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Old 15-04-2011, 08:52   #1
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Is There an "Plug Ins for Dummies" Guide?

Maybe call it a beginners guide to plug ins :-) or Plug Ins 101

I am just getting started using CPN as a backup plotter (that may get moved up to primary in the future) and am not very clear about some things, especially plug-ins and how they are integrated into Open CPN. I get the simple operation of the software, but how to do double windows, add Google Earth, AIS and a lot of the features there are plug ins for is a bit baffling (to me). The help file seems to skim over plug-ins. Where do I start?

Thanks!
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Old 15-04-2011, 10:48   #2
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Re: Is there an "Plug Ins for Dummies" guide?

Gonzo,
...No,they're not really integrated.You have to "enable" them.It's like plugging a new usb device into your computer.You can unplug it too,without ill-effect.A whole different and better system than the usual model of fullbloat-full-time...
The point being,that anyone,anywhere can write a plugin....
I think you'll just have to read the threads ,put em in the plugins folder,restart OpenCPN,Enable them,and commence configuring,dragging the window corners,the windows themselves..Find a crash and report...all that...join the melee!try the latest version...ask the question if you get stumped and can't find the answer.
And just Unplug 'em if you don't use em or they seem to screw something up.

PS you need Google Earth installed to run the GE plugin.but read the thread.Last I heard,you need be wary of the newest GE version...because it relies on an outside source,the ground shifts when GE decides to update.
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Old 16-04-2011, 21:10   #3
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Re: Is there an "Plug Ins for Dummies" guide?

Is there a simple click-thru download site for them? Are most freeware?
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Old 16-04-2011, 22:18   #4
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Re: Is there an "Plug Ins for Dummies" guide?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GonzoF1 View Post
Is there a simple click-thru download site for them? Are most freeware?
I'm betting you will have at least two already in your version of OpenCPN."Grib and Dashboard".Look for the wrench on the toolbar,click it and click the plugin tab.Click say,Dashboard,enable, and configure!

All the plugins I am using are free and from this forum.But I don't get out much anymore.As I said,"anyone"could write one,but that presupposes they will have a cranium that needs it's own dinghy,I imagine.

As to a simple click-thru download site,
http://opencpn.org/downloadplugins
is just getting up and running...
OR Just look for "plugin" on the thread title and then go at it.Newest versions are nearer the end of the thread of course but always read at LEAST the first post!
It's harder to describe than to do....
The plugins themselves will often be called "docs" as a link.I won't explain why.You can research it. Right-click,"save as" (in Windows,that is) will download them,(I hope....you will have to shepherd them through as just a file without some zealous computer thing on your machine leaping in and taking charge)...Having done that,they will need their "extension" changed as the author instructs and then just copy em into OpenCPN's Plugins folder.Finally,Start OpenCPN,click the wrench,the plugins tab...away ye go!

PS ...the AIS is already aboard OpenCPN.Not a plugin.
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Old 22-04-2011, 07:32   #5
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Re: Is there an "Plug Ins for Dummies" guide?

That is what has had me confused. I was not understanding why the plug-ins were not .exe files or .dll libraries. So authors are releasing them as .doc files and are letting us change the file extensions? Is that common because it sounds odd to me?

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Old 22-04-2011, 07:35   #6
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Re: Is there an "Plug Ins for Dummies" guide?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GonzoF1 View Post
That is what has had me confused. I was not understanding why the plug-ins were not .exe files or .dll libraries. So authors are releasing them as .doc files and are letting us change the file extensions? Is that common because it sounds odd to me?

Tom-
It's because most forums limit the extensions you can upload. CF doesn't allow .exe, .kap, .dll, -- actually the allowed list is short. So the .doc is a trick so it can be uploaded.

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Old 22-04-2011, 16:24   #7
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Re: Is there an "Plug Ins for Dummies" guide?

Hi to all Plug-in Developers

First off congratulations on all the work and effort put into their development.

Now the request - Could you all PLEASE include the Revision Number and Date with the Title description on the download page so that we can identify when changes are made. At the moment we are all ata loss as to this info

Regards
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