Thursday, February 13, 2014

GEDCOM Plugin for Notepad++: Now with Automatic Install

Earlier this week, the GEDCOM plugin made it to the official list of Notepad++ plugins. Registering a plugin and getting it accepted is fairly easy. But there is a big benefit to the user: your desired plugin is just a click away. No more downloads, unpacking zips, and copying files to multiple directory locations.

You can thank the Plugin Manager (also a plugin!) developed by Dave Brotherstone for this effective system of plugin management. When you register a plugin, you supply the information the Plugin Manager needs to find your zip (a download URL), identify its version, and tell it what needs to be extracted and where it should go. With just that information the Plugin Manager can perform installs and updates of registered plugins. It does this magic and also stops and restarts Notepad++ to make the changes take effect. And if the plugin doesn't do what you want, it's just as easy to remove it.

Plugin Manager also updates its list of available plugins from the plugin registry. There are actually two lists, a list of registered but not yet vetted new or updated plugins, and then the current official list which is downloaded by Plugin Manager. When you issue the command Plugins->Plugin Manager->"Show Plugin Manager", it displays the current official plugin list. Here is a screenshot of that from version 6.5.2 of Notepad++ taken today (13 Feb 2014):

You will notice that GEDCOM Lexer is still at version 0.1. Generally, Plugin Manager will lag behind the latest and greatest, for that you may still need to do a manual update.


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