Zombie Projects

| Tags: dev, intellij-idea

13 years ago I developed two plugins for IntelliJ IDEAFileBrowser and NaviActionPad. It was cool. The plugins did things IDEA couldn’t back then. And it was fun finding out how the plugin API worked. Then JetBrains added features in IDEA that made the plugins obsolete. And then the plugin API changed and the plugins didn’t work anymore.

I moved on to other projects and more or less forgot about those plugins.

Some days – or maybe it’s already weeks – ago, JetBrains added automatic periodic compatibility checking for their plugin marketplace and I started to receive e-mails telling me that my plugins had issues. I ignored those e-mails for a while, because they didn’t tell me anything new and I actually didn’t care.

Today I thought that I might want to get rid of those e-mails and so I logged in into the plugin marketplace website. It’s been a long time since I last did and now there are download statistics. Those tell me that the plugins are still downloaded more or less 20 times a month.

Why would anyone want to download those plugins? They are obsolete and pretty useless. Then I realized that a user browsing through the plugins and searching for interesting ones doesn’t know that they don’t work anymore. It’s probably a pretty frustrating experience to download one of those plugins, try to understand how they are meant to be used and then to find out that they really don’t work anymore and that there is nothing you can do to make them work.

I decided to kill those zombies for good now and requested a removal from plugin marketplace.

This reminds me that abandoned projects should be clearly visibly marked as abandoned or deleted. Don’t let your zombies haunt other people.