What is Plugin in Programming?

What is Plugin in Programming?

A plugin is a software that adds a specific feature or functionality to existing software.


2 min read

A plugin is software that adds a specific feature or functionality to existing software.

In most cases, plugins are used to add some functionality to existing software to make it more powerful and useful. Plug-in, add-in, add-on, or extension are the different names of plugins. For example, Chrome is a browser, it works to help you in browsing the internet. And Chrome does it very well.

But there are too many ads disturbing you while you browsing the internet. So, in that case, you will go to the Chrome web store and download an ad-blocker. And your job is done. Now you can enjoy ad-free browsing.

In the above example, you want a specific feature and that is some software that can block ads on websites. And here ad-blocker is one kind of plugin that helps you achieve that results. And chrome is an existing software on which the plugin (ad-blocker) is installed. Here ad-blocker just adds some functionality to Chrome.

Applications support plugins for two main reasons:

  1. Adds new functionality on the platform — Plugins make it easy for third-party developers to add new features to the platform.

  2. Reduce software size — Plugins help in reducing the software size. You can create software with limited functionality and can provide a wide range of plugins via the store. So when a user needs it they can download it. Just like Chrome, Mozilla is doing the same.

Different scenarios of plugin usage

  • Media players use plugins to support different file formats.

  • Email clients use plugins for encryption and decryption.

  • Graphic software uses plugins to support different file formats and advanced image processing.

  • Text editors and IDEs use plugins to support programming languages and some mostly used functionality.

  • Audio editors use plugins to process and analyze sound.

  • web browsers use plugins to add new features and functionality.

So these are some common scenarios where plugins are useful. Feel free to know me if I missed something. Till then Keep Coding, Keep Loving. Catch you up in the next article.

Jai Hind, Vande Mataram 🇮🇳

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