# Ruby Plugins for Sketchup

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Here are some Ruby plugins I developed recently during my experimentation with SketchUp:

The scan_plugins plugin monitors any given directory and looks for any changed .rb files. When your code changes, it is reloaded into SketchUp automatically. This means you can work in your own plugin directory, and won’t need to restart SketchUp to test changes to your scripts.

I found the plugin-writing process somewhat frustrating because, in order to install a new plugin, you typically have to quit SketchUp and restart it. This is murder if you test continuously as you develop (as we all do… right?). scan_plugins avoids this problem.

Caveat: because each file will be executed as soon as it is changed, the Ruby files in the specified directory should consist ONLY of SketchUp plugins! Put your Ruby-based disk cleanup programs, WEP-cracking utilities, etc., elsewhere.

I have found this script indispensable while developing other plugins, by greatly reducing the turnaround time for testing.

## Crowd Plugin

The crowd plugin places a selected component at random throughout an area on the x-y (red/green) plane. This was the first plugin I wrote, just to try out the process.

## Current Project

I have been working sporadically on a set of mesh manipulation tools for subdividing, smoothing, joining, and sculpting polygonal meshes. Meanwhile, Subdivide and Smooth [video no longer available] and Tools on Surface are great plugins to get you started with advanced mesh manipulations.