How hard it is to convert addons?

Hello there.

I’m not a coder - I’m just curious to know how complex it will be to convert addons from 2.79 to 2.8 . Is it a case of replacing some commands, or is it more along the lines of having to recode whole sections?

Is not particularly hard, but you need knowledge of the Blender API and it’s features/limitations.

Of course right now is not a great idea to convert anything to 2.8 yet, since the API is unstable, meaning today things are called “draw this point at x,y,z” and tomorrow the same can be called “make point at xyz” and maybe doesn’t accept anymore a x, y or z… Developers are still changing it as they see fit and will changing it until the oficial BETA. Then even there, they still can do minor changes and bugfixes.

Wait for the betas and everything will be OK, and you will keep your hair intact.

It depends on the case but it’s mostly like replacing some commands.
a few things as been renamed, the way we access objects is different ( 2.79 : objects belong to a scene, 2.8 objects belongs to collections ) and a few other things.
Some BGL stuff may need some recode, and dev’s would like to provide utility functions for it to be as simple to use as the 2.7* version .
If your questions is how fast the conversion of addons will take place, and or if addons may disappear because of that, I’d say that I’m sure all active and official addons will be in 2.8 quite quickly as soon as we are in BETA.

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Addons that make use of mathutils module probably need some refactoring of sub-functions, because some math functions have been dropped in 2.8. As an example, LoopTools uses vector-matrix multiplication in many of its operators. This is no longer possible unless either element is converted to the other.

The best way to find out what needs to be ported, is to change the version in the main .py file to escape the 2.8 compatibility warning, then use the addon and see if and where it fails. You’ll be surprised that quite a few addons work just fine.