Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blender Ops, MVC, and More Monkeys

I got a lot done last week. I'll do my best to keep this blog entry short. Let's get to the week in review.

Blender Addons - Blender Operators and CMS
String It got a point upgrade. It now has hook support so that the objects that the generated curve runs through actually attach to the objects themselves. Also, demo videos for this and my other scripts got posted to Youtube this past week. As an extra challenge, I wrote an operator that syncs rotation of multiple selected objects. This last script gave me good practice on modal ops but it probably won't make it to the site.

As Blender Addons grows, a cms system becomes more appealing. This and my web hosts support for it justified a local Joomla installation. However, it'll be awhile before a CMS switchover actually happens. Design issues need to be addressed first and it's not a trivial task. In the long run, it'll be worth it because the tools for managing and organizing content are pretty useful.

Game PD – MVC and the Javascript Bug Hunt
After spending time reviewing advanced PHP concepts, it became apparent that MVC style code layout could be done easily in Game PD. In Java web applications, it's pretty obvious what belongs in a data class, a controller servlet, and a JSP page. However, with the right amount of discipline and a few well placed require statements, you can have the same benefit in a PHP project too. This project now has the advantage of MVC style organization with none of the XML hassle.

A Javascript bug in the project taught me an important lesson about functional programming. Page navigation died when page reloads happened. The root cause turned out to be a function being accidentally passed to another function rather than it's result. It was a good debugging challenge and it served as a cautionary lesson about the kinds of traps you can fall into with this style of programming if you aren't careful.

JMonkey – The Red Ball
My latest baby step back into Java was a JMonkey project where I rewrote some code to turn a blue cube into a red sphere. What struck me as interesting was it felt like familiar territory already covered in tutorials I did on Python development for Blender. It was pretty easy stuff so I have to give credit where it's due. JMonkey, so far, is pretty friendly to newcomers.

In Summing Up
So between Blender Addons, Game PD, and JMonkey, my development endeavors have effectively evolved into a 3 projects. A lot got done and there's a lot more coming down the pipe. My backlog, as it stands, has 8 serious items to tackle and it's time to get to it. I look forward to sharing more next week.

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