jQuery is hot these days. By making DOM navigation and manipulation easy, it gives immense power to programmers and allows us to develop interactive web applications. There is a plethora of jQuery plugins available on internet which helps us quickly add cosmetics to our web. These plugins range from simple things like selectboxes, dialogboxes to more complex ones such as calendar widgets and timelines. These plugins often work great and integrate easily with your application, but situations may occur when you don’t find a plugin which exactly fulfills your requirements. Then, sometimes, you either compromise your design requirements or you try to tweak closest matching plugin which looks/acts hideous. In such situations, there is an easier solution: write you own plugin.
There is a popular philosophy in software development: don’t re-invent the wheel. Some people stick to it so religiously that they would spend hours upon hours searching for the “wheel” instead of making it themselves which would cost them lot lesser time. Had inventor of tire also followed this, we would have had no tires. Had Larry and Sergei followed this, we would have had no Google. Had Apple followed this, we would have had no iPod and iPhone. We are making all of this progress because of some people out there who are trying to solve same problems with new ways. In other words, they trying to re-invent the wheel their own way.
I don’t mean at all that whenever you need a plugin, you sit down and start writing it yourself. My point is that, whenever you have a problem, assess the situation and decide accordingly. If you find a plugin that exactly matches your situation, go on and use it. But when you don’t find such thing which matches your design requirements, don’t hesitate to write one yourself.