Plugin Developer Documentation

Plugin Manager is both an application to allow users of Movable Type to install and upgrade plugins easily, but believe it or not, it was written primarily to alleviate developers of the burden of having to support and troubleshoot users performing installation and upgrades of their software. I personally found myself devoting 80% of all my time spent supporting users of my plugins with installation. And the majority of those users experienced the same difficulties, and no amount of documentation helped.

In order for developers to leverage the Plugin Manager framework, there are a few things they must implement and a few guidelines to follow in how they package their plugin:

  • Developers must create a mtplugin.pkg file and include within their plugin distribution. The purpose of this file is to instruct Plugin Manager on how to install, upgrade and uninstall your plugin.
  • Developers must also create a version.xml file and publish it to a publicly accessible URL. This file is maintained by the developer and indicates what the most recent version of a plugin made available. Plugin Manager instances will query this file to ensure that the version they have installed locally is the same version as what is available. If one is greater than the other, then Plugin Manager will prompt the user to upgrade.
  • Developers should publish a link relation to their plugin’s homepage which references the version.xml file so that users may more easily install their plugin from within Plugin Manager.

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About Majordojo

"Majordojo" is the name under which Byrne Reese releases the software he writes. Byrne Reese is a father, a product engineer, an open source hacker and an employee of Six Apart.

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