Intelligent Appropriation of Plugin Configuration Settings Contingent on Run-Time Environment
Original Publication Date: 2010-Feb-08
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2010-Feb-08
This invention describes a method in which software "plugins" (such as used in the Eclipse* platform) could modify their own behaviour to automatically obtain configuration information from other plugins when those plugins are present.
Intelligent Appropriation of Plugin Configuration Settings Contingent on Run -Time Environment
Many software products (such as Eclipse*) are built from a collection of (sometimes) independent plugins. Generally these plugins require some sort of configuration in order to function properly, and will thus require their own independent configuration. However, in instances where there are many similar plugins inside one software product, they may have similar configuration requirements, yet will each require independent configuration. This makes the task of configuration the software product tedious, since the same information would have to be repeatedly entered, and thus also more prone to error.
One simple solution to this is to write two versions of the plugin functionality - one to be used stand-alone, and another to be used in concert with other plugins. However, this will require a lot of extra development effort in the duplication of work, and poses maintenance issues (in having to maintain the code for the same function inside two separate versions of that plugin).
The core idea of the invention is to organise plugins such that there is one "master" plugin, that contains the configuration information, and to have all other plugins reference that master plugin in order to obtain their configuration information. However, in order to still function as standalone packages, each component should also have the ability to present their own means of obtaining configuration information when the master plugin is not...