Ah, X-mas. Eventually, a little distraction-free time to finish things, clean up old cruft and tying things together – so they can eventually get published.
You might have read about it before. But before it needed some nasty discourse patches. Well, finally we are at a state where this isn’t necessary anymore. So without further ado, I’d like to introduce:
The Sidebar Plugin
From the Readme:
This plugins provides a sidebar as a third-party tool to be used for discourse. The sidebar is widget oriented, can be configured from the backend and allows other plugins to add other widgets to the sidebar.
Attention: By itself this plugin does not add a sidebar to discourse. It merely allows other plugins to use the sidebar and add it to discourse. If you want to have the entire app wrapped with the sidebar, make sure to install simple-sidebar-theme-plugin.
You can find the installation instructions, configuration notes in the Readme. And there is an extensive documentation on how to provide widgets with any other third-party plugins.
We have this plugin in internal usage for a couple of month now and refined it a lot. I’d love to get some more public feedback. It is however, still in a Beta-Mode!