One easy suggestion that would make it 10,000% easier to keep plugins up to date.

Discussion in 'BukkitDev Information and Feedback' started by Huns, May 25, 2012.

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    I have about sixty or seventy plugins I have to keep track of. Updating all of these is a gigantic pain, to the point that even thinking about doing it makes me want to turn off my computer and go outside and pretend Minecraft doesn't exist. The problem is that there is no simple, automated way to keep everything up to date, and so it's necessary for a human to sit down and update everything one by one. Every week, Minecraft admins have to spend thousands of hours collectively on this, and almost all of it is an unnecessary duplication of effort.

    There is one thing the Bukkit site developers could do that would make it very easy to keep almost all plugins updated on a daily basis, with virtually zero effort on the part of server admins. It would be incredibly trivial to write.

    Take this URL, for example:

    If I want to automate updating this, I have to write something that scrapes that URL off a page. I don't know if that URL changes with new versions but I wouldn't be surprised if it does. How about this instead:
    • - Returns the URL where the latest version can be downloaded.
    The reason this would return the URL instead of the file itself is that scripts that are set up to automatically download and update plugins can figure out whether they are working with a .jar (which can just be dropped into place) or a .zip (which requires further processing, but since almost everyone sets up their .zip files the same way it's easy for a script to handle it.)

    If I had this, I could have a cron job update all of my plugins every day, or even twice a day, automatically. It would save Minecraft server administrators and GSPs a huge amount of unnecessary time and effort.
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    mbaxter ʇıʞʞnq ɐ sɐɥ ı

    The way I see it, automated plugin updating would only add more work for server administrators, as this system is cutting out the very important step of reading changelogs and deciding if it's time to update or not and editing configures and permissions to compensate for the changes.
    McLuke500 and ShootToMaim like this.
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    The time I've had to spend fixing stuff like that is a tiny, tiny fraction of the amount of time I've had to spend manually updating plugins. It makes far more sense to assume that plugins will continue to work, and indeed, that leaving them on an old version will break them, because the Bukkit API is a moving target.

    I've spent probably an hour and a half to two hours in total writing scripts to fix up file location moves (e.g. mcMMO's change last year), adding new permission nodes, etc. Compare that to 1.5 to 2 hours every single time I want to update all of my plugins. I'll take those odds any day!

    It seems like a nice idea. What I'm looking for them to add would make it easier for the person who wrote that plugin as well, because there would be a canonical URL where the plugins always are, for sure, even if they redesign some aspect of how the web interface works. If you scrape it off the website, and they change the design, it can break that. It would also eliminate him having to have people tell them every time they add a new mod, because it would be completely automated.
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    Why do you have 70 plugins !? I have 34 and that is too many !
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    This. I don't think it's a great idea running a server with that many plugins. As a plugin developer, I can tell you if you come to me with an issue with a plugin of mine and you have 70 plugins on your server, I won't help you until you make that number much lower; there's too much at play there including the massive amount of lag 70 plugins can give you.
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    I run 36 plugins, however, I am much happier to use 36 small, single purpose plugins than one giant monstrosity of a plugin. Single purpose plugins are usually much easier to config, and thus much easier to setup quickly. Maintaining and testing those plugins is often much easier as well, as you have a small set of features to test instead of a list 20 pages long.

    My point really is that the number of plugins is not an issue, unless you have functionality that overlaps between the two.
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    Agreed. I find that gigantic plugins such as Essentials and CommandBook include many features that I find useless, so i'd prefer a bunch of smaller plugins.
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    I would like this. Your argument of "too many plugins" is invalid if used on me.
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    I run servers for other people, who want all sorts of plugins. My own only has about five or ten, and when I see people turning on every plugin they see, I usually advise them not to. ;)
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    That makes more sense :D
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