Re:Script Docs, Call to Authors

Hi, this is a copy of a letter I will be sending to all Script authors.
Feel free to comment as I would like some feedback before I start.
If you are a script author, your input is especially helpful.
Feel free to give permissions in this thread, via pm, or email via the link on my site.

Hi, insert authors name here,

Re: Blender Wiki Scripts Catalog Manual.
http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Scripts/Catalog
For some time I/We have been cataloging scripts for the Blender Wiki pages.
Currently we are seeking to do the following upgrades to the Wiki.

A/ One page per script, with docs, pics & small tutorials on script use.

B/ Upgrade script to GNU GPL status. (Where Applicable)

C/ Track & Upgrade “Orphaned Scripts” (Scripts no longer available for download)

D/ Repair minor script errors to fall in line with the current Python API.

E/ Seek Permissions to Upload scripts & existing Documentation to the Wiki for direct download from or use in the Wiki. (to help tracking & losing valuable scripts/docs)

E.1/ Note: All links to authors sites/original documentation will remain & the Wiki
downloads will serve as a mirror.

F/ Seek Permissions from script authors to include their scripts in new Bundled script
packages.
These will be available as a separate download from Blender & designed for easy user install to enhance the Blender experience.
(Unpack to .blender/scripts. & modules folders)

As your script/s have or are soon to be noted in the Wiki,

We would ask your permissions:

1/ to use any documentation you have & to mirror the docs on the wiki either via zip pdf or writing to the wiki.
2/ to re-release the script under GNU GPL General Public License. (Where Applicable)
3/ to modify the script only to repair errors & bring the script up to date with the API.
4/ to upload the latest/most stable version of the script to the Wiki.
5/ to redistribute scripts (mirror)
6/ to redistribute scripts (bundle)

All work will be done by Wiki maintainers. (Script authors are welcome to document their own scripts on the Wiki, but volunteers are happy to do it for you.)
An effort to check authors sites for upgrades/updated scripts will follow each new release of Blender.
Any Modifications will be noted in the script, date, mod made, person modifying.
Then the script author will be notified of the mods, & sent a link or copy of the script.

Any help or especially, permissions you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Yours Sincerely,
Brendon Murphy.

Please note, this is a HUGE undertaking to do these things, but they need to be done.
So any help, especially permissions, would be great.
What do you think?, would you say yes?, can we start to do this for your script?

M.A.

That is indeed a huge effort.

Feel free to do whatever with any and all scripts you can find at alienhelpdesk.com

Though I do document most of my scripts at my own website and I think all you need is to link to my pages… If I were you I’d only fully document those scripts that don’t have docs already.

Hello Meta !
Thanks for the time you invest in maintaining a quality script library !
Although i’ve only written 2 minor scripts, i feel i should answer your call.

I ve made an improvement to my Big Numbers Toolkit, and it needs an update of the documentation. I also planned to make another tutorial.
All of that would be formatted with the existing doc in a pdf file downloadable with the script.
I don’t really know when i’ll have the time to make this new tutorial and extend the documentation so there is no hurry for that one.

The Second script (IPO stretcher) hasn’t got any doc, so i should kick myself up and do it some day.

I have got very very little free time at the moment (breakfast and late evening), so this won’t be done soon.

I’ll update the corresponding Threads when one of the scripts is Up to Date and i’ll let you know by MP.

I have posted a small tutorial on the Wiki once (on the modifier stack) so i knpw how to edit it. Maybe i could put the doc myself…

Thanks for the time you put into this !!!

thanks macouno,
your scripts are very well documented, thanks.
I will link to all your docs (they are already),
I think I have all your old pages in storage too, so I may PDF them for download with the scripts.
For well documented scripts, I think all I will do is screenshots & a small user tutorial.
There is really no need to double up work, other than to make sure I have a copy of all docs myself, (backed up on several drives) in case of server or other crashes.

Thanks Gwenouille, sort of as above applies also, you have done a great job with the big numbers script,
less work needed there. It would be a great addition to any future bundled packages also.
(lol posted at same time!)

Thanks again,
m.a.

