I’m well aware that this has been discussed quite a bit in previous threads, and that this is a busy time with the release of 4.0 yesterday. I’d just like to write some thoughts about scripting here, with the hope that they’ll be received as intended: constructive dialog. (Some of this is copied from the Facebook group discussion.)
I understand the philosophy behind limiting scripting at present, which Daniel and others have shared here before. I recognize the desire to focus on proper implementation. And in a perfect world, plug-ins wouldn’t be needed. We’d all like to have our specialized features built directly into Dorico and properly implemented, with all the burden of maintaining the code placed on someone else!
But even a mature program like Acrobat has plug-ins. I used one the other day to automatically add the file name as a watermark to the top right corner of some 2,000 PDFs. I searched for this functionality, found it on an obscure forum somewhere, downloaded it, and voila: it took me literally 60 seconds to set up, then I walked away and let it work for the next hour or so. Any guesses as to how long that would have taken me without a plug-in? I can’t even imagine it…
Of course this sort of specialized task would never become part of Acrobat itself. And for good reason: it would make the program incredibly bloated and unusable.
I’m sure we could easily come up with a list of dozens of such tasks that would suit a very small number of users, would be a massive lifesaver to those users, but would be too specialized to ever be considered for inclusion in Dorico.
That’s why I think the continued limitation of scripting is a missed opportunity. There’s a very enthusiastic community of users here, some with a great deal of expertise in coding. Opening up scripting could really turn them loose on all sorts of helpful plug-ins.
I know development is quite active at present. I don’t think anyone would mind working on scripts with the understanding that the next update could break their script, or render it obsolete by the proper addition of some particular functionality. Anyways, I imagine many of the scripts users would create would be niche enough that their proper implementation would be years down the road, if ever.
LEGO faced a decision about 15 (?) years ago. The company was in crisis (so, a bit different of a scenario than here, I think). They had to decide whether to circle the wagons, or to open up to the user community and involve them. They decided on the latter, and the result was the massive growth of an enthusiastic user base… not just kids, but adults too. Of course I know this isn’t an exact comparison to software, but it’s a fascinating story that I think is pertinent.
Think of the excitement this sort of thing could generate in the Dorico community. I don’t see plug-ins as an implication that a software has stalled in its progress, but rather an invitation to broader usage. I would even try learning it.
I’m just giving one user’s perspective, I’m not presuming I know all the factors at play here. But I do hope there can be serious consideration given to opening this up soon.