* Changes to the arrangements for making plugins available in the forums

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Family Historian: V7
Location: Cirencester, Gloucestershire

Changes to the arrangements for making plugins available in the forums

Post by ColeValleyGirl »

We've had problems with people downloading old versions of plugins from the forums and finding that they don't work, either because they were development versions (superseded by updated versions, often in the Plugin Store) or because they were written for earlier versions of FH and have not been updated.

It's also the case that the moderators here don't review plugins made available, so FHUG can't guarantee that they're safe. We don't allow the upload of any other executables or scripts, so we shouldn't make an exception for plugins.

We're therefore moving to making plugins available via links only.

What does this mean for plugin users

With immediate effect, when you see a plugin offered for use in the forums, you will need to follow a link to download it. You should use the same caution when you download a file from any other site -- do I trust the author, and the site I'm being directed to?

Older plugins in the forums will progressively become unavailable 3 months from now. For anything you're dependent on, check if there is a newer version in the Plugin Store and install that if it will work with your version of FH. Otherwise, make sure you have a copy from this site, and back it up.

What does this mean for plugin authors

With immediate effect, you should not attach files with the .lua or .fh_lua extension. (Any that are attached will be deleted by moderators).

Instead you should provide a link with read only access to the file in e.g. OneDrive. It might take slightly longer than attaching a file, but has the following advantages (depending on the storage you use):
  • You can easily update the contents of a plugin without needing to update your posts
  • You can ensure that only the latest version is available via FHUG no matter which post it is accessed from
  • You can delete a plugin you decide to withdraw without editing your post
  • You can set a link to expire after a specified date, so making old development versions and/or plugins you've published to the store no longer available via the forums.
  • You can see more accurate details of who has accessed your file.

It would be good practice to indicate in your posts that, if a link ceases working, that version of the plugin is no longer supported/available.

Within 3-6 months all existing lua and fh_lua plugins will be deleted, and attaching them will be disabled; you can check by Editing your profile > Overview > Manage attachments whether you have any such plugins. However, I will progressively send out tailored advisory emails.

Please download your own plugins if you need a copy, and/or delete them yourself. Otherwise they will vanish within 3-6 months -- or earlier, if you let me know they can be deleted.
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Re: Changes to the arrangements for making plugins available in the forums

Post by Mark1834 »

Thanks Helen, I think this is a good initiative, for all the reasons you give. Sharing files via links has been common practice in the corporate world for over 20 years, and I think it is now mainstream in the domestic market as well.

As it happens, I have a new plugin draft ready for testing, so i’ll post that later today so we can get used to the new way of working. Individual authors could have chosen this method rather than a traditional file attachment, but sometimes we old timers need a poke to adopt new and better ways of working! :)
Mark Draper
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Joined: 03 Feb 2020 22:57
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Re: Changes to the arrangements for making plugins available in the forums

Post by jelv »

Tip for plugin authors:

If you go to ucp.php?i=ucp_attachments&mode=attachments to get a list of all your attachments, at the bottom there is a button for Display and sorting options. One of the options is to sort by extension which will help find all the plugins.
John Elvin
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