question on visualizers and distribution of plugins

Thanks Greg. That [for context, the new developer docs] looks really helpful, and ought to be easier than jumping between the older bites of documentation - although I managed to get the core of a plugin working with that. My first query/request would be more guidance on distributing the finished plugin - but I appreciate there is a lot going on there with the future of https://library.qiime2.org/ etc to be confirmed.

On the topic of writing visualisers, it looks like HTML is expected but can this embed generated images (in any widely used format like PNG, JPEG, SVG)? Would those images also get written to the specified output directory, and be used in the generated index.html with relative links?

Some of my pipeline generates some complicated tables in Excel with colours etc. I guess I'd need to look at table-based HTML output instead for the Qiime2 framework.

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Thanks for taking a look @peterjc! I'm moving your question to a new thread.

My first query/request would be more guidance on distributing the finished plugin - but I appreciate there is a lot going on there with the future of https://library.qiime2.org/ etc to be confirmed.

Noted! I agree this is really important and lacking right now. We actually have a related topic (the plan for library.qiime2.org going forward) on our engineering meeting agenda today. I'm going to prioritize getting some text on this in DWQ2.

On the topic of writing visualisers, it looks like HTML is expected but can this embedded generated images (in any widely used format like PNG, JPEG, SVG)? Would those images also get written to the specified output directory, and be used in the generated index.html with relative links?

Yes to all of that - that's exactly how it works. Anything that works for static html that doesn't require a server should be fine here (other devs: please feel free to correct my terminology - web development isn't my thing).

Some of my pipeline generates some complicated tables in Excel with colours etc. I guess I'd need to look at table-based HTML output instead for the Qiime2 framework.

That sounds right, unless you can come up with a fancy way to display the Excel. Another option too is that you present simplified tables in visualization, but provide download links for the nicely formatted Excel. The danger there is that files the users pull out of the qzv become disconnected from data provenance - that's just something to consider as the developer.

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@peterjc, I made some progress on the Distribution Development section of DWQ2, and also added templating of install instructions to the cookiecutter plugin template (you can see an example of a plugin that was templated for use with the metagenome distribution here). My hope is that this provides some guidance while we work on our library.qiime2.org refactor. We'll be pushing out incremental updates to the library as we progress, and I'll be documenting that in DWQ2 as we go. Let me know if you have questions!