I Developed a Plugin for an Adobe Desktop App and Here’s What I’m Thinking

Over the summer, my main Zigtrig project was to create a plugin for an Adobe desktop app. Ideally, I would have created a plugin for Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator because those are the Adobe apps which most interest me, but it turns out that Adobe is changing how one writes plugins for their desktop apps. The old ways are clunky and old-fashioned, but the new way (called “UXP”) is very modern; it’s basically modern HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Unfortunately, as of this past summer, new plugin developers like me could only use the new way (UXP) with one of Adobe’s desktop apps: Adobe XD. (Internally, Adobe is already using UXP to add new functionality to many of their apps, and it’s in private beta for some Photoshop plugin developers.)

As a result, I ended up creating a plugin for Adobe XD. It’s another maze-generator app, but it has more functionality than the one I created for the web. I wrote some docs for it using SnazzyDocs. I submitted my maze-generator plugin to Adobe and they accepted it into the official list of Adobe XD plugins. You can find out how to get it and use it in the docs.

Overall, the development experience was quite nice (including help from some nice folks in the Adobe XD developer forums), but I found the vector graphics capabilities of Adobe XD to be quite limited (and they will probably stay that way because Adobe’s flagship vector graphics software is Adobe Illustrator, not XD). Moreover, not all of XD’s functionality is available in the developer API (yet).

As a result, I’m not really interested in doing any more Adobe XD plugin development. I think I’ll just wait until Adobe Illustrator plugin developers can use UXP. That will probably be in 2021 or later, so I’m not holding my breath.

In the meantime, I’m working on another project, but I’ve promised myself to not write about what I’m doing until it’s either well-underway or done.

A friendly human.