Have we gone too far into this ecosystem of hackable solutions to ideologies that should of been integrated into the native application? I feel like the better the plugins, the more complacent and less motivated the Sketch team gets.
I think the sketch team are aware of what others do. I think sketch is playing on a different field. I think they have recognised that they not only build a tool but more they build a ecosystem for designers. Just have a look how a lot of prototyping or other tools have an import plugin for their tools. Or just look how many plugins are out there. And when you see they take more care about their new file architecture that means a lot.
I love using the plugins, but the constant dance between updating sketch and the plugins to support it has really got me frustrated lately. Plugins worked for 10 years in Fireworks and Illustrator.
You are totally right, i am frustrated too. But this may be the problems they try to tackle.
Typically when you open the door for third party developers to create plugins or enhancements, it leads to a better app in the long run. The ability to bend the app to your will through plugins and scripting is a hugely powerful tool.
I think you're looking at it the wrong way. Scripting can become a method of deep customization. Take a peek at Sketch's release history. It's busy, even though as it matures things don't change as rapidly. But look, they just added some constraint type features and they're refining those in the next release.
Plugin developers can pretty much just whip something up, test that it works for themselves, and put it out there. Releasing new features as the app developer requires more effort and time, as the goal is to release a solid piece of software.
This is a great write-up! We've been advancing our own design system by relying on spacing between items as a guideline, Anima has made it way easier to define paddings and margins. The plugin you guys developed helps to make that system a lot more manageable. Well done!