Robin blogging about dev stuff

Wox plugin using F#

If you’re using Windows and haven’t checked out Wox you totally should. It’s a program that gets you easy access to all your files, folder and programs without using your mouse. Simply press ALT+Space and a bar will appear and you can search.

Wox is written using .NET and C# and besides being a very useful program it also have a nice plugin story with about 80+ plugins that you can install.

I started looking at writing a plugin for Wox just out of curiosity and it turns out that according to their website that they support plugins written in C# or Python. So I thought that if they support C# then in theory it would be possible to write a plugin using F#.

For my day job I work with a company providing teams and sport clubs with a website and we have clubs mainly in Sweden but also in Germany, USA and UK so we have to manage time zones. To make this easier we store all dates as a Unix timestamp in the database, this means I constantly find my self converting dates to Unix timestamps and vice versa. There is a plugin for Wox that does this but I couldn’t get it to work on my machine and it seemed like the perfect problem to try writing a plugin for Wox using F#.

Writing the plugin

It’s a very simple to create a plugin for Wox and it’s documented on their site, however some parts isn’t quite clear but it’s not that hard. You start by installing their Nuget package called Wox.Plugin.

Then you have to create a class and implement one interface IPlugin with two methods Init and Query. The Init function is pretty self explanatory and it’s triggered when you plugin get initialized. Here’s how my Init function looks:

type Main() =

  interface IPlugin with
    member this.Init(context) =

The Query function is the function that handles the query you enter in Wox, it takes a Query object as a parameter and you need to return a list of Result. And here’s my implementation of the Query function:

member this.Query(query) =
    let list = new List<Result>()

    match parseDate query.Search with
    | Some(date) -> list.Add <| dateResult date
    | _ -> match parseUnix query.Search with
           | Some(unix) -> list.Add <| unixResult unix
           | _ -> ()

Since Wox is all about searching for stuff and F# is great fit because it’s a pretty classic map reduce scenario. However since Wox is written using C# your F# code will have a bit of OO feel to it.

In my plugin I used NodaTime which is another great Nuget package that if you’re working with time zones you really should take a look at. The full implementation of my plugin is available at GitHub. If you have any questions please leave a comment or ping me on Twitter.



It’s possible to write a plugin for Wox using F#. Yaay!!!

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