Collection methods and the documentation

The SDK reference page for PluginCollection says that it implements the inherited methods Find, Filter, and GetAsText.
But it doesn’t. And according to the object hierarchy, it doesn’t have a base class (so where do those inherited methods come from 🙂

I can’t really remember anymore, but I think all the collection objects derive from a now-undocumented base class; or at least the documentation pretends they do (that made it simpler to auto-generate the pages). That’s why they all have inherited methods and properties, and they all have the same scripting examples.

If we use the OLE-COM Object Viewer that comes with the Windows SDK 7.1, we can check out the object model type library and see what methods PluginCollection really does support:
ITypeLib Viewer

Note: On a reference page, the yellow highlighting marks inherited methods and properties.

Compiled CHM version of the Softimage 2013 SDK guide

The other day, somebody asked whether there was a CHM version of the SDK help. There isn’t. So I downloaded a copy of the [aging and neglected] HTML Help workshop, installed the local version of the Softimage 2013 documentation, and compiled the SDK help into a CHM file.

Get the xsisdk.chm file here

  • You get full-text search.
  • I created the TOC manually, so it has only two levels. But clicking one of the sub-levels (like “Customizing with the SDK” or “Objects A to Z”) takes you to a page with more links.
  • I even added an index, but it has entries only for the commands, objects, methods, and properties. No C++. (I used a Python script to generate the index from some HTML pages in the help.)
  • Some pages will give a script error (because they have an apostrophe in the page title, and that title is used in a script). You can ignore those errors and continue on.
  • Some of the icons at the top of pages, like Home and Add to Favorites will pop up a browser page. I didn’t take the time to update every page to get rid of them.

I almost didn’t bother with the index, because I think you can usually get the same thing with the Search, as long as you enable Search titles only. It’s always bothered me that there’s no index entries like “children, adding” or “polygon meshes, creating” and that you have to somehow know the verb part of the method or command name if you want to find it in the index.

Here’s a few examples of using Search titles only: