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I've removed a statement to the effect that plugins usually run in a sandbox, because I'm pretty sure it isn't true. If anyone wants to add it back in, I think we should include a source for it. I note that most of the information here is unsourced, which is possibly something that needs attention. JulesH 10:20, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
There is a section in the plug-in article that lists the difference between plug-ins and extensions. What else do you want? For example, firefox supports both plug-ins and extensions. They are different. Plug-ins are very limited in scope, extensions aren't. jprikkel
The differences between plug-in and software extension are not sufficiently clear in my opinion. As it is written, it seems to me that they are synonyms. Therefore, I propose a merge. (A satisfactory alternative would be to clearly show the difference between both concepts, but AFAIK there is no such difference). --Antonielly (talk) 14:17, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Although the Plug-in (computing) article is better developed, Software extension is in my opinion a better term, since it is more transparent with respect to the goal of the component (as contrasted with the process how the component is used). That is why I am proposing the merge to the less-developed article. --Antonielly (talk) 14:43, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
There are big differences between a plug-in and a software extension. A plug-in has well defined narrow interface. A software extension can add basically any capability to the application and the interface isn't as well defined. Also, the term software extension isn't used very much. Plug-in is widely used in the software development world. For example, Firefox supports both extensions and plug-in. They are dramatically different. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jprikkel (talk • contribs) 00:58, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
The differences are still not clear for me. I do not see big differences between those two concepts. Where does the boundary lie? Or is it a continuum? Is the differentiation "consensual" (i.e. is the difference between those concepts accepted by the "mainstream", or is it just a specific Firefox jargon)? If the concepts are indeed different and if the difference is widely recognized, I think it should be better specified in both articles, and concrete examples should be provided. While a clear differentiation is not provided, I feel I still have to keep my merge proposal. --Antonielly (talk) 01:15, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
I would suggest caution here. Looking at the Interwiki links, the term 'plug-in' is a very widely recognised term. Having skimmed the add-on (Mozilla) article, I can see how a distinction between extensions and plug-ins makes sense: plug-ins providing embedded data conversion functionality for other filetypes; extensions providing enhanced functionality in other ways (skins, search/editing facilities, etc). It may be that (only?) Mozilla makes this difference explicit, but it makes sense to me to allow the two articles to develop independently.
In this case, given that the "plug-in X add-on" distinction is probably made only by Mozilla (unless proven by other sources), I think "Add-on" should be just a section of the "Plug-in" article that describes the (not very big) differences, and the relationship, between both concepts. If the distinction were at least more significantly widespread, then I would agree that the articles should remain separated. However, this is not the case at this moment. --Antonielly (talk) 18:52, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
I disagree both that the article about Plug-in should be merged with the article about Extensions and that the differences between them is not clear.
Before reading the Plug-ins article, I was not even familiar with Extensions. Admittedly, I am probably not as technical as others who have contributed to this discussion. I found the explations understandable: plug-in are like extensions but more restricted in what they can do. I agree that the Plug-in article is better developed than the one about Extensions. Perhaps the latter can be improved.
A general use resource, such as Wikipedia, should include articles about widely used topics (or to paraphrase Hymek "widely recognized). The average computer user is more likely to have heard about Plug-ins than Extensions. Therefore, Wikipedia should keep its article about Plug-ings. The Plug-in article should have a link to a separate article about Extensions and should define "Add on." --J B Schwartz (talk) 17:01, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Plug-ins are, as it's already been pointed out, commonly referred to as the said, specific to the subjects mentioned within the definition "also see Extensions" would be adequate for this proposal.
I'm gonna go ahead and merge the two articles. --Koolabsol (talk) 17:32, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.
Shouldn't it be "Plug-in"? The arcticle says the term was coined as "plug-in". Also, webster and other sources list "plug-in" as a word, but not "plugin". jprikkel
I found no entry for "plug-in" in Webster's New World College Dictionary. Interestingly, Google and Wikipedia both direct users to "plugin". I am writing a style guide for my company and am trying to discover an industry standard. The old Microsoft Manual of Style (1998) says that (in Internet usage) "plug-in" should be used only to refer to Netscape-specific components. picaraza 18:43, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
"Interestingly, Google and Wikipedia both direct users to 'plugin'"? Wrongggg. Google does not, at least not today. As for Wikipee, that's mere circular reasoning. If the title of this article were changed to "Plug-in", then with one more keystroke, WP would be made to redirect "plugin" seekers to "plug-in". Kkken (talk) 18:35, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
"Plug-in" [noun] according to Merriam-Webster dictionary is 1) something that plugs in; 2) a small piece of software that supplements a larger program (as a browser). On the other hand, "plugin" is a verb and is defined in MW as [intransitive verb]: to establish an electric circuit by inserting a plug, and [transitive verb]: to attach or connect to an electric receptacle (as an outlet). In almost all the related academic papers, "Plug-in" is used to refer to the concept that this page describes here (e.g., check "Plug-in" and "Plugin" in http://scholar.google.com and count the papers that used this word in their titles). Therefore I support changing it to "Plug-in" instead. Roozbeh Farahbod 23:36, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
The conversation seems to have died out some time ago, but the title hasn't been changed to "Plug-in" yet. How come? Kkken (talk) 18:35, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
I set off the examples in the first paragraph in a bulleted list, to make it a little easier to read for the less technically inclined. I need a definition to refer to when I'm writing for a novice audience, and this one is perfect. (Also corrected a few typos/misspellings here and there.) threecoyote
I added some clarification between main program and application. I also listed the independant nature of the main application on its plugins. jprikkel
"Pluginbrery" is a concept that is found only on this page and wikipedia-derived websites. Added here by an anon user. Can anyone provide any other links to the term. Jay 07:18, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I have deleted the "Pluginbrery" section. It can always be put back if it turns out to be right after all. Ldo 07:53, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Thought I'd mention HyperCard as possibly the first instance of the concept. Certainly the first well-known instance of the concept. Ldo 06:54, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Think it would be worth it to create an entry for a list of programs that expose plugin interfaces? --Darkain Dragoon 23:05, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
"Pluginbrery" is rather a allencompassing term--asydwaters 06:10, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
I have included "VRML" viewers and players under the Plugins section.--asydwaters 06:10, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
What is a "snap-in"? It's referenced as a subset of 'add-on', but it's never defined and there's no article here by that name. --JBSegal 08:11, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
A I recall, Desk Acessories (DAs) for the early Macintoshes were not just small simple user programs, they were actually plug-ins for the Finder. As plug-ins for Hypercard are mentioned and this was an earler instance on the same platform it might make sense to mention this first. Also, it strikes me as an interesting way of applying the technology as Classic Mac DAs were quite varied in terms of pupose and complexity. Some were comparable to application software.
Do EMACS modes and macros merit some mention in this article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 20:28, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
I would not think so. There is no corresponding page on Wikipedia, AFAICT. Additionally, a DeeperWeb search returns pages that are mostly from the EMACS knowledge space. I believe that if you are using EMACS, you don't need a general encyclopedic section entry on plug-ins and EMACS. Former Big Iron Guy (talk) 21:08, 25 July 2011 (UTC)