Wednesday, December 06, 2006

By way of introduction let me just mention that I have been working with Vr or it's noble predecessor since 1989. While I always have suggestions on how it could be improved, I am not going to apologize for how much I like this software, or the fact that at times I may sound like too much of a cheerleader for it. I have no relationship with Vr other than satisfied customer, and have nothing to gain from the time spent here other than providing an outlet for my enthusiasm for programming and making maps. If anyone has some good tips or information that get passed along to me then that would just be a wonderful plus.
My first introduction to computers as a working tools were HP-UX workstations, collecting data in CADMAP, and programming in C. Over the years I have had the fortune to migrate to C++ and now to Python. I have never been particularly clever or ambitious in my programming, but simply see it as a tool to take the task at hand, and either make it possible, or easier. I have the blessing to work in an environment that encourages me to think, code, and experiment. Time spent learning and improving practices is considered time well spent. Thankfully most of the limited knowledge I do have about good programming flow and practices came from early discussions with Mike Kitaif who ranks up in the top handful of the sharpest people I personally know. I will go ahead and credit any good looking code I happen to come up with to him, though to be honest, most of it is just throwing something together to get a job done.
My thoughts at the moment are to ramble a little about Python, VrPython, and Vr in general. I am a huge fan of stretching the capabilities of Vr with Python. I may mention some of the 100+ tools that we have developed for specific tasks and need to be careful to say that I don't consider this to be an indication of anything Vr is lacking, rather that while offering one of the most user friendly, practical, powerful data collection environments "out of the box", it goes beyond that to offer a potential for power and customization that is truly incredible. Not everyone would like the tools I like, but the beauty is that if not, they can create their own, and if they do the same tools are only minutes away with a few lines of Python.
I have over time have begun to do all my coding in Python and also hope to share some of the ways it can be useful to folks to go ahead and install the full system and find uses for it.

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For anyone interested in trying VrPython for the first time or if you are early in the game, I suggest going to the earliest posts and working forward. I use VrPython every day for many wonderful things, needless to say it will change and could potentially damage a file. Any risk associated with using VrPython or any code or scripts mentioned here lies solely with the end user.

The "Personal VrPython page" in the link section will contain many code examples and an organized table of contents to this blog in a fairly un-attractive (for now) form.