MOD Plugin SDK - Figma library

In the wait for my Dwarf, I’ve been thinking about how I can contribute back to the community.

There seems to be effort to attract and support developers — which is amazing. I’m particularly inspired by threads like Is MOD building products or a platform.

I was thinking I would contribute by creating some tools to attract and support designers to work alongside developers and the community.

To start I was thinking about porting/recreating a version of the SDK/Plugin builder to Figma.

My aims are:

  • Speed up design/developer collaboration on pedals
  • Reduce UI prototyping cost
  • Attract more designers to MOD devices

I was thinking about publishing it as a Community Library for anyone to remix and use.

I don’t really understand all the intricacies of OSS, so I’m looking for help.

Is this a good thing to do?
Is this an allowed thing to do?
Is there anything I should be sure to do?
Is there anything I should make sure not to do?

Please be kind and guide me as I try and contribute the open source community for the first time :sweat_smile:


Wouldn’t it be better to use a software that doesn’t need a login or can run on multi-platform?

I for one would not be able to use Figma, although I like the general idea to make it easier for people to design MOD-UI

This is a great idea and really kind from you!
Please, let us know anything that you may need and we (inside MOD team) will do our best to assist you! It would take a lot from our shoulders at this point :slight_smile:

Thanks for your comments and good questions. The ability for as many people to use and access as possible is very important.

Here are a few reasons why I thought Figma:

  • It was created to run fully featured in the browser, I wasn’t aware of any modern-ish OS/Distro/Browsers that it didn’t work with (apart from probably some of the IE’s). There is an app, but that is just a wrapper for the browser version with no additional functionality.
  • Files can be set up so viewers don’t need an account. But the practicalities of contributing and editing probably would require it (similar to GitHub?).
  • Accounts are free for everyone
  • It is a (the?) most popular UI design tool, so opens it up to the largest number of designers

If there are any others you are aware of please let me know for consideration!

Thanks @jon. There are two things I can think of

  • When the time comes, some help getting the plugin builder thing running on my computer so I can get more context
  • Someone to double check all the licences and help me attribute it all correctly

Hope it helps!

Noted. I believe that @falkTX will be mainly the guy to help you out on these

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I second @dreamer points here.
If doing something on free time for fun, the stuff listed on Figma Privacy Policy is a major deal (personally speaking).
Things are different when it is about actual work to be done though.

What is special about figma? there could be other existing and similar platforms.
Understanding the why something is wanted is essential.

Page with alternatives to look into: Open Source Figma Alternatives | AlternativeTo

Thanks both for your replies.

If you don’t mind, could you point out the parts in particular so I can look to avoid this when evaluating other options?

Is this a question you are looking for an answer to? Or is it thought provoking? :slight_smile:

Agreed. Can you point to a good example of how this has been presented in the past that I can learn from?

Thank you. Penpot looks the closest to the tools used by industry currently. I wonder if the barrier to entry is low enough to attract designers who work on existing free and commercial audio plugins or designers looking to contribute to OSS.

Thanks for engaging in this discussion.

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It has a genuine question from my side.
I don’t know what Figma does, so understanding why it is “needed” would be nice. So then we can see what is the real deal breaker that needs attention.

I find it hard to pick something in particular from that privacy policy, because they basically list all user/data tracking methods available right now, they don’t list more because they do not exist.
I cannot in good conscience recommend or promote the use of such tools.



To put in developer wording, Figma is like a GitHub for vectors. So is Penpot, LucidChart (which I used a lot years ago), and others. One can have a “team” in the way GitHub has a project, and one can have a minimal set of features – say, some buttons, knobs, displays, leds, etc – that others can then use to build their UIs. In most cases, it serves the purpose of standardising the final output (which is what LC was good at, all diagrams looked alike) and team members who wanted to create one had all the arrows, boxes, headings etc etc ready for them.

What I think @danmh has in mind (please correct me if I’m wrong) is to plug graphic/UI designers into the developer community. In his words,

Therefore, taking some of the development burden off the shoulders of coders.

I can say it makes sense because years ago, when I started in webdesign, we did the entire thing: graphic + HTML (and CSS later). Graphic often times included stationary, business cards, logo design and others. Over time, building a site became complex to the point very few people could do both proficiently. And when smartphones came about, even websites were split into several sub-areas of development.

Now @danmh, there is indeed a point in @falkTX’s reasoning, because such platforms usually have stringent Terms of Service that ultimately hijack your work under some circumstances. Years later I’ve found charts from other businesses/organisations that were perfect copies of my own past work, because LucidChart kept them after we closed out account. (Worse yet, someone had the nerve to apply for a job with us using am infographic a colleague of mine had built saying it was his own!)

So, whereas I think the general idea is very good, a platform of the sorts to make that happen may not be as easy to find.

The only thing that comes to mind would be to create a set of UI elements in vector format and make them available under a licence through the MOD community. Then designers could indeed work on plugins but without the need for a common tool. Pardon if this idea is too naïve.


Why not build all three of

  • Figma library
  • Penpot library
  • plain SVG components in a git repo

Figma is extremely popular with designers in the industry but Penpot would be a suitable alternative in an Open Source context.