I don’t think there is any technical barrier to doing this.
As to why I have not personally pushed anything like this, it is mostly a matter of the the perfect being the enemy of the good. I had in mind something similar to Atom, VSCode, Discourse, i.e a system where plugins are simply GitHub repositories. I consider this more ideal for a few reasons:
Barrier to entry is lower— publishing Python packages is a not trivial. And what kind? Pip packages? Conda packages? Would extension authors have to provide both?
Extension versions could just be tags in GH. No need to publish extensions on PyPI or anaconda.org all the time
Could potentially have amazing user experience for plugins like Atom and VSCode have
So what are the cons?
Unclear how to handle either Python dependencies or dependencies between plugins. I think the vast majority of extensions are likely to be self-contained, so much so that this concern is outweighed.
Less clear what “installing” an extension means.
The last one is the big one and probably what sinks the idea for a library (it’s alot more clear what installing means for an app like VSCode, or Atom, or Discourse). I can imagine some solutions, but they are not great. But at this moment in time I’m inclined to leave this project to others, who don’t have my hang-ups about using regular Python packages.
TLDR; At this point I think anyone with a reasonable idea for a plan forward on sharing extensions should just start moving on it.