do you want to download it? For all they know they could be downloading the best plugin ever or some pile of rubbish that soemone made as a test to see if they could even do it.

I guess what I'm asking for is quality control. It's no good having a dedicated server / website for paint.net plugins only for loads of them to be rubbish. They should be tested beforehand by regular members of the forum that use paint.net a lot so that they can suggest what the plugin needs before it goes on the plugin site. What would also be needed on the site, would be categorization, it's no good having a massive list of plugins & a brief description, simple categories would suffice, things like Distort plugins, Render plugins, File Types, Adjustments, you get the idea.

Anyway, I'll shut up now & let y'all contemplate my blatherings ;)

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Wouldn't a simple MySQL Database (on the getpaint.net server) do? Let people fill in tags for their plugins, with the ability to edit them after, and set state categories (Released, Alpha, Bèta), and menu categories. (Distort, blur, artistic...)

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Wouldn't a simple MySQL Database (on the getpaint.net server) do?

How many times does Rick have to remind people to stop saying "simple"? :wink:

You'd need an SQL database to keep the list, an ASP or PHP program to build an upload interface (and you'd also want an HTTP-browsable plugins list (read:website)), and an update manifest that Paint.NET could check. The ASP/PHP structure would take the DLL along with it's information at upload, store the DLL (either on the server or encoded in a SQL field), store the description and version information in the database, and update the manifest (text or XML based probably) with the version information. Then Paint.NET would have to check the version information for the plugin in question on the server, and download the file if necessary.

Even if you take out the Paint.NET automation, you'll still need the site design, the program back-end, and some form of virus-checking. If a Paint.NET-supported site is hosting the plugins, we'd want to ensure that the DLLs were trustworthy.

So, it's doable, yeah, but not exactly simple. Rick seems to like thinking plans through before he starts, the silly guy... :wink:

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Rick seems to like thinking plans through before he starts, the silly guy... :wink:

Silly boy...

What do you recommend then, CMD? I bet there's nothing less hard then this. A separate application would take forever.

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Well yeah, I realize that this is the way it must be done. The thing is putting it together well, not throwing it together to get it out the door.

I've tossed around the idea of creating at the very least a database for the available plugins on CMD Sketchpad, which would be searchable and hold links to the DLLs wherever they may be hosted. Perhaps, if the system takes off, it can be expanded to a hosting site and, if necessary, into Paint.NET's integrated plugin management and update system.

The question is whether or not Rick wants full control over the system. If he wants to be the developer who builds the database and manages the hosting and integration and all, then it's all up to him as to when, or if, an integrated community hosting site similar to the one Firefox uses will ever come to pass.

So basically, I'm not saying there's a simpler way. I'm saying the simplest way still takes a lot of planning and forethought.

I am not a mechanism, I am part of the resistance;

I am an organism, an animal, a creature, I am a beast.

~ Becoming the Archetype

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Thank you for your posts Crazy Man Dan, they were very informative. I realize that nothing is ever truly "simple", but I think that something is really needed to better integrate plugins with the Paint.NET application. I don't know what Rick's thoughts or plans are with reference to something like this, and would be very interested in knowing. I think at some point (Preferably sooner rather than later), something like this will be needed, as the number of available plugins grows. As it stands it can be a bit overwhelming for a newbie to sort through all of the available plugins. Perhaps users could even rate the plugins similar to how users can rate Add-ins for Firefox on that site?

I am very interested by everyones thoughts and ideas. This has developed into a very interesting discussion. :)

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