Author Topic: Guidance For Creating Add-ons  (Read 7302 times)

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Offline acclude

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Guidance For Creating Add-ons
« on: March 23, 2013, 09:20:07 AM »
Thought I'd start a thread that may end up as a sticky to give tips/tricks/guidance to those creating their own Add-ons.

1.) Include detailed information in the description - Not everyone is as knowledgeable as you are. They may not apply a useful tweak just because they don't know what it does, or they may apply a tweak that has undesired effects. The more detailed and clear your description is, the better.

2.) Include an "Undo" or "Default" option in your tweaks -  Tweaks should not be a permanent thing. If someone wants to apply a tweak to try it out but then wants to return those tweak settings back to default, then they should have the ability to within your tweak. Without a "return to default" option in your tweak users have to look at the code the tweak executes, do some internet research to find out what the default value is, do more research to figure out how to make those changes to restore to default, and then actually do the work to return it to default. Not all users of the Advanced System Tweaker are capable of doing that with ease. Not to mention the disaster waiting to happen with novice users messing around with core system settings and registry keys. Just include a "restore to default" ability with your tweaks and save everyone the hassle.

3.) Test your tweaks before distributing - I'm guilty of this one as I wrote a few that used nested IF statements and found out later that they weren't support as of yet. If you have a VM, test your tweaks out in there before trying them on your live system. If you don't have a VM, make sure you have a current bootable image disc of your system to be able to easily restore it in a worst-case scenario. Make sure your tweaks have no adverse effects before posting them up for others to try out.

4.) Research supported OSes - There's a nice built-in warning message that will show up to users trying to install a tweak that's incompatible with their version of Windows. Problem is that YOU have to research and figure out which versions of Windows your tweaks are compatible with in order for that to be effective. Spend the extra 10 minutes figuring out which versions it will work on and mark them appropriately in the "OS Supported" section to help everyone out trying to use your tweaks.

5.) Search for currently available tweaks - The tweak you want to write may already be available in the default tweaks within the program or on here in this Add-ons forum. Search to make sure you're not wasting your time creating something that already exists. If you think you can improve an already existing tweak, contact the tweak creator with your improvements so that they can update the existing tweak. That way there's not duplicate tweaks that essentially do the same thing which will cause some unnecessary confusion to users.

6.) Think "novice" or "beginner" with every aspect of your tweak - One main reason for a tweaker program such as Advanced System Tweaker is that people who don't know anything about computers can improve their working environments. All aspects of your tweaks should take that into consideration. If a seasoned pro would still be a little confused about what your tweak actually does, then you're doing something wrong. All tweaks should be written to make every aspect clear to the novice computer user who doesn't know anything beyond desktop point-n-click operations.

I may add more as I think of them and feel free to add your own tips/tricks/guidance for people creating their own add-ons.
I'm new to but very experienced with computers and networks since the early 90's.