Customizing Script Menus – Clean Up Your Monitor!

    Version: Deadline 7.2, 8.0

    Intro

    Whenever you see a newly supported application appear in the Monitor, you can be sure that there are at least a handful of our clients who are quite pleased that another application in their pipeline was brought into the Deadline fold. However, to many others it might represent nothing more than extra clutter in the Monitor’s ‘Submit’ menu, forever pushing down their favorite submitter! Even though we’ve improved our default menus from the days of yore (when every single Submitter entry was just in a flat menu), it’s starting to get to the point where we might have to re-evaluate how we organize them again...

    Until we do, however, if you are frustrated at the ever-growing list of submitters – or if you secretly yearn for the olden days without submenus – I have good news for you! Not only can our script menus be fully customized, it also happens to be super easy to do.

    Let’s Get Started, Shall We?

    In order to start tweaking the Monitor’s script menus, you will first need to bring up the configuration dialog located under ‘Tools’ -> ‘Configure Script Menus...’ in the Monitor. Note that you need to be in Super User mode to access this, because changes made here will affect everyone connecting to your repository.

    Now that you’re familiar with the spot where the magic happens, it’s time to make the Monitor’s script menus conform to your grand vision!

    Trimming the Fat

    The immediately obvious use of script menu customization is to remove the few dozen submitters that your studio doesn’t use. In order to do this, simply select the entries that you wish to hide from the list, click the ‘Edit Selection’ button, and uncheck the ‘Enabled’ box.

    Once you’ve done this, I also find it helpful to move all the disabled items to their own submenu (especially if there’s a lot of them), in order to keep the Script Menu Editing UI clean. To achieve this, first create a new submenu by clicking ‘Add Submenu’ button, and naming it appropriately. Once this has been done, simply select all the disabled items, and drag/drop them into this newly created menu. And don’t worry, if all child items of a submenu are disabled the submenu itself will not show up, so you’re not adding back more clutter to your menus by doing this!

    Easy Access

    Now that we have less entries in our ‘Submit’ menu, we really probably don’t need all those submenus, we can probably just flatten the list to make the useful submitters easier to reach. Doing this is a simple matter of dragging and dropping them from the submenus into the base level menu. Feel free to add a couple separators to break things up too; just use the aptly named ‘Add Separator’ button to do so, and drag/drop it to the desired location.

    If you’re interested in making it even easier to access your frequently-used submitters, you can also configure some hotkeys for the menus you use most. This is again done via the ‘Edit Submission’ button, and is fairly straightforward – just click on the button next to the ‘Keyboard Shortcut’ label, and make sure to pick something that doesn’t overlap with an existing hotkey!

    So there you have it – once you accept your changes, you should now have a nice, clean ‘Submit’ menu, along with hotkeys to access your favourite entries!

    Not Just Submission Scripts

    The above info also applies to all of our other script menus – to customize those, simply select the category of interest from the ‘Script Menu to Edit’ dropdown. There are, however, a few extra options in the ‘Edit Selection’ dialog that are available with some of the other panel-specific menus. While these aren’t super relevant for most of our shipping scripts, they’re great options to know about if you’re writing custom scripts.

    The first of these is the option to enable ‘Multi-Select’. Normally, without this option enabled, scripts will be hidden from right-click menus as soon as multiple jobs are selected. If you’ve written a script to perform an operation on multiple selected Jobs, this option is a must-have!

    The second option is the ‘Supported States’ option. This should be used if your custom script is only intended to work on a Job/Task/Slave/etc that is in a certain state. A good example would be any kind of cleanup script, which likely should only ever apply to Completed or Failed jobs, which is easy enough to configure with this filter.

    The third option is only available for Job / Task scripts, but allows you to filter on a per-plugin basis. To continue the cleanup script example, it’s easy to imagine you might have a different script for each application – again, all you have to do in this case is check the option to configure these, and select the plugins to which the script applies.

    Wrapping Up

    So there you have it – not only is the Script Configuration tool a useful tool for increasing visibility and accessibility of default scripts used in your pipeline, it is also invaluable in ensuring your own custom scripts are only displayed in scenarios where they are useful. And as always, if you have any feedback on how we can make this feature better, feel free to drop us a line and let us know!