Manage plugins inside fman

fman 0.3.9 is out. The main new feature is that you can now manage plugins inside fman!!!

To launch the new feature, open the Command Palette by pressing Ctrl+Shift+P (or ⌘-Shift-P on Mac). Enter "Install plugin":

  • Install plugin

fman will fetch all available plugins from GitHub and present them to you:

Press Enter and voilà! The plugin is downloaded and installed.

Similar commands were added for removing and listing the currently installed plugins. The latter ("List plugins") also lets you quickly jump to a plugin's directory.

Updated plugin directory structure

To accommodate the above feature, fman's plugin directory structure was slightly updated. It used to look as follows when you had a few plugins installed:

  • {data directory}
  • Plugins
    • OpeniTerm2
    • StatusBarExtended
    • ...
    • User

The User plugin was always loaded last. This let it overwrite the settings of all other plugins, and thus made it a good place to put your custom settings.

For the new feature, the question was: Where to put downloaded plugins? I didn't want to place them right next to (for instance) the User plugin because it would be too tempting to then go and edit the plugin files. This would cause problems when (in a later release) the plugin is updated: The modifications to its files would then be lost. The solution is a new directory structure:

  • {data directory}
  • Plugins
    • Third-party
      • OpeniTerm2
      • StatusBarExtended
      • ...
    • User
      • Settings

What used to be the User plugin is now the Settings plugin: This is again loaded last and thus the best place to put your settings files (eg. Key Bindings.json).

When you install a plugin via the above command, it is placed inside the Plugins/Third-party folder. You are not supposed to make changes to the contents of this folder.

Finally, if you want to develop your own plugin (and haven't put it on GitHub yet), you can place its directory in (say) Plugins/User/Your Plugin/.

When you update fman, your existing settings and plugins are automatically migrated to the new directory structure.

There were several other small improvements in this release. As usual, they are listed on the Changelog page. Enjoy!

Michael started fman in 2016, convinced that we deserve a better file manager. fman's launch in 2017 was a huge success. But despite full-time work, it only makes $350 per month. The goal for 2018 is to fix this.