[Bf-committers] RE: Blender Plugins

Ton Roosendaal ton at blender.org
Mon Apr 25 13:45:29 CEST 2005


(Reading the thread on plugin API...)

I'm a little concerned on the direction of the discussion here...  
designing a good plugin API for Blender won't be interesting if it  
doesn't reflect how Blender currently works itself.
As original designer of Blender, I really get confused by the proposals  
here... I miss general objectives or a compliant & functional  
structure. How the API technically is structured is really a decision  
for later.

Also keep in mind that a program like 3DS was designed from scratch as  
a plugin system. Maya as well, although it has MEL as glue too. Blender  
was not *at all* designed that way.
Second to keep in mind that plugin APIs also serve as a means for  
closed source applications to allow third parties to extend  
functionality. We don't need that really... within a production  
environment, anyone can quickly add the temporal features in Blender  
they need themselves.
Third to keep in mind that a plugin system for Blender cannot be made  
"commercial" with closed source, only GPLed code is allowed to be a  
plugin in Blender. I doubt it will become an incentive for third  
parties to make commercial Blender extensions with GPL only.

If you look at how the python API developed - apart from some pending  
issues that were caused by too "un-blenderish" design decisions - it  
does a pretty good job in reflecting Blender, how Blender actually  
works, and allowing to extend it with new tools. The current team  
spends long and long design hours on keeping that quality, and  
improving possibilities to extend Blender.
Already a very long time ago, it was decided to choose Python as the #1  
extension/plugin language for Blender. It has many benefits over a  
plugin API (like accessibility, compliancy) and it allows anyone to  
build scripts under any license (e.g. allows closed source scripts  
too). You can even extend Blender - via python - with a closed source  

So... all in all, my guess would still be to stick to one system in  
Blender, and help out designing better Python methods to extend Blender  
in ways that would be acceptable on a level for each plugin developer.
For those specific "plugins" that would require raw speed (like for  
textures or image plugins) we can use Python potentially still, just a  
matter of smart code work here.
Think of a Python based shading API, like renderman! :)


On 19 Apr, 2005, at 11:21, levon hudson wrote:

> you might want to check out this thread, it is simon harveys thread on  
> the oceans simulator, and at around page 4 turns to  blender plugin  
> format discusion.
> http://www.blender.org/modules.php? 
> op=modload&name=phpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=4222&postdays=0&postorder=asc&s 
> tart=0
> _______________________________________________
> Bf-committers mailing list
> Bf-committers at projects.blender.org
> http://projects.blender.org/mailman/listinfo/bf-committers
Ton Roosendaal  Blender Foundation ton at blender.org  

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