That’s really a lot of work you’ve got ahead of you, but it’s greatly appreciated. One central resource for scripts will improve the user experience enormously.

Of course I’m giving permission for all my scripts that are in the catalog:
1/ to use any documentation you have & to mirror the docs on the wiki either via zip pdf or writing to the wiki.
2/ to re-release the script under GNU GPL General Public License. (Where Applicable)
3/ to modify the script only to repair errors & bring the script up to date with the API.
4/ to upload the latest/most stable version of the script to the Wiki.
5/ to redistribute scripts (mirror)
6/ to redistribute scripts (bundle)

Some notes:

  • The ply export script is credited to me, but that’s a mistake. As far as I know it’s written by Bruce Merry, just like the ply importer.
  • The domical vault script is only partially written by me, so you’ll need Neil McAllister’s permission as well (probably won’t be much of a problem). This version is outdated by the way.

Good luck with the job ahead of you.

Thanks,
I fixed the wrong ply_export data,
copy/paste error:o
The Domical Vaults script is a very good tool.
The only problem with it is the size it makes the original mesh.
The fix will be added to the docs.
The real time update is a very useful function that should also be added to many other scripts.
m.a.

Meta,
why not also back the doc up on the Wiki itself, in all cases? It seems to me that it is the safest place and the handiest, whatever happens. For authors that prefer/want/need to be hit on their website by the users the documentation could be simply commented out in HTML.
You’ve been doing great for this community to a long time Meta. I’ll lend a hand every chance I get.

:slight_smile:

Jean

Yes, that will be done also, as a safeguard against evil servers that steal peoples docs when their payment runs out.:rolleyes:
I already have most things, including many lost docs backed up on two hard drives.
In most cases the authors original docs will mostly be used for the Wiki as a guide for the usage notes, along with a link to the original documentation.
With zips that have permissions to upload,
the original docs will be provided in either HTML format or PDF.
thanks for your support.
m.a.

Just to document what Migius and I discussed on #blenderwiki, while M.A. slept:

To the best of my knowledge and belief, Dynamic Page List (DPL) is installed and in use. For example, we use a Category tag in the Manual/ for version and keywords. the Version tag is at the top in the UM template, and is a [[Category:Blender_keyword]] tag. The keyword tag is commonly found at the bottom of the page in a [[Category:keyword]] link.

Then, when you call for a Category page, e.g. http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Category:Blender_2.45 the wiki goes out and gives you a list of all those pages containing that tag. For fun, call for http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Category:Tools

This feature could be used to automatically create an Index page. The Scripts/Catalog page would become, at some point, really a to-do list page. But, eventually, as a script is found, a wiki page is created for it, containing the appropriate Category tags, such as [[Category:Mesh]]. Then, the Main index page just needs to make calls to create DPL pages for the different tags as in * [[Category:Mesh|Mesh Tools]]

So, what are possible categories? Well, I would submit that you have category lists according to the possible aspects of a script. Namely,
*Functionality: Mesh, CAD, Materials, UV, Wizard, CAD, etc
*Release: Alpha, Beta, Tested, Certified, Superceded, Broken
*Version: <last known blender release version it was known to work with> v.rr format
*Status: Active, Orphan
*License: GPL, Proprietary

just some thoughts. Hope this helps it move along, little doggie.

Great initiative, I’m sure there are many “lost gems” out there.

I came from a lightwave background where the legendary “flay.com” was busy, well maintained and THE place to get scripts for pretty much everything… I’ve so far been surprised how few scripts i’ve found for blender

feel free to use my script for converting texface images to matererials and other stuff…

http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=115948

@ Papa Smurf lol, far from sleeping, I am busy adding working links to the new wiki pages, as there was no working navigation at all in all 300 odd pages. Good One.
Whilst we’re on the subject, the way things were done was wrong.
The Catalog as I had made under the guidance of IanWill was designed after many long conversations to be just that, a Catalog, to be browsed for quick finding of scripts & to be used as a template/reference for the Manual proper.
Not to become the Manual itself.
Scripts found were to be added to the Catalog, then eventually pages created in the Manual to fully document the scripts.
Two Separate Sections, not some hybrid as there is now.
If I had have been consulted properly in the first place, the pages I would have directed you to parse the information to would have been Scripts/Manual/Index & the Index for the manual should have lived there, & the pages created for the manual would be properly linked & navigable.
Now there are navigation cross links and to quote IanWill on the new look…Ewww.
So before jumping in & rearranging over 18 months of someone else’s work, next time think a little before you leap, little doggie.
m.a.

