Every plugin contains a unique identifier. Third-party plugins (that is, plugins written by anyone who is not a libpurple, Pidgin, or Finch developer) are expected to use a plugin ID that follows a specific format. This format categorizes plugins and makes duplicate IDs highly unlikely.
The basic format of a plugin ID is as follows:
The type indicator specifies the type of plugin. This must be one of the following:
- A core libpurple plugin, capable of being loaded in any program using libpurple. Core plugins may not contain any UI-specific code.
- A protocol plugin. This is a core plugin which provides libpurple the ability to connect to another IM or chat network.
- A GTK+ (a.k.a. Pidgin) plugin. These plugins may use GTK+ code, but may not use window toolkit code, such as X11, Win32, Cocoa, or Carbon.
- A GTK+ plugin that uses X11 code. These plugins may use both GTK+ code and X11 code, allowing to hook into features specific to X11.
- A GTK+ plugin that uses Win32 code. These plugins may use both GTK+ code and Win32 code, allowing to hook into features available on Windows.
- A GNT (a.k.a. Finch) plugin. These plugins may use GNT code.
The username must be a unique identifier for you. It should be your https://developer.pidgin.im Trac user ID. Failing that, you could use your SourceForge user ID or your Libera.chat IRC nickname, if you have either. The https://developer.pidgin.im Trac user ID is preferred. Do not leave this field blank!
The pluginname is the name of your plugin. It is usually all
lowercase letters and matches the static plugin ID (the first argument to
the GPLUGIN_NATIVE_PLUGIN_DECLARE() macro call), although it can be anything you
like. Do not include version information in the plugin ID—the
PurplePluginInfo object already has a property for this.
Plugin IDs may NOT contain spaces. If you need a space, use another hyphen (-).
As with any rule there are exceptions. If you browse through the source tree you will see that the plugins we distribute with the Pidgin source do not contain a username field. This is because while one developer may have written each specific plugin, the plugins are maintained collectively by the entire development team. This lack of a username field is also an indicator that the plugin is one of our plugins and not a third-party plugin.
Another exception to the rule is the
Purple Plugin Pack.
All plugins whose lives started in the Purple Plugin Pack use
"plugin_pack" for the username field to indicate origination in
the Purple Plugin Pack.
These two exceptions are mentioned here for completeness. We don’t encourage breaking the conventions set forth by the rules outlined above.
The following is a list of well-chosen Plugin IDs listing a few good examples.
- This is the plugin ID for the Guifications 2.x plugin.
- This is the plugin ID for the Album plugin, which is now part of the Purple Plugin Pack. Its ID follows the rules because its life started prior to its inclusion in the Plugin Pack.
- This is the plugin ID for the IRC Helper plugin, which is now part of the Purple Plugin Pack. Its ID follows the rules because its life started prior to its inclusion in the Plugin Pack.
Although it doesn’t exist yet, in time there will be a plugin database on the Pidgin website, where users can download and install new plugins. Plugins will be accessed by your plugin ID, which is one reason why it must be unique.