Use it for Drupal 8 plugins; for plugins implemented from the Views module use views, ctools for Chaos tool suite plugins.

This tag is for questions about the plugins as implemented by Drupal 8 core. For other type of plugins, use the following tags:

  • for plugins implemented for the Views module
  • for plugins implemented for the Chaos tool suite module
  • for JavaScript plugins used for CKEditor

In Drupal 8, plugins are classes that implements small pieces of functionality that are swappable. The concepts around Drupal 8 plugins are the following:

  • Plugin type
    The plugin type is the central controlling class that defines how the plugins of this type will be discovered and instantiated. The type will describe the central purpose of all plugins of that type; e.g. cache backends, image actions, blocks, etc.

  • Plugin Discovery
    Plugin Discovery is the process of finding plugins within the available code base that qualify for use within this particular plugin type's use case.

  • Plugin Factory
    The Factory is responsible for instantiating the specific plugin(s) chosen for a given use case.

  • Plugin Derivatives
    Plugin Derivatives allow a single plugin to act in place of many. This is useful for situations where user entered data might have an impact on available plugins. For example, if menus are placed on screen using a plugin, then when the site administrator creates a new menu, that menu must be available for placement without needing a new plugin to do so. Plugin Derivatives also support the user interface by allowing it to display multiple plugins in place of one, allowing for help text specific to the use case to be rendered and utilized. The primary purpose of plugin derivatives is to provide partially configured plugins as "first class" plugins that are indistinguishable in the UI from other plugins, thus reducing the burden on administrators using these plugins.

  • Discovery Decorators
    A discovery decorator is another available discovery method meant to wrap an existing discovery method. Core currently supplies the cacheDecorator which will cache the discovery process that is chosen for a plugin type. This pattern could be expanded to other use cases if necessary.

  • Plugin Mappers
    Plugin Mappers allow you to map something (most often a string) to a specific plugin instance. Plugin types which use this approach can return fully configured and instantiated plugins based upon arbitrarily definable names instead of requiring developers using this api to manually instantiate and configure a plugin instance.

For more information, see Plugins API.