Two plug-ins directories

Every time a new beta version comes out, I’m faced with the need to move all my plug-ins from the old version to the new version. You can’t do this mindlessly, as there may be changes in the distributed plug-ins, and there is always a slight chance of a new distributed plug-in having the same name as one you have developed yourself. What I’d like is two layers of plug-ins: My-plug-ins, which would always be searched first, and which I could place anywhere on any drive, and then the normal Audacity/plug-ins as we have now. Since the local directory would always be searched first, if you have a name collision with a new, distributed plug-in, it won’t do any damage.

As it is now, I seem to have lost one of my small plug-ins in the shuffling from one beta version to the next. It’s not a big deal, but during the beta development process, it would certainly make things easier. Once a new stable version is available, two plug-ins directories won’t be as important, but I imagine I (and probably many others on this forum) will always be trying beta versions, no matter what the stable version number is.

Just an idea.

That certainly applies to me.

The way I manage the “problem”:

  1. Give plug-ins a prefix to their file name (for example, use your initials (ds-mixer.ny, ds-gong.ny, ds-basssynth.ny …) This substantially reduces the chance of hitting the same name as a standard Audacity plug-in.

  2. Keep a backup copy of my plug-ins

  3. Set up new alpha/beta versions in a different directory from my “production” version of Audacity. This is really easy if you’re on Windows - use the ZIP version of Audacity, extract it anywhere, create a “Portable Settings” folder, and create a Desktop link. (portable settings: Missing features - Audacity Support )
    If you’re on Linux, then you can compile with a program suffix and optionally use a “Portable Settings” folder.

  4. Set the new Audacity plug-ins to “read only” (if they are not already) and you should receive at least a prompt before they are overwritten when you copy your plug-ins over.