Download Tab, Downloading, Installing NBMs

The use cases for having download tab is to be able to install/update modules:

  1. not reachable on any UC
  2. temporarily offline
  3. permanently offline

6.0 Plugin Manager state:

  • we can install/update modules (packed in NBMs) in download tab
  • we don't offer a way to download modules from UCs

Adding support for downloading modules NBMs files from UCs

Makes sense just for use case number 2.

Now we can consider following approaches:

  • add popup action into update, available, install tab
  • let user switch between offline/online mode
  • just add additional check box "download only" into update/install wizard
  • add button with action into Download tab

Add popup action into update, available, install tab

  • (+) seems to be intuitive to find plugin as usual, choose folder and confirm
  • (-) not obvious what actually should be downloaded (all the modules forming the kit?, also other necessary dependencies?). Problem is inconsistence between download tab and other tabs.

Let user switch between offline/online mode

  • (+) user can work with Plugin Manager even if he has no connection to internet. Here we consider to mirror individual UCs including all NBMs files. Then user could work offline as usual, actually the same way as usual - the only difference is that modules won't be downloaded because they are present on disk.
  • (-) catalogs are already cached on local disk, but all NBMs files would need to be downloaded locally. The total size of downloaded NBMs may vary and depends on configuration of UCs in settings tab. For perconfigured netbeans we must consider hundreds megabytes. For downloading time is important size, quality of connection, and response from individual UCs (my test for devel.UC aproximately 1/2 hour). Downloading would run in background.

Just add additional check box "download only" into update/install wizard

  • (+) won't contaminate UI with other special controls
  • (+) similar to pre 6.0 behavior
  • (-) again not obvious what should be downloaded

Add button with action into Download tab

  • (+) let user select which NBMs (not groups or kits) files to download. Makes sense in context of this tab, because this tab presents modules as standalone modules anyway
  • (-) affects UI for download tab, needs additional impl. how to find plugins (currently we use search text fields on other tabs)


This page is intended as a base for decision:

  • whether to implement support for downloading NBMs files into Plugin Manager at all
  • if so, the decide how
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