Upgrading Blender add-ons from 2.79 to 2.80

i have started research into upgrading my (commercial) add-ons from 2.79 to 2.80. in documenting what i encounter, i hope i can spare people some frustrations and learn something about add-ons in general. i didn't start earlier, partly because i had some other stuff to do but mainly because the Python API needed to be finalized and more or less stable: with many add-ons to consider for an upgrade starting when everything is still in flux would run the risk of wasting a lot of time.


the Blender developers provided some documentation in the API changes in in a short document. Unfortunately, quite a few of them are breaking changes, i.e. the have to be changed in order to work at all. Many of these changes impact every add-on, like no longer having a register_module() utility function while some others apply mainly to math heavy add-ons, like the use of the @ operator for matrix multiplication. Unfortunately quite a few of my add-ons are math heavy so i will probably need to spend quite some time on this.


the Blender devs decided it was a good idea to force all keyword parameters to actually use those keywords. And indeed this will prevent accidentally using a positional argument as a keyword argument and aid in readability. This is a Good Thing™. However it is bloody annoying that layout.label() is affected by this, which I use a lot which just a single text argument ...
The price for biggest annoyance however goes to the mandatory change that forces class variables that are initialized with a call to some sort of property function like an Operator with for example a size = FloatProperty(name="size") property, to a type annotation like size: FloatProperty(name="size")
A small change it may seem but properties are everywhere so it is a lot of work. And although i read the PEP thoroughly, I fail to see the advantage. I'd rather hoped the devs would concentrate on things that change because of Blender's new structure, like collections and viewport related things, than on this new Python fad ...


I am just starting the research on converting my add-ons but you can expect a couple of articles the next couple of months with hopefully some useful findings.

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