Plug-in manager

Plug-ins are additional Arelle modules which are installed at run-time and can be developed and managed independently of the Arelle distribution process.   Each plug-in may add functionality to Arelle by (a) adding to GUI menus, (b) adding to command line (and web service) parameters, and (c) adding execution time functionality to built-in operations.

The plug-in manager allows installation, update, removal and deactivation/activation of plug-ins.  The command-line version is described under Command Line operation.  The GUI plug-in manager dialog features are:

Loading a plug-in

  • To load a plugin from the local file system, under “Find plug-in modules” press the “Locally” button.  A file chooser will allow selecting a plug in by its file name.  The distributed plug-ins are under the plugin directory.  Subpackages for sphinx and xbrlDB are in subdirectories where the “__init__.py” file is selected (Python’s entry file for the package).
  • To load a plug from a web file, press the “OnWeb” button and enter a web URL.  Only single-file plugins can be loaded this way.  (Packages, which are directory structures of modules, can be loaded from the local file system).

Viewing and managing plug-ins

The top listbox shows loaded plug-in modules by their Name, Author, Version, Status (enabled or disabled), Date, whether an update (newer file date) is available, description, and license.  Clicking on a plug-in provides further details in the lower panel (the columns are rendered as multi-line rows for easier reading.  A selected plug-in in the lower panel also has three buttons:

  • Enable/Disable toggle:  changes the enablement status without uninstalling, useful for those plug-ins that add functionality to basic processing.  For example SEC US-GAAP validation may have XBRL-US best practices checks added by a plug-in, but a user may want to validate with those extra checks disabled, which is done by disabling the corresponding plug-in.
  • Reload:  if developing a plugin, or changing its source code, one may wish to have the plug-in reloaded manually, with this button.
  • Remove:  unloads the plugin and removes its entry from the configuration of installed plugins.

All changes to plugin enablement and so forth are local to the memory of the plug-in manager, until its dialog is closed.  Thus canceling will not save or effect operations, and likewise, changing a plug-in to disable it won’t change the saved plugin configuration information until the manager is closed (and not canceled).

Closing the plug-in manager dialog

When close is selected, plug-in changes are saved in the configuration (for subsequent GUI restarts and command line operation).  If any plug-in change affected the GUI menus, the user is given an option to let Arelle reload itself (this operation doesn’t save any pending operations, so please save any work, such as table linkbase form edits, first.)

Canceling to exit the dialog will not save or effect any changes.

 

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