Why can't we update all addons from the addon browser?

Hi guys,

I have about 40 or so addons I purchased for blender. Every single one of them except grouppro requires you to manually update by going to gumroad or wherever you got it from and check if there is a new version and manually download/delete/reinstall.

Group pro on the other hand has check update and update built into the addon browser, it’s two clicks and I have the latest version up and running. Why is this not standard with all add ons? Is there a technical reason? It would be a huge relief not having to waste half a day reinstalling addons everytime I update blender.

Any thoughts?

This isn’t standard because there’s no “minimum requirements” specification for add-ons. Anyone can write an add-on, and it’s the developer’s choice 100% what features it has. Updating like you’re describing requires some advanced development- HTTP connections, secure upload and download, version checking, etc. This stuff is a lot of work to code, and for a simple add-on, it may or may not be worth it depending on the developer. The beauty of Blender being open-source and easy to write add-ons for is that anyone can write an add-on. The downside is that, with no quality control, it’s up to the consumer to decide whether an add-on is worth using or not.

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A few more points to consider are

  1. Allowing scripts to make internet connections is not a good security practice.

  2. This would be easier for free add-ons, but paid add-ons would need additional complexity of saving the credentials etc.

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XY problem? I can’t see any reason to have 40 third-party add-ons, considering Blender’s ever-growing list of capabilities. In my 10 years of Blender I’ve only really used around 5 add-ons.

While I don’t think the opening post is very valuable, this statement is also just… very closeminded. I don’t know what type of work you do, but I use around 40-ish addons too, and certainly not all of them are to close a gap in Blender’s default features.
So while you can’t see any reason, plenty of people do, which might just mean your imagination is limited :stuck_out_tongue:

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On the contrary, it takes imagination to manipulate Blender’s vanilla features in the way that suits your own unique needs. My own add-on usage wasn’t the reasoning behind the misunderstanding either; it’s just that I don’t see anyone list over a dozen add-ons whenever they’re asked what they use, myself included.

It’s true that you can do almost anything with vanilla blender without addons but sometimes its just not worth the extra work, sometimes, its just much easier and less time-consuming to download an addon that does the thing you want instead of figuring it out yourself.

As for the self updating addons, I find sorta intrusive but that’s my opinion, whats not just my opinion is that building reliable update code is a lot of work, sometimes harder than making the add-on itself.

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Exactly. You can make literally any sequence you can render out from Blender with just MS Paint, but it’s just that with Blender it’s a bit easier :smile: That’s the point of extra tools, it reduces the workload and/or difficulty.

edit: that being said, I don’t use many addons either, just a few.

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yeah, 99% of my addon usage goes to Mesh-F2 lol

The only response that comes to me is that facial expression you give an obnoxious person at a party who just said something deeply annoying. Yes, very clever, ‘only a poor artist blames his tools’, bla bla bla. Conversely: If someone spends hours on creating his own paper and then doesn’t draw on it because he’s out of time or inspiration… what’s that?

There isn’t an add-on for that? Damn shame…

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hey, maybe its not that hard to make an addon downloader, at least for addons that are hosted in GitHub.

Your replies are unnecessarily hostile considering I was only expressing how I think it’s unusual to have 40 add-ons in use, especially since add-ons make you more vulnerable to errors and may clutter the UI. This is why I suggested “XY problem”, because the underlying problem of needing to update 40 add-ons at once is something I don’t see many other people have. While it is true that a poor artist blames his tools, that’s nowhere near the point I was making to the OP. In other words, my answer to the OP’s question of “Why can’t we update all addons from the addon browser?” was “Because most people don’t have enough add-ons to justify the complications that the two posters above me pointed out”.

People, please, keep the conversation civil. There’s no need in pointing fingers and “no, you” arguments.

Each of us undoubtedly has their own experience with, and around, Blender. It doesn’t invalidate someone else’s.

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I don’t use every addon all the time.

My most commonly used ones are:

-group pro, machinetools, decal machine, box cutter, asset management, fluent, ezlattice, hardops, kitops, pie menu editor, rizom bridge, textools, polysweeper, kekit and quad remesher.

That is still 15 addons I use and rely on all the time for my work. I don’t understand why some weird reactions to my post. I am not asking for advice on if vanilla blender is capable or not. We all know it is.

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No matter how you rewrite it in later posts, this is what you said, and this is where my ‘hostile’ (mocking, at best, come on) tone comes from. You ‘didn’t see any reason’ which I attributed to your imagination.

As you said, it’s not hard thanks to CGCookie’s module (https://github.com/CGCookie/blender-addon-updater). But if you are selling a paid add-on and have your project as private on GitHub, you are out of luck.

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I added autoupdater to Group Pro, Hair Tool and my other addons, because from user point of view, it is time consuming having to download update manually especially if you purchased many addons. I know this pain, so I wanted to get rid it at least for my customers.
And since my addons are on pirated sites anyway, then making software protections - like introducing license keys linked to email - would only hinder legal users experience.
I guess other addon devs, want to make sure you can only get updates of their product from BMarket or Gumroad but IMO this wont stop pirates (and yes, I know- u cant pirate gpl addon… but still)

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I think the percentage of pirates is quite small compared to the percentage of paying customers. Let’s say 60% of users actually paid for your add-on, it’s still a lot more than the 2-3% of people ready to donate/pay a free add-on.

Then you can always not communicate the fact that it’s available for free, and only people with Github knowledge will know how to get it for free. Or consider that the price you charge on Gumroad and BM is for support, and deny requests from customers who didn’t pay.

@ keyframe_L

Any thoughts?

The question should be eg. why devs not using module for autoupdate
I think that blender-addon-updater addon must change philosophy to update, eg. when report bug have some of repo like github, gitlab, then should check the tags etc. then list all add-on to try update (as optional way). In fact bether to implement the philosophy as proposed.

Blender Fundation should promo this solution maybe.