Today I had some thoughts about my hobby, which is plugin development and language learning. And the thing is that I spend most of my time developing plugins, and much less time doing actual things. Ahem, plugins are actual things, but only if you use those, and I… I kinda write plugins to write more plugins, and do not use those for anything besides that. That’s my problem.
I feel like @eraserhd is writing parinfer-rust because he writes a lot of lisp (there are some repos in Clojure and Scheme) and wants a good tool for that language to be available for different editors, and the editor of his choice. Also because making such plugin is good for learning Rust.
I write my plugins, because I want to write plugins. I don’t even use those as much, as I contribute to. E.g. there’s a lot of functionality in fzf.kak that I do not use at all:
fzf-buffer. I only use
fzf-file, and time to time
fzf-project. All other modules were written because I thought it would be nice to have those. Like when you’re going through the store, and there’s a thing that you like for no reason, you buy it and it lies unused. And such things are wasting some sort of resources, e.g. in store analogy it wastes money. I feel like writing plugins kinda wastes time.
Sure, there are things that I wrote because I needed those, like plug.kak, or smarttab.kak, but others, like
powerline.kak aren’t really needed things. And I’m not sure if I should spend time on such things.
Several years ago when I was a Vim user, I started thinking about my own plugin for snippets because I wasn’t satisfied with the existing ones. In 2018 I finally wrote my first plugin, which was a snippet engine, that used only vimscript and was fast, but had lots of design issues. Looking on it nowadays it is obvious that the design choices were made were poor, and if I would develop it now I would go entirely different routine from the start, but there’s also another thing that is interesting. I’ve spent so much time and code for such a simple feature that I did not used that much, that I actually spent more time on nothing than on something. Now the pattern continues.
Do you ever feel that way? Perhaps I’ve just encountered another existential crysis of my own, but I feel like I need to create something that is both interesting for me and practical for others. Plugins are kinda fit this category, but I feel like this is self-deception.
And, at the beginning I said that my hobby is, and I quote:
plugin development and language learning
And I actually do so much plugin development and so little language learning, that it is another self-deception here. I’ve learned some
perl for sure, but these skills are will not be used anywhere at some serious level, because my skills are not yet good for serious type of work, but I can’t go further in skill development by developing plugins. That bothers me as well.
I also tweak my editor configurations a lot which is also time consuming, and some times I feel that I could just use some editor that is preconfigured, like VSCode, and be as productive as with all those plugins and configurations I have made. Fun fact, that I’ve noticed the pattern, that when I’m semi-satisfied with the environment I have I want to start tinkering with another one because it is a matter of habit now.
Sorry for such a self-blog-posting (I do not have a blog, because I would continuously tweak it instead of writing for it) but I kinda interested in thoughts of other plugin authors here. Why do you make plugins? And how do you feel about it. What are your other hobbies?