For quite a while now intermittent work has been done on an 'improved' Addon manager by several people. I've done the most recent work and I've gotten some good feedback from a couple of developers, but think a wider audience might help. So please take a look at https://github.com/gramps-project/gramps/pull/63 The development and comments history is long, you might want to start about 2/3 the way down the page.
I tried to make it a bit more user friendly while still supporting developers with useful information and features...
* A single 'Addon manager...' item on the 'Edit' menu starts it.
* Preferences related to the Addon manager are on the 'Update' pane.
* Unified view combines Registered and Loaded views with all the available 3rd party plugins in a single view. * Status column indicates status of Addon, Available, Installed, Built-in, Update Available, and hidden (via strike-through). A Failed addon also adds 'Failed' status in red. * All of Available, Installed, and Built-in plugins can be hidden. * A "Remove hidden items from view" checkbox allows the user to get uninteresting (hidden) addons off the Addons pane.
* A "Remove built-in items from view" checkbox allows the user to get these off the pane if desired.
* Available and Update Available addons can be installed from Addons pane, the "Install" button becomes active when this is possible. * Installed addons can be un-installed from Addons pane; the "Uninstall" appears when this is possible. * Info button provides information on all addon types; includes 'Loaded' and failure type and stack traceback, when applicable. * In 'debug' mode, the 'Reload', 'Load', and 'Edit' buttons appear; load and edit are greyed out when addon is not installed. * after updates of Views or Gramplets, or uninstalls, the user is reminded to restart Gramps.
* The manager opens on the last used pane from the same session, it always opens on the 'Update' pane the first time.
Note: 3rd party addons can only be shown after at least one 'Update' to download the list, a dialog pops up if the list is not present to remind the user. This happens only once per session when the Addon manager is opened.