Loading order of workgroup plugins and addons

I recently had reason to investigate the order in which things are loaded from workgroups, and here’s what I found:

  • Workgroup plugins are loaded first.
    Softimage goes through all the workgroups, in the order they are listed in the Plug-in Manager, and loads all plugins that are not in an add-on.

  • Workgroup addons are loaded second.
    Again, Softimage goes through all the workgroups in list order, loading add-on plugins.

What was my motive for looking into this? A plugin that was trying to get the OriginPath of a plugin in the SItoA addon. That was never going to work, because the plugin was loaded before the SItoA addon.

I tested this on Windows 7, not Linux.

Using environment variables in .wkg files

I couldn’t find this in the docs anywhere, but I did find it mentioned in some old emails. You can use environment variables in the .wkg file, like this:


or this:


Either syntax worked for me when I tried it.

There does seem to be some weirdness with loading workgroup shaders this way, but that’s still under investigation.

Setting workgroups at startup

Here’s a simple, low-tech way to connect to specific workgroups at startup:

Instead of xsibatch -w or xsi -w, you could modify setenv.bat to create another .xsipref file in %XSI_USERHOME%\Data\Preferences. Whatever is in that file will override what is in default.xsipref.

So, for example, you could do this:

echo data_management.workgroup_appl_path	= C:\Users\blairs\MyWorkgroup >  %XSI_USERHOME%\Data\Preferences\workgroups.xsipref

or you could use an environment variable:

echo data_management.workgroup_appl_path	= %MY_XSI_WORKGROUPS%  >  %XSI_USERHOME%\Data\Preferences\workgroups.xsipref

This does require you to edit setenv.bat, which isn’t so useful if you have a lot of seats. In that case, if you use a network deployment, you could deploy a %XSI_BINDIR%\SiteDeploy.bat file and use that to echo out the workgroup preference.