We’'ve been doing a bunch of interesting improvements to Wildfire plugins that I wanted to share. All of these changes are already in SVN and will officially be a part of Wildfire 3.0.
Plugins are now translatable: each plugin can have resource bundles so that the plugin is available in multiple languages.
Plugins can have database scripts: each plugin can define database scripts as well as upgrade scripts that the plugin framework will attempt to apply automatically. This is great option for the more complex plugins that require saving information in the database. In the past, each plugin that did so had to create it’'s own framework for interacting with the database. See the plugin developer guide in SVN for more information about this.
Development mode for plugins: this is one of my favorite changes. In the current version of Wildfire, it can be pretty slow and tedious to create JSP pages for the admin console. When Wildfire is started in plugin developer mode, it will dynamically compile the plugin JSP pages. That means that you’‘ll see changes in real-time as you edit the file. Note that this feature is closely related to Wildfire’‘s development mode in general – the general Wildfire development mode does the same thing but for core JSP pages. Development mode also reloads plugins more quickly, which is also a time saver. If you’‘re using the code in SVN or a nightly build, check out the wildfire-dev.bat script for information about setting up plugin development mode. I hope to have a wildfire-dev.sh script soon, but don’'t currently have a Linux box to test on.
Finally, one feature that’'s planned but not yet implemented is the ability to download plugins directly from jivesoftware.org from inside the Wildfire admin console. This will make it a snap to download new plugins and upgrade existing plugins.