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Release a Plugin

Plugins that you write can be made available through the Plugin Gallery in the application. We encourage our community to release their plugins under a GPL-compatible license so that they can be used for everyone’s benefit.

By releasing a plugin, you will get community support to identify bugs and translate the plugin. In some cases you may receive code contributions.

Plugin releases are one way that the Public Knowledge Project recognizes the contributions of community partners. We are more likely to take the time to assist you in maintaining your plugins if they are used widely in our community.

Make Your Plugin Public #

Each release of your plugin must be made available for download publicly. We prefer that your code is available from a public code repository, such as GitHub or GitLab.

The plugin must be made available under a GPL-compatible license so that our community can retain ownership over their publishing software. This licensing must be explicit in the code, usually by including a LICENSE file in the root directory of the plugin.

See an example of a license file.

Write Tests for Your plugin #

Plugins can take advantage of the testing tools to run their plugin against different PHP versions and databases. Plugins with tests are more likely to be accepted in the plugin gallery and make it easier for you to test compatibility with each new release of OJS or OMP.

Learn how to write tests for your plugin.

Build and Package Your Plugin #

Your release package should be a .tar.gz file that contains a single directory with all of the files necessary to run the plugin. The directory name should match the product name in the release XML.

We provide a CLI tool that can help you build and package your plugin. Install it with the following command.

npm install -g pkp-plugin-cli

Use the following to build a release package and upload it as a release to your repository on GitHub.

pkp-plugin release

Any non-essential files provided by your dependency manager (eg - composer, npm) should not be included with the package. These often include demos and examples that can be security risks when uploaded to the plugins directory.

When you have prepared your release package and made it publicly available, open a pull request on our plugin gallery repository that adds your plugin to the XML file.

Your plugin’s XML must provide a title, description, contact details, and information on each release package.

<!-- The product should match the directory name of the plugin. -->
<plugin category="generic" product="tutorialExample">
  <name locale="en_US">Tutorial Example</name>
  <homepage>https://github.com/pkp/tutorialExample</homepage>

  <!-- Summarize what the plugin does in a short sentence. -->
  <summary locale="en_US">This plugin is an example created for a tutorial on how to create a plugin.</summary>

  <!-- Describe what the plugin does and how someone can expect to use it when they install it. -->
  <description locale="en_US"><![CDATA[<p>This plugin is an example created for a tutorial on how to create a plugin. It is intended for learning purposes and should not be used on a live journal website.</p><p>You can learn more about how to create a plugin at the <a href="https://docs.pkp.sfu.ca/dev/plugin-guide/en">plugin guide</a>.</p>]]></description>

  <!-- Identify the person and institution maintaining the plugin. -->
  <maintainer>
    <name>Alec Smecher</name>
    <institution>Public Knowledge Project</institution>
    <email>pkp.contact@gmail.com</email>
  </maintainer>

  <!-- For each release version, link to the release package
    and the md5sum of the release package. The version must
    always consist of four numbers separated by a ".". -->
  <release date="2019-05-18" version="1.1.0.0" md5="aebc731dedcc959db042f969a54fdc3a">
    <package>https://github.com/pkp/tutorialExample/releases/download/1.1.0.0/tutorialexample-1.1.0.0.tar.gz</package>

    <!-- Identify which versions of OJS or OMP are supported by this release -->
    <compatibility application="ojs2">
        <version>3.1.2.0</version>
    </compatibility>

    <!-- PKP will assign the certification type -->
    <certification type="official"/>

    <!-- Describe what changes can be expected in this release -->
    <description>Update to be compatible with OJS 3.1.2.</description>
  </release>

  <!-- Each plugin can have more than one release. -->
  <release date="2019-03-07" version="1.0.0.0" md5="13bc221dedcc959db042f969a543eab0">
    <package>https://github.com/pkp/tutorialExample/releases/download/1.0.0.0/tutorialexample-1.0.0.0.tar.gz</package>
    <compatibility application="ojs2">
        <version>3.1.1.4</version>
    </compatibility>
    <compatibility application="ojs2">
        <version>3.1.1.3</version>
    </compatibility>
    <certification type="official"/>
    <description>Initial release.</description>
  </release>
</plugin>

When you have opened the pull request, tests will run against your XML snippet and we will be able to merge your plugin into the list.

In addition, each plugin must pass a code review. Your plugin will be given a reviewed or partner certification. We may not include your plugin in the gallery if it does not pass review.

Update Releases #

Your plugin will only appear in the plugin gallery for software versions with the appropriate <compatibility> statements. When a new version of PKP software is released, please test your plugin.

If it is compatible, open a pull request with the additional <version> tags in the <compatibility> statement. If changes are required to make it compatible, release a new version of your plugin and follow the instructions above to build a new release and add it to the plugin gallery.

Once your plugin has been added to the Plugin Gallery, you can not remove or modify the release package. If you modify the release package, the md5sum will change and the plugin will no longer be downloaded from the Plugin Gallery.


When you’re ready, explore our plugin examples to learn more about what you can do with plugins.