Process/Addons

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Add-ons

Blender builds and releases include python script add-ons that extend its functionality. This page has information for developers who want to have their add-on bundled with Blender.

Mandatory prerequisites to get an add-on accepted

You must be aware that your add-on will be integrated into the official Blender distribution. Therefor you must ensure there is continuous support for keeping your add-on working and fixing bugs as they appear. So you must commit yourself (or find a maintainer who does it for you) to do the maintenance (see General Guidelines for Add-on Developers below)

Contact

Repositories

Add-ons are hosted in two Git repositories, that are automatically checked out as a submodule of the main Blender repository.

They can be found in these two directories of the main Blender repository:

release/scripts/addons
release/scripts/addons_contrib

Submitting an Add-on

The reviewer will decide if the add-on can be included in official release, included in the Contrib repository or can't be included. If the add-on is in the Contrib repository and matures, you can later mail bf-python and ask for the add-on to be moved to the repository for official releases.

If the add-on is on track to be included in official releases, you may be asked to submit it to our Code Review tool for a closer review.

General Guidelines for Add-on Developers

If you attempt to submit your add-on either to the contrib section or to the release section of the add-on Repository, then your add-on will undergo a review process. Within this process changes may be requested to keep inline with good coding practices. Those changes may be provided by you or by the reviewer. This will be clarified with the reviewer on a case by case basis.

Once your add-on is accepted and hosted in the Blender release section or the contrib section, you become responsible for maintaining your add-on and you get commit permissions to the add-on repository...

Duties of an Add-on maintainer

As soon as you got the commit permissions you...

Must Do

  • Maintain and further improve your add-on by yourself.
  • Ensure your add-on keeps working with new Blender Releases and API changes. Therefor check regularly & keep up to date in between Blender Official release to ensure your add-on is working in the next release of Blender.
  • Handle bug reports from users.
  • When you add new features then you also should add brief documentation and explanations to the Blender release notes.
  • Check regularly for patches to your add-on from other users and eventually commit updates they make using the current git version of the add-on as the base.

Avoid unmaintained Add-ons

Add-ons that are not supported (or no longer supported) by their authors may be removed from Blender if they are broken & we can not find a maintainer.


Should Do

  • Join the bf-extensions-cvs mailing list to see what's going on, and optionally the bf-python mailing list.
  • Write good commit messages that explain which add-on and what exactly you change (good example).
  • It's acceptable to test other developers’ add-ons, and commit small fixes to their code (like a typo or obvious bug fixes).
  • Optional: make your script pep8 compliant and follow best practice.


Never Do

  • Commit code that is not GPL2+ or compatible with it.
  • Commit code you are not the author of (unless you have the author’s authorization).
  • Commit big changes to other add-ons (unless you get the author’s permission).
  • Commit binary files like .exe, .pyc, .pyd, .dll, .whl, etc.
  • Add commit logs in your code (Git logs should be enough)

Working with Git

The same advice from our Git Usage page applies here.

If you have a full Blender checkout, you can go into the release/scripts/addons or release/scripts/addons_contrib directory, and it's as if you are working in the Blender Add-ons or Blender Add-ons Contrib repositories directly. You can do all the typical git commands there for adding files, committing changes, and fetching and rebasing updates.

Optionally you can choose to clone the individual repositories and work there:

git clone git://git.blender.org/blender-addons.git
git clone git://git.blender.org/blender-addons-contrib.git

Bug Reports

Bugs for all add-ons are reported to the add-ons project on developer.blender.org. If a bug is filed for your add-on, the bug will be assigned to you as the add-on maintainer.

You can also help out with bugs that are marked as Needs Triage in the tracker, to assign them to the right maintainer, confirm the problem or even fix the bug yourself.

External "Commercial" Add-ons

Blender Foundation will accept add-ons from commercial vendors or services (like 3D printing, web publishing, render farms) under the following conditions:

  1. Compliancy
    The add-on should comply to the same quality/design rules as we do for regular add-ons. That includes license compliancy, but also to not include banners, logos or advertisement.
  2. Clear user benefit
    The add-on should provide functionality to 3D artists that's useful to have inside Blender. It can't be for promotional usage of non-functional features (like linking to websites only, for tutorials, etc).
  3. The add-on will not be enabled by default
  4. Developed and maintained well
    The add-on is being created and maintained by the service provider (or a contracter managed by them).
  5. Development Fund support
    The service provider signs up for Diamond Sponsor level (250 euro per month). Cancelling a payment then also means we can drop the add-on. Any service that's not making this profits per month with an add-on, can be considered to be not interested to have such an add-on either.