Creating the Plugin Framework

As I've mentioned, there are several ways of implementing the plug-in based architecture in Python. Here, I'm going to discuss one of the simplest methods, which is flexible enough to suit the needs of most small applications.

■Note Dr André Roberge has made a very descriptive presentation at PyCon 2009 comparing several different plug-in mechanisms. You can find his presentation, titled "Plugins and monkeypatching: increasing flexibility, dealing with inflexibility," at http://blip.tv/file/1949302/. If you decide that you need a more sophisticated implementation, take a look at the implementations provided by the Zope ( http: //zope. org/), Grok (http://grok.zope.org/), and Envisage (http://code.enthought. com/projects/envisage/) frameworks. These products are enterprise-grade plug-in frameworks that will allow you to build extensible applications. The downside of using them is that they are usually too big and complicated for simple applications.

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