Erica Sadun over O’Reily had written a plugin for the Apple TV that allows you to execute any Perl scripts you have uploaded. Given that Perl can run also call shell scripts and any Unix command, this will allow a whole host of cool scripts to be written.
It also opens the doors for programmers and scripters with no knowledge of Cocoa programming to develop their own additions to BackRow.
Plugins from ‘The Mothership’
We are seeing an increasing number of homebrew plugins; AppleTVHacks.net is wondering when we’ll see the first plugins from Apple. We imagine there are 3 viable mechanisms for Apple to distribute plugins:
1) The software update system provides a gateway for Apple to do exactly that; update their software. Seeing as BackRows default features are just plugins themselves, it follows Apple must be able to access the plugins to update them. Thus, they can almost certainly install new plugins in this manner.
2) The Apple TV syncs media from the iTunes it is connected with, this includes music, video and photos. Could it be that plugins could also sync in this manner? Download a cool plugin from the iTunes Store, and have it sync directly to your Apple TV? Whilst not so likely, it is the only current mechanism in place for getting user-selected data to the Apple TV.
3) Apple may update the Apple TV via software update, and provide a plugin for… downloading plugins. While to begin with Apple will certainly want to keep the Apple TV simple and easy to use, as the user base grows and people become more acclimatised to using the Apple TVs, this could be a viable route for Apple.