Sunday, July 3, 2011

Add-On Development and the New Mission

Non-Blender Project Updates
The past week has been interesting as projects went. I tackled some older web technologies in the form of a regular expressions project and some Apache configuration research focused around CGI. These are pretty old technologies but still very much worth knowing about.

More On String It
The bigger deal of the past week was completing a new version of “String It” and putting it up on my site. String It has an actual user interface as well as support for two spline types now. I posted about it on the Blender Artists forums and the response has been pretty positive.

More About the Change in the Mission
I've said before that Python app scripting tutorials don't work as a business model. There are some things that can work though. Developing and selling add-ons for 3D tools can work. Writing open source software can also work. If both of these business models can succeed, then combining the approaches to base a business on open source 3D add-ons might work too.

This is why the official mission of the site will be making open source add-ons for Blender. “Blender Python Tutorials” will be renamed to “Blender Addons” to reflect this new focus. The tutorials will stay for the time being because they do add value to the site. Those that come for the tutorials will find the add-ons with full source code provide useful examples to learn from. Those who don't care about programming will also benefit from those same scripts. It's a win for everybody.

The Coming Week
The coming week will focus on two tracks. On the web track, there is obviously some site work to be done. On the add-on track, there are some small improvements on String It planned. The API support for particle scripting also looks pretty promising and worth experimenting with at least. It should be interesting to see how it all works out.

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