Zplugin to have a binary module

As most of Zsh users know, there exist binary Zsh modules, like for example zsh/datetime. The modules extend Zshell, take the mentioned module as an example – it provides a global variable $EPOCHSECONDS holding unix time-stamp. Not everybody know that those written in C goodies can come from outside of Zsh installation. Such module is compiled standalone using Zshell C headers and if everything goes right, can be loaded into Zsh just like that.

I’ve decided to equip Zplugin with own, custom Zsh binary module. As probably all Zsh modules out there, it will be written in C. The development started on August 16, 2018, after receiving a dedicated donation from an user.

Today I’m implementing customization of source (or dot, i.e. “.”) builtin. It can be extended to measure the time the sourcing took. User will be able to display a report with list of the sources done in current Zsh session, with duration (in milliseconds) that each source had. Why such feature? Pretty all Zsh plugin managers use source to load plugins. I only saw that Antigen might be using eval $(<plugin.zsh) trick, but then verified and it seems not to use it (earlier I saw some commit messages of Antigen, mentioning the trick). This means that with Zplugin Zsh module it will be possible to profile plugin loading times yielded by any plugin manager out there. That’s why I plan to provide an installation script that will allow to use Zplugin Zsh module standalone, without installing/using Zplugin itself.

Time-profiling of source is one of the features of the module. There are others, but I have to get back to coding, so I describe them on another occasion.