@remixproject/engine
This is the core library used to create a new plugin engine.
Last updated 11 days ago by ioedeveloper .
MIT · Repository · Bugs · Original npm · Tarball · package.json
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Engine Core

This is the core library used to create a new plugin engine.

Name Latest Version
@remixproject/engine badge

Use this library if you want to create an engine for a new environment.

If you want to create an engine for an existing envrionment, use the specific library. For example :

Tutorial

  1. Getting Started
  2. Plugin Communication
  3. Host a Plugin with UI
  4. External Plugins
  5. Plugin Service

API

API Description
Engine Register plugins & redirect messages
Manager Activate & Deactive plugins

Connector

The plugin connector is the main component of @remixproject/engine, it defines how an external plugin can connect to the engine. Checkout the documentation.


Getting started

npm install @remixproject/engine

The engine works a with two classes :

  • PluginManager: manage activation/deactivation
  • Engine: manage registration & communication
import { PluginManager, Engine, Plugin } from '@remixproject/engine'

const manager = new PluginManager()
const engine = new Engine()
const plugin = new Plugin({ name: 'plugin-name' })

// Wait for the manager to be loaded
await engine.onload()

// Register plugins
engine.register([manager, plugin])

// Activate plugins
manager.activatePlugin('plugin-name')

Registration

The registration makes the plugin available for activation in the engine.

To register a plugin you need:

  • Profile: The ID card of your plugin.
  • Plugin: A class that expose the logic of the plugin.
const profile = {
  name: 'console',
  methods: ['print']
}

class Console extends Plugin {
  constructor() {
    super(profile)
  }
  print(msg: string) {
    console.log(msg)
  }
}
const consolePlugin = new Console()

// Register plugins
engine.register(consolePlugin)

In the future, this part will be manage by a Marketplace plugin.

Activation

The activation process is managed by the PluginManager.

Activating a plugin makes it visible to other plugins. Now they can communicate.

manager.activatePlugin('console')

The PluginManager is a plugin itself.

Communication

Plugin exposes a simple interface for communicate between plugins :

  • call: Call a method exposed by another plugin (This returns always a Promise).
  • on: Listen on event emitted by another plugin.
  • emit: Emit an event broadcasted to all listeners.

This code will call the method print from the plugin console with the parameter 'My message'.

plugin.call('console', 'print', 'My message')

Full code example

import { PluginManager, Engine, Plugin } from '@remixproject/engine'
const profile = {
  name: 'console',
  methods: ['print']
}

class Console extends Plugin {
  constructor() {
    super(profile)
  }
  print(msg: string) {
    console.log(msg)
  }
}

const manager = new PluginManager()
const engine = new Engine()
const emptyPlugin = new Plugin({ name: 'empty' })
const consolePlugin = new Console()

// Register plugins
engine.register([manager, plugin, consolePlugin])

// Activate plugins
manager.activatePlugin(['empty', 'console'])

// Plugin communication
emptyPlugin.call('console', 'print', 'My message')

Permission

The Engine comes with a permission system to protect the user from hostile plugins. There are two levels:

  • Global: at the PluginManager level.
  • Local: at the Plugin level.

Global Permission

Communication between plugins goes through the PluginManager's permission system :

canActivatePlugin(from: Profile, to: Profile): Promise<boolean>

Used when a plugin attempts to activate another one. By default when plugin "A" calls plugin "B", if "B" is not deactivated, "A" will attempt to active it before performing the call.

canDeactivatePlugin(from: Profile, to: Profile): Promise<boolean>

Used when a plugin attempts to deactivate another one. By default only the manager and the plugin itself can deactivate a plugin.

canCall(from: Profile, to: Profile, method: string, message: string): Promise<boolean>

Used by a plugin to protect a method (see Local Permission below).

Tip: Each method returns a Promise. It's good practice to ask the user's permission through a GUI.

Local Permission

A plugin can protect some critical API by asking for user's permission:

askUserPermission(method: string, message: string): Promise<boolean>

This method will call the canCall method from the PluginManager under the hood with the right params.

In this example, a FileSystem plugin protects the write method :

class FileSystemPlugin extends Plugin {

  async write() {
    const from = this.currentRequest
    const canCall = await this.askUserPermission('write')
    if (!canCall) {
      throw new Error('You do not have the permission to call method "canCall" from "fs"')
    }
  }
}

⚠️ When currentRequest is Mistaken ⚠️

The permission system heavily relies on a queue of calls managed by the Engine and the property currentRequest. If you're calling a method from the plugin directly (without using the Engine) it will bypass the permission system. In this case, the results of currentRequest may NOT be correct.

Example :

const fs = new FileSystemPlugin()
const manager = new PluginManager()
...
fs.call('manager', 'activatePlugin', 'terminal')  // At this point `currentRequest` in manager is "fs"
manager.deactivatePlugin('editor')  // This will fail

In the code above :

  1. call to "activatePlugin" to enter the queue of the manager.
  2. manager's currentRequest is "fs".
  3. manager calls its own deactivatePlugin method.
  4. as the call doesn't use the Engine, it doesn't enter in the queue: so currentRequest is still "fs".
  5. deactivatePlugin checks the currentRequest. So now currentRequest incorrectly thinks that "fs" is trying to deactivate "terminal" and will not allow it.

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