Home Architecture // Plug-ins

Believing that a clear plug-in structure helps newcomers to participate in the code base of a product, we strive to offer such a low-entry plugin API.

It is currently far from perfect as it has been added once the code was already existing, but it should be the direction.

1. Plugin module discovery

The module rdiffbackup.utils.plugins offers the function get_discovered_plugins to…​ discover plugin modules and classes.

It relies on plugin modules to:

  1. belong to a certain namespace, typically something like rdiffbackup.PLUGTYPE,

  2. or be named with a certain prefix, typically rdb_PLUGTYPE_.

2. Plugin module interface

Each plugin module is deemed having a main class, typically derived from a base class helping scaffolding. This main class can be gathered using the module function get_plugin_class(), which simply returns this main class, non-instantiated.

3. Plugin class interface

Beside plugin type specific functions, each plugin class must offer the following functions:

  • the class method cls.get_name() returns the unique short name of the plug-in, usable a dictionary key. Only this name will be used in the code, and it doesn’t need to be aligned with the name of the module or of the class (but it should).

  • the class method cls.get_desc() returns the human readable name of the plugin handled, to be used for user messages.

  • the class method cls.get_version() returns the version of the plug-in as a string. The version 0.0.0 is reserved for plugins delivered with the main program, to avoid having to maintain too many versions in the main code.

4. Plugin type manager interface

Each plugin type should have its manager module, typically named rdiffbackup.PLUGTYPE_mgr. All plugin interaction should happen through this manager, so that all other parts of the program don’t rely on a specific set of plugins but use the manager to get a list.

The interface of the plugin type manager is specific to each type, and described in the following chapter.

5. Plugin types specifics