Docs in progress for ‘QGIS testing’. Visit http://docs.qgis.org/2.18 for QGIS 2.18 docs and translations.

Releasing your plugin

Warning

Despite our constant efforts, information beyond this line may not be updated for QGIS 3. Refer to https://qgis.org/pyqgis/master for the python API documentation or, give a hand to update the chapters you know about. Thanks.

Once your plugin is ready and you think the plugin could be helpful for some people, do not hesitate to upload it to Official python plugin repository. On that page you can find also packaging guidelines about how to prepare the plugin to work well with the plugin installer. Or in case you would like to set up your own plugin repository, create a simple XML file that will list the plugins and their metadata, for examples see other plugin repositories.

Please take special care to the following suggestions:

Metadata and names

  • avoid using a name too similar to existing plugins
  • if your plugin has a similar functionality to an existing plugin, please explain the differences in the About field, so the user will know which one to use without the need to install and test it
  • avoid repeating “plugin” in the name of the plugin itself
  • use the description field in metadata for a 1 line description, the About field for more detailed instructions
  • include a code repository, a bug tracker, and a home page; this will greatly enhance the possibility of collaboration, and can be done very easily with one of the available web infrastructures (GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, etc.)
  • choose tags with care: avoid the uninformative ones (e.g. vector) and prefer the ones already used by others (see the plugin website)
  • add a proper icon, do not leave the default one; see QGIS interface for a suggestion of the style to be used

Code and help

  • do not include generated file (ui_*.py, resources_rc.py, generated help files…) and useless stuff (e.g. .gitignore) in repository
  • add the plugin to the appropriate menu (Vector, Raster, Web, Database)
  • when appropriate (plugins performing analyses), consider adding the plugin as a subplugin of Processing framework: this will allow users to run it in batch, to integrate it in more complex workflows, and will free you from the burden of designing an interface
  • include at least minimal documentation and, if useful for testing and understanding, sample data.

Official python plugin repository

You can find the official python plugin repository at http://plugins.qgis.org/.

In order to use the official repository you must obtain an OSGEO ID from the OSGEO web portal.

Once you have uploaded your plugin it will be approved by a staff member and you will be notified.

TODO:
Insert a link to the governance document

Permissions

These rules have been implemented in the official plugin repository:

  • every registered user can add a new plugin
  • staff users can approve or disapprove all plugin versions
  • users which have the special permission plugins.can_approve get the versions they upload automatically approved
  • users which have the special permission plugins.can_approve can approve versions uploaded by others as long as they are in the list of the plugin owners
  • a particular plugin can be deleted and edited only by staff users and plugin owners
  • if a user without plugins.can_approve permission uploads a new version, the plugin version is automatically unapproved.

Trust management

Staff members can grant trust to selected plugin creators setting plugins.can_approve permission through the front-end application.

The plugin details view offers direct links to grant trust to the plugin creator or the plugin owners.

Validation

Plugin’s metadata are automatically imported and validated from the compressed package when the plugin is uploaded.

Here are some validation rules that you should aware of when you want to upload a plugin on the official repository:

  1. the name of the main folder containing your plugin must contain only ASCII characters (A-Z and a-z), digits and the characters underscore (_) and minus (-), also it cannot start with a digit
  2. metadata.txt is required
  3. all required metadata listed in metadata table must be present
  4. the version metadata field must be unique

Plugin structure

Following the validation rules the compressed (.zip) package of your plugin must have a specific structure to validate as a functional plugin. As the plugin will be unzipped inside the users plugins folder it must have it’s own directory inside the .zip file to not interfere with other plugins. Mandatory files are: metadata.txt and __init__.py. But it would be nice to have a README and of course an icon to represent the plugin (resources.qrc). Following is an example of how a plugin.zip should look like.

plugin.zip
  pluginfolder/
  |-- i18n
  |   |-- translation_file_de.ts
  |-- img
  |   |-- icon.png
  |   `-- iconsource.svg
  |-- __init__.py
  |-- Makefile
  |-- metadata.txt
  |-- more_code.py
  |-- main_code.py
  |-- README
  |-- resources.qrc
  |-- resources_rc.py
  `-- ui_Qt_user_interface_file.ui