RealWorld Designer plug-in system

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RealWorld Designer plug-in system

Plug-ins are the core of RealWorld Designer. Almost everything that could have been designed as plug-in, is a plug-in, usually following the cooperating plug-ins design pattern. The reason is simple - flexibility and power. It is very seldom necessary to modify existing code, addition of new component and reconfiguration is usually sufficient.

Some plug-ins are installed by default, others are downloadable on the Online page within the applications.

Types of plug-ins

  1. Image format recognitor / decoder and encoder - 3 types of plug-ins actually
  2. Storage - access persistent storage
  3. Document factory - recognize file format and read document from persistent storage
  4. Document creator - create new documents using wizards
  5. Operation - execute an operation on a document
  6. Transformation - create a document from another one
  7. Menu commands - a sub-tree with executable commands (1 plug-in = multiple commands)
  8. View - visualize and modify data of a document
  9. Renderer - render 3D scene to an image or to a window
  10. Custom icons - icons used throughout the user interface
  11. Application tools (deprecated) - document independent menu commands and custom status bar panes
  12. Drawing tools - modify image with interactive tools
  13. Fill styles - define how to fill shapes
  14. Scripting interface - expose internal data or provide speed-optimized services for scripted operations.
  15. Global configuration - the recommended way to preserve application-global data.
  16. Intelli-hints - system for delivering context dependent hints to the user in an unified manner.

Implementation

Plug-in is a COM class placed in a COM category. Each type of plug-in has an associated COM category. One COM class can be placed in multiple categories.

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