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Learn to plugin ...
I shouldn't have to, but I think I need to say this,and point this out.

I learned to write plugins by going through Alex's code, and looking at the parts of the various plugins that did what (or like) I hoped to do. During the progress of this program, the formats have changed considerably, plugin code has simplified and standardized, and things have much improved.

Part of programming is bootstrapping off what has gone before. Learning from the people who have worked out the problems, or who have created template code that works, that helps keep things clear, or provides a good starting point. With these scripts, it's not as bad as the old Windows joke "How many windows programs have been written?" Answer: "One, everyone has just cut/pasted it since."

To start with the plugins, you do need to have a basic understanding of Links. If you've successfully customized your site, added in a few of the existing plugins, and have been satisfied with the results, you are on your way.

The next step is to look at the existing plugins. Use the 'edit' feature to look at the install.pm to see how things are installed and set up. Look at how the plugin is called, and layed out. Look at the other Links scripts and .pm files to follow the program flow, and see how things are done.

It's a PROCESS of learning, figuring things out, and trial and error. :) Start by modifying existing plugins. Little things, then more ambitious ones. Pretty soon you'll have the feeling for starting out on your own.

Like any programming process, if you don't take short cuts, or trim too many corners, you'll have code you can re-use, cut/paste and put together to start off new programs _and_that_ is the power of all this :)

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