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Best practices for addons#

Although the addon framework is relatively new in Volto's world, there are quite a few generic addons that can be used in any Volto project.

Based on the experience gained developing some of these addons, we recommend that you follow (no need for strictness, of course) these rough guidelines:

Integrate your addon with Volto's addon framework#

Just like Plone addons provide some features by default, Volto addons should register some features by default. For example, if your addon provides widgets, register the most basic configuration of that widget with a name that can be used.

On more complicated cases, see if you can structure your code to use the settings configuration registry, or stash your configuration in your block registration, for example.

As an example: let's say we're building a Color Picker widget and we want to provide a palette of colors from which to choose. The widget should integrate with a default settings.colorWidgetPalette, which would be a list of colors.

And of course, also provide a widget factory so it can be used to create multiple instances of that color widget with custom color palettes.

Provide additional configuration#

An addon can ship with multiple Volto configuration loaders. This makes it possible to provide configuration methods for demo purposes, for example, or to ship with a default "shallow" integration, then provide another separate configuration loader for a deeper integration.

Avoid shadowing Volto files#

This rule is meant to be broken. If you find that you need to customize a particular file from Volto and you have multiple projects, better to create an addon that holds that customized file, so that you have a single place to maintain that "file fork", but otherwise it's a good idea to avoid shipping generic addons with Volto customizations. Make sure to include this information as a warning in your addon description!

See if your use case is generic enough, maybe Volto needs to be extended to cover that use case, directly in core.

Minimal documentation#

Deadlines can be rough and documentation tends to be pushed as last priority, but please add a minimal Readme with a couple of lines and, most importantly, a screenshot.

Ideally, the Readme should also include install instructions and details on any possible settings.

Testing the addon#

It is not easy, right now, to ship an addon with a self-bootstraping and testing framework. But you can create a separate minimal Volto project that can hold the Cypress integration tests and trigger the CI tests.

Use appropriate npmjs tags#

If you're releasing your addon to npmjs.com, please consider adding the following tags, next to your addon-specific tags:

  • volto-addon
  • volto
  • plone
  • react

Include in collective/awesome-volto#

Even if you think your addon is not generic or it's tricky to integrate, please consider including your addon in the collective/awesome-volto addons list. This provides visibility to your addon but also further solidifies Volto's possition in our Plone community.