How many ImageJ plugins are there, anyway?

Hi! Justin here. Long time listener, first time caller.

I’m trying to figure out how many ImageJ plugins there are, but I’m having trouble.

Where are these 2000+ plugins?

Is there a “master list” somewhere that I’m having trouble finding?

2 Likes

Hey @neuromusic,

excellent question! It for sure depends on what you define as a “plugin”. Assuming a plugin appears in the menu, you can use Fijis internal ModuleService to count menu entries. This python script shows you how to do this:

#@ ModuleService moduleService
count = 0
for info in  moduleService.getModules():
	if (info.getMenuPath().getLeaf() is not None):
		print(info.getMenuPath().getLeaf().getName());
		count = count + 1;

print(count)

On my machine it counts 1385 (I do have some update sites activated though). Just as a starting point :wink: I’m sure there are internal “Plugins”, e.g. for opening files of special types, which don’t show up in the menu, but I’m not sure how to count them…

May I ask what you need the exact number for? Sounds like an interesting project!

Cheers,
Robert

2 Likes

Thanks for the quick reply, @haesleinhuepf!!

I’m sure there are internal “Plugins”

I see. Indeed, “Most commands in ImageJ are implemented as plugins”. For the purposes of this effort, I’m more interested in the “3rd party” or “out-of-core” plugins, so the 262 number sounds like its closer to what I’m looking for.

May I ask what you need the exact number for? Sounds like an interesting project!

Of course :smiley: I’m trying to get a sense of the state of various plugin/extension/app ecosystems, both within scientific software and beyond… everything from ImageJ to Cytoscape to Wordpress to Photoshop. How big are the ecosystems, what kinds of plugins are there, etc.

Here’s a some of the data I’m pulling together.

I’m also super interested in differences in the developer experience, motivations and goals for developers, and pain points in building, distributing, and maintaining plugins/apps/extensions/etc.

2 Likes

Hey @neuromusic,

if you’re interested in “out-of-core” plugins which can be installed into Fiji, you should take a look at the list of update-sites:

https://sites.imagej.net/

https://imagej.github.io/list-of-update-sites/

I guess they are not all active, but many of them deliver many plugins.

I personally maintain 4 of these update sites. Each of them brings between 10 and 100 additional ImageJ menu entries and thus, hundreds of additional commands or “plugins”. And that’s just me :wink:

So I’d say 262 is a far too small estimate.

Cheers,
Robert

2 Likes

Hmm. I was afraid I might have to traverse the update sites themselves :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ll just add that there are A LOT of plugins that live outside the update site world as well. I honestly have no idea how I’d even try to figure out how many plugins exist. Good luck :grinning:

2 Likes

How do people even find ImageJ plugins “in the wild”?

Hi @neuromusic,

I have found many “outsider” plugins by simply running a web search for a specific application/functionality.

You might try this type of search strings to find some plugins/collections that are not in the usual channels:
imagej plugin download -site:imagej.nih.gov -site:imagej.net -site:fiji.sc

Good luck!
Nico