Awesome! I've tried to prod Chad into building an extension for awhile -- and Elin - you convinced him!
Just wanted to scare you a bit, Chad, although I would love to see you developing, I think it's in you.
What Elin is trying to say, and I completely agree, is that hacking core is not something that we tend to promote for various reasons. One of the things about Joomla! is pretty amazing is how configurable.
When I proposed this task, I really did not know it meant hacking the core. Elin left a message with me, after she responded to your qustion, that she anticipated we would have to make the changes she documented. I was hoping that wasn't true and that is why I walked through the steps, to see if I could find any other way. But, I wound up exactly where she suspected. Hacking tinymce.php.
Right now, the developers are taking White Papers on proposed improvements to the architecture. Elin and I believe this is a very good candidate for a white paper. Even though I proposed it as documentation, we think it would be more useful to use this to show that adding plugins to Tiny could be improved.
1. Easiest way (No hack - but manual work) - just add a parameter that allows end users to name a new plugin - then adding the word "spellchecker" to the additional plugin parameter would cause Joomla! to automatically add it the tinyMCE.init statement. Other than that, the end user would have to copy the files to the locations needed.
2. Component - allow you to feed Joomla! the plugin zip file - and it would do both through the installation process.
I don't know if we should promote hacking the core. We should probably talk to others about that and see what they think. I know regular WordPress users hack more just making changes to a sidebar, but, Joomla! comes so easy to configure. My thinking is not to put it in the FAQ, but, I'll leave that to Elin, who is responsible for that, along with Chris.
But, there is value to this, certainly, for the basis of a White Paper - and the timing is perfect.
What does this mean to you?
Do the documentation, as planned.
If you are interested (and I hope you are) in working with us on an expanded concept, we will work with you on ideas that we see might be nice for the future, given your experience with Joomla!, you no doubt have your own idea. Then, you can help write that portion up, as well, and submit the White Paper to the developers, yourself. (Chad - we would help you - so don't worry if that sounds complicated.)
Otherwise, we can take the your documentation and build up the concepts, submitted it along with your work (and your name, of course.)