25 October 2007

znPlugin -- generic plug-in library

As I mentioned earlier, znPlugin is a generic plug-in library that allows developers to add such functionality to their applications / libraries without forcing them to conform to any pre-defined interfaces.

Some competing libraries / frameworks are listed below:
  • MSINC .NET Plugins Library - A library, written in 2004, that does exactly what I am trying to do. I've been going through the documentation, and it provides some great ideas of how to reach my goal.
  • MSDN article - Food for thought on what needs to be taken into account when writing a robust library.
  • TechRepublic - Use C# and the .NET Framework to develop your own plugin architecture
  • Creating a Flexible Dynamic Plugin Architecture under .NET - They use XML files to store plugin information independent of the actual assembly. I did not opt for this approach, as it is extremely cumbersome to maintain an independent file unnecessarily.
  • Task Plug-in: A Flexible .NET Plug-in Architecture - A good introduction to elementary plug-in architectures.

I have already finished this library, for the most part. The only things left are to wrap the unsafe sections in try / catch blocks, perform testing and write some more documentation.

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