hi Meta, i am happy to see this progress.
Thanks for all contributing authors!

and great appeal to the rest:
help us to make the Script Catalog as completed as possible!

Technical Note:
The [[Category:xxxx]] feature works well for plain Scripts_Index page, but IMHO cant be used for generation more complex pages like Scripts_Catalog page should be, with all status informations like docu-progress, bundled, external, untested, experimental and so on. There are many such significant parameters according to each script. The main Catalog page should show most of them, so the user must not visit every Manual subpage to find what he want to know.
The DPL enhancement could be an alternative. I have post a request lately to this thread
migius

@ Michael W, Thanks, there is a lot of lost gems, some I have had to withhold until I gain Permissions, your script is very handy, I’ll use the documentation from the thread & do some screenshots.
@ Migius, hi, alls going well, looks like Cambo has added a few scripts with docs which is great news indeed.
Now the temp nav is all done, there’s only a few minor clean ups, then on with the documentation. The template for each page is great! Very happy with that.
I don’t know how useful the DPL will be as everything is listed already.
Although it could be useful to set up the section menu’s in the Manual.
All I do to add a new script is copy the template, create a new page, paste in the template, fill in the details.
Anyhow, screen shots & documenting scripts is what’s needed now, if you can find a way to automate that, let me know.:stuck_out_tongue:
m.a.

Very good idea - why didn’t no one else think of this ?

@ Kbot, People did, for a long time, it was a natural progression for me.
I posted a Large List of scripts, to the forum.
Then it was suggested I move my Catalog Information to the Wiki.
After a short struggle, I joined the fray.

@ All

It would be great if a few more Script Authors would give permissions.
Copyright is paramount,
Permission to use your Doc’s,
saves me from writing them myself.
Permission to upgrade your script,.
saves me from writing line fixes in the Wiki.
Permission to Mirror or Host Upgraded scripts,
is to enhance the User Experience by providing a central database of fully working,
& documented scripts.
All scripts are the sole property of the Original Author.

If you don’t want these things done, that is ok also.
We will still list, link & do a small tutorial on using the script.

For “Orphaned Scripts”
(scripts that are no longer hosted)
I will, when possible,
take reasonable steps to contact the Author,
(So expect a few PM’s People!, the very same letter at the top of this thread.)
provide a mirror to that script in it’s original form,
with it’s original documentation.
No “Orphaned” scripts will meet the criteria for bundled scripts,
only mirror in original form.
Scripts will be removed if the author asks, immediatly.

Note: If a script uses external library’s,
that are not included in the Blender Python API.
They will not be Included.
Unfortunately, this may include some great L-System Scripts.
MH 180b Script is no longer available, it would seem,
unless Permissions are granted.

The greatest care is being taken to protect the rights of the author’s,
Also the integrity of the Wiki Writers & the legal saftey of these Volunteers.

Just to clarify…

So C’mon people, where’s those permissions.

Brendon.

hi all.
An Announcement,
migius & Papa Smurf are helping with the Catalog.
much thanks to them for their help.
we are redesigning the layout a little (near finished)
then full steam ahead documenting & upgrading scripts, (where possible*)
in many cases we still need permissions.
News:
Re-design 90% complete.
The Camera Jitter script is Upgraded to Blender 2.45.
The Cells script is Documented.
Support from Blender Foundation Members.

Many but not enough permissions have been gained.
Possibly as low as 10% of scripts listed.
If you know your script to be listed in the Catalog, please, we need your help either with documenting the script, or permissions as sought in the first post.
Thanks again to all who are supporting this project.
m.a.