melDrop - install scripts like 123

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  12 December 2008
melDrop - install scripts like 123

Now I know there have been some ideas about installers for mel scripts but... just have a look at that: I like it! :]


( its still not possible to actually embedd videos here huh? ;] )

So melDrop is a tool to help installing other tools. Let the user install melDrop and he can drop scripts like that. No more exploring, hacking, browsing.. just:
0. get melDrop, open zip, drop it into Maya (only once)
1. get a new script in a zip (e.g. melDropEnabler, resetPivot...)
2. drag & drop all files into the Maya viewport
3. click ok ok ...
thats it! It can:

  • copy the script and an icon file (to userScriptDir/userBitmapsDir)
  • create shelfButton
  • setup Hotkey
  • make the script run on Maya startup
all optionally.
Ok. It does not support just any script out of the box. melDrop needs to know what to do.

But you can really simply compile a nice zip package with melDropEnabler.:




all features of melDrop can be easily set up with it.
The zip feature is actually the one I like the most :] Its very convenient if you like to publish a script. And it really doesn't touch your file at all.
On the other hand: The enabler can also write the melDrop-call to the file directly which is useful for a script repository in a LAN e.g.

To be honest: You may have seen that I posted the problems it has directly at the highend upload. I know this is not perfect.:

  • writes to userScriptDir ONLY
  • supports ONLY one script file (which is not so bad I think)
  • supports ONLY one icon file (this is worse!)
  • proc name is called without arguments ONLY (on created hotkeys and shelfButtons)
  • no python support yet
Ah and not to forget about the Maya behaviours:
  • Maya throws an Error on dropping a .txt file
  • Maya > 7 opens up fcheck on dropping an .xpm
Does someone know how to prevent Maya from nagging about that and opening fcheck completely useless? I mean, I could tell the user to select only the .mel-files BUT: icons wouldn't be extracted that way and its more convenient to just select all (ctrl+a) instead of specific stuff.

Besides that its already a really easy to use thing. And I think all in all it already covers 95% of my needs so far.

However I really like to read what you think about it.
Would you use it?
What are your concerns? ideas? critics? and even bugs!

Oh! One further addendum: scripts can be fetched here:
melDrop - http://www.highend3d.com/f/5514.html

melDropEnabler - http://www.highend3d.com/f/5516.html
have fun
__________________
goodsoul.de

Last edited by ewerybody : 12 December 2008 at 08:36 AM.
 
  12 December 2008
Dang are you joking? I literally wrote pretty much this exact script like one month ago. I just put whatever scripts I want into a folder with their icons and any info, run a command that packs it into a single mel file that you can drag and drop into maya and you can select which scripts to load or you can read a manual of the script then it installs everything automatically and puts it on the whatever shelf you want.

oh well... good practice I suppose
 
  12 December 2008
hey GravidEngine! hehe
nice. Are you going to release it as well?

I actually wrote that 8 month ago but I was unsure how to finish it. Some peeps demanded to make it possible to install stuff to a certain self chosen folder. But I ditched the idea. Because it breaks simplicity too much. Now I have a quite solid solution. But its still unfinished as well.

What I want to do next:
  • get rid of melDrop pre installing
  • implement a all-on-one-view dialog. So you have to do only one click
you know how to get rid of fcheck popping up?
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goodsoul.de
 
  12 December 2008
this looks great !

i will certinly pick it appart to see how it works !
__________________
maya@reddit r/maya
 
  12 December 2008
fcheck? I don't understand why fcheck is coming up.

What pre-installing do you have to do?

I literally just drag the mel in, specify a folder to compile and it takes all of the files into a mel script it outputs. Then you can drag the generated mel script in and selecte which scripts to install. The one thing "bad" about mine is that the naming convention for the icon, script, and info file have to be the same... but it doesn't really bother me and any other way I can think of would be just as troublesome.
 
  12 December 2008
@berniebernie:
Sure go Ahead! But you could just ask me as well. I'd be glad to answer any of your questions concerning the thing.

@GravidEngine:
Yea currently the user would have to install melDrop first the same way: downloading the zip and drag it into Maya. But actually it wouldn't hurt If I deliver the script each time one drag&drop installs stuff that way. The user actually wouldn't need the melDrop-procs on the harddisc. He just needs it the very moment he installs the scripts. But modifying melDropEnabler that way is easy.

fcheck pops up when one drags xpms into the maya viewport. Maya connected the .xpm-extension to open in fcheck for some reason... I mean its a little nuisance but it doesn't hurt. But you need to drag the xpms as well because otherwise they won't be extracted to the same place and melDrop couldn't get them to copy them to the userBitmapsDir
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goodsoul.de
 
  12 December 2008
Ah I get you. I can't imagine that you could use something without installing it in some way though.

Well... why does anyone use xpms? I mean I'm sure there is a reason... I just use .bmp and would like to know why xpm.

I'll have to download your script... I can't understand how it works from your description.
 
  12 December 2008
If you don't care about that your Icons only work on Windows Maya you can keep using bmp no problem. But on Mac or Linux these won't work. Thats why I use xpms :]

I actually created a little Autohotkey script that can create Maya conform transparent XPMs from xnView created 32color XPMs...


About how it works... I was thinking about making a graph to show whats going on. But actually its easy:

you drag files from zip to maya. then:
  • zip-application extracts to temp
  • zip-application hands files to maya
  • maya sources all .mel-files, nags about others...
  • maya executes the commands called when sourcing
  • melDrop command works the given arguments:
  • gets location of targetProc
  • asks for copy .mel-file to userScriptDir (copies file then)
  • asks for writing to userSetup.mel
  • gets location of icon file next to the mel in temp
  • asks for creating shelf button (creates button, copies icon then)
  • asks for creating hotkey (sets up hotkey)
__________________
goodsoul.de
 
  12 December 2008
This looks phenomenal


THANKS for sharing this with us all.
 
  12 December 2008
Quote: Does someone know how to prevent Maya from nagging about that and opening fcheck completely useless? I mean, I could tell the user to select only the .mel-files BUT: icons wouldn't be extracted that way and its more convenient to just select all (ctrl+a) instead of specific stuff.



I am pretty sure the reason the xpm files are opening with fcheck is because that is the default application to open them on your OS. try changing it to a different app to test this. Off the top of my head I would bet maya is set up to execute the launchImageEditor command when any image file is dropped into it.
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- elenerville
 
  12 December 2008
Originally Posted by DOor: I am pretty sure the reason the xpm files are opening with fcheck is because that is the default application to open them on your OS. try changing it to a different app to test this. Off the top of my head I would bet maya is set up to execute the launchImageEditor command when any image file is dropped into it.
You didn't try it yourself, didn't you? ;]

Its always fcheck. No matter what you set up in your system (i use ddsview or xnview for xpm or bmp) OR in Maya prefs for "Application Path for Viewing Images" (I tried to set it to xnview as well). Unfortunately :/ And I couldn't find any hint so far. Seems to be hardcoded.
__________________
goodsoul.de
 
  12 December 2008
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