Worked on AnxEdit this week. It’s kind of remarkable how much more quickly I can work when the territory is familiar – this really shines a spotlight on how much of the work I was doing before was actually sitting around figuring things out, and how necessary that part of the process was. It also reveals the advantages of experience: it’s not that the more experienced programmer is smarter or even necessarily better at solving problems, it’s that they have solved more problems and thus come to many problems with a ready-prepared solution. Although, of course, that comes with its own drawbacks: If you have a functional solution, you’re less likely to try to figure out a new one, so it’s entirely possible you end up using the a familiar but inferior solution when a fresh approach could yield a new better one.
Anyway. I’ve got most of the basic interface in and working. Files can be saved and loaded, although there isn’t much point to saving them yet since none of the tools to edit them are in place. The timeline displays on the bottom and individual frames can be selected on that timeline, though they’re not set up to be dragged and dropped yet. I ran into some trouble with the animation files assuming a functioning root directory which was unknown by the main program, and solved that by adding a root directory selector tool – with a bit of work I can make it so, once the animation is loaded, its root can be moved so that the animation file saves its file path information relative to that directory. Basically I’ve just been getting everything more or less where it needs to be, building a basic interface that I can start adding tools to.
I’m not sure how long this is going to take. The more I drill down the more I think of tools which would be nice to have and necessary interface elements which I forgot. Still, as I mentioned before, the more problems I solve the more I’m prepared to solve in the future, and I believe this tool will save me time down the road, though we’ll see whether it ends up being as much time as I’m spending on it now. It’s also fun to work on, which is something I’m really coming to appreciate the importance of.