The State of Hyle

Published on December 11, 2014

Many have recently asked, rightfully so, what was going on with Hyle. The recent lack of updates brought many to ask if it was still under active development. The answer is yes, it is still under active development.

Growing Hyle past its initial simplistic functions of generating folders and compositions, towards what I wanted it to be, a universal markup syntax to exchange After Effects content as data; was a bigger task than what I initially expected it to be. As it has happened in the development of countless other pieces of software before it, the amount of features brought more and more complexity to a codebase that was not initially built to gracefully scale to this size, until the decision of rewriting and reorganizing everything imposed itself.

I have already been working on rewriting Hyle from the ground up for almost a year now and would’ve liked to release it at this time, but, for many reasons, the development did not go as fast and swift as I initially envisioned. That is why I felt like I should at least let you know where things are and where they are heading.

Free, as in open-source.

Many showed their interest for not only Hyle in itself but also for a way they could make it work with their current workflow or with the script they were developing. Many asked for features, tweaks or corrections; bugs were reported, suggestions were made. I realized that this project could not ever go as fast as it should as long as I would be the only one on board. That is why I decided to open-source everything. This project will go as far as the community will want to take it. As soon as the rewriting is over and the project is stable enough, Hyle will be taken off aescripts + aeplugins and moved on to Github.

New mindset

While working on the new version, I did focus on building a cleaner and better organized codebase, but I also focalized on modularity and making it interface agnostic. The feedback I received led me to understand that Hyle would often be used as a part of something bigger if it would be possible. So, the next version of Hyle will work more as an API than a regular UI Script. The current UI interface will still be available (also open sourced), but will be bundled as a separate script.

What took so long

As stated previously, there are many reasons for it. On the personal level, new projects and challenges had me shift my priorities a little. On the technical side, I learned a lot about ExtendScript and how the Adobe ecosystem works while developing Hyle. But learning and developing solutions oftentimes needed more time and work than expected. The After Effects script development community, while very friendly and supportive, is still a pretty small one compared to most programming languages communities. Therefore, tackling a certain problem does not always have its clear Stackoverflow answer.

For those who purchased Hyle

Many thanks, you are those which confirmed me that Hyle was addressing a real need. The project would not have gotten this far without you. Although the project is going to be free from now on, if there comes to be a paid version of a complementary product (and if all goes well there will), there sure will be a discount for you.

Again, thanks to all of you who have been on board until now and cheers to those planning to follow along. Let’s make something great together.