What IDE do you use for MEL development?



can’t we just use TCL syntax highlighting in SCite?
is there a deep syntax difference between mel and tcl?
here is what TCLers say about mel :



me too. pretty much the same reasons. but I like UltraEdit for most things. mainly because I can ALT+TAB to it.

the MelStudio panel gets lost in Maya sometimes. Sometimes I have to close The Hypergraph, the Outliner, Hypershade, AE, just to find my damn code floating in the MELStudio window. ALT+TAB is much faster.


Well after read all of your posts, i found the best two are:
UltraEdit & Mel Studio

How about let’s talk the differences between those?

ALT + TAB is one of the advantages for UltraEdit.

Fast Execute right in Maya is one of the advantages for Mel Studio.

Like that.


u can also fast execute Uedit too… Let’s say i’m working on a script called ya_shaderList.mel (hehe it’s my script :P) in Uedit. To fastly source it in maya i create a shelf button with the command source ya_shaderList.mel and then i can simply click the button to source the script. It’s easy and due to ALT+TAB it’s better that the space hungry MELStudioLE… ofcourse on big scripts, not tests.



Now the big question, when will they port Mel Studio to Maya 7?


I have heard so much about MEL Studio recently and have been trying to find the LE version for download but all the links are dead. It seems the digimation domain is down. Anyone know what’s up or where I can get LE?


Yeah, I was just about to post about the same thing as Enbee. I haven’t found MelStudio anywhere (read: quick google search), and I would be curious to try it out - It looks like it would be awesome for quick iterations and short script development. Did Digimation go out of business?

I am surprised that no one else has mentioned it (or maybe I just didn’t see), but I use the vc 2003 .net IDE - mostly because if I am writing a big script, I’ll probably be writing a plugin to go with it as well, and for that I’ll want to use vc’s debugger. I know that there is some way to syntax highlight it, but I can’t figure out how to do it…


Update of MelStudioPro for Maya 7? When??? :sad:


Just found a way to edit mel files in Visual Sudio 2003. Here’s a link showing how to enable the syntax highlighting of .mel files:



I use MelStudioPro since three years and I’m very hapy with it but now, I just install Maya 7 and I have the same problem with the new API.
I don’t no for what MelStudio is not incorporate in Maya. Max, do you refuse Alias propositions?
To bad. I hope it’s possible to work with MelStudio in Maya 7.
I see nothing on www.digimation.com for Maya7.
Best regards


I use Mel Studio when inside Maya. To me, being able to execute your script, or a portion of it, immediately, outweighs ANY bells or whistles that other text editors may provide. When not inside Maya, I use Notepad2 for small programming tasks, ConTEXT for bigger tasks.

To me, programming is not about cool features that I’ll never use, it’s about writing clean, easy to understand code. Anything with auto-indent and syntax highlighting, like Notepad2, is sufficient. Just you and the code–that’s the way it should be!

It’s like screenwriting software. People who spend $300 for it, think that it will write the screenplay for them. Little do they know, you could write a screenplay in Wordpad!

I hope there are others here who share my sentiment.


Hi guys,
MEL Studio for Maya 7.0 will be probably released next week. It will be a compatibility release, so there won’t be new features on it… But I’m working on MEL Studio 2.0 alpha right now.

I’m going to add the possibility to detach MEL Studio window from Maya UI, so you will be able to fast switch to it using ALT+TAB :wink:

If you have any suggestion on how to improve my plug-in, plese let me know. I will try to fit your needs.



Hi Max,
good news. I have a suggestion. I like a function for hide a part of a script, like the contents of a DO or into {…}. I think it’s very interesting for lisibility.


This is already in my to do list.




MaxL: Some search/replace field on the right side of the top menu panel would be handy. Also if there would be a way to kind of group the procedures, so they will not show up all together. Also I think I can help a bit with that variable reading problem, check your PM’s.



For those guys that are using jEdit:

I’ve just made some macros for sending mel from jEdit to Maya. Telnet caused problems so jEdit is working through jython interpreter which can talk to Maya…

Grab jEdit Mel Sender v0.1 and test it out!

PS: You can also try jEdit Maya Editor Plugin 1.1.0, which is quite similar but it also cathes output from Maya… Anyways, i prefer my own:)


I always use text editor at first and then copy the text to Maya script editor.But the big problem is it can not display the commands in color automatically.


Hey MaxL, I’ve got a quick question:

I’m trying to convince my employer to pick up a copy or two of MelStudio to help in our daily work flow, and I would like to know how the policy of upgrading to MelStudio2.0 would go, and when it would come out. I realize that DigiMation publishes the plugin, and may not give you a lot of feedback on the marketing side, but whatever information you have would be helpful.

Essentially, I am asking whether or not it is worth it to pick up MelStudio now, or continue evaluating it until MelStudio2.0 comes out.


BTW, it is an awesome piece of work - kudos


I read through all of the messages here with people talking about their favorite MEL editor, and honestly, I’m half surprised that my favorite one wasn’t meantioned. For those who haven’t it, its worth at least trying, its java, so its available for every platform and is not just great for MEL (in fact, I use it primarly for RenderMan).

Its called Cutter. Written by Malcolm Kesson.

He’s my renderman professor at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design).

You can obtain it at his website: www.fundza.com. In a single quarter, he updated the software at least 5+ times (that he told us about, I also found that he updated it at least once without telling us).

One cool thing you can do is connect to maya’s command interface through the editor, that way you can pipe commands directly into maya if you so choose (I haven’t used this yet, but i’ve used similar things, such as network sharing, where you connect to another person’s cutter and can give them access to an item they are working on).

This program is good for MEL, great for renderman, and can do tons of different things.

(If you are not interrested in the program, please skip the rest of my message now)

I personally love it because it has templates for many thing built in, for instance, shaders, ribs, a few shake scripts, such as resizeing so you never have to actually open up shake, some tcl items (however I do not know tcl so i cant expound on it). He’s really done a great job with this program.

I’m just saying this because I have used it, i’ve used emacs, vi, etc and I just fell in love with this program. Although its intended primarly for renderman, i’m sure you’ll at least like it, if not love it.

(btw: alt/ctl + e in cutter will make your life easy, you can select text and hit alt/ctl + e and it will run it, based on what text you select, so if you dont select anything, it will try to run the window that is open based on it’s file extension, if you select say, a line that gives a console command and do the shortcut, it will run that shortcut, etc, which is really useful when you need to run commands that are closely tied with your code, that way you place the command in comments and whenever you need to run the program, its there.

Just figured I should pass on my favorite program :slight_smile:

Hope you like it.


I’ve updated my UltraEdit Syntax Highlighting for Maya 7.0. (Direct copy of the MEL commands from the help files into the word file)

EDIT: Updated the wordfile to include Maya 7.0 nodes aswell.