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Lua Studio - The Evolution of AddOn Studio for World of Warcraft


Hey folks, as we've "gone dark" for a while on this project, I wanted to give a quick update on where we are with the development of this project and our goals going forward.


  • Goal #1 - Improve stability and bugs and make the project maintainable - One of the biggest challenges we've had is maintaining the code base and being responsive to additions/updates.
  • Goal #2 - Be a good code example for the Visual Studio Shell - We should be a great example of what a customized IDE experience can be, including using best practices for language, colorization, project system files, and more, including using Visual Studio 2010.
  • Goal #3 - Make a general purpose Lua IDE - A lot of you were asking for the syntax colorization, and editing environment of AddOn Studio to use for any Lua project, without the Warcraft specific content.
  • Goal #4 - Build an extensibility model for games - Similarly, Warcraft is one game that uses the Lua runtime, but there are many others, and game companies should feel free to pick up and distribute their own IDE.

The Bad news: Cutting the Visual Designer

One of the hard decisions we had to make was that we had to cut the visual editor. This was done for a number of reasons, we feel we never got the experience right and complex addons never rendered correctly inside the IDE and Blizzard doesn't expose an API to preview/render FrameXML either. The visual designer was also the #1 cause of tool issues.

While this is a tough thing to do right, it probably could be done correctly, but we don't have the resources to provide a visual editor for Warcraft (or for each Lua-enabled game) and it was the #1 cause of tool issues. Going forward we will include code-only editing for FrameXML files, but it does provide XML IntelliSense (just not a visual designer).

For those of you who do like the visual editor, you can continue to use the current version of AddOn Studio, but we don't have the resources to support that.

Introducing Lua Studio - the evolution of AddOn Studio for World of Warcraft

  • Better installation experience
  • Enables standalone Lua development
  • Works using the Visual Studio 2010
  • Includes Warcraft support: FrameXML code editing and FrameXML IntelliSense, custom project and item templates, warcraft TOC (Table of Contents) file support
  • Provide a solid Lua Code editing experience - syntax colorization and highlighting, IntelliSense, navigation, Find/Replace, Bookmarks, GoTo Line, Full Screen mode

Release Cycle

We are planning to release a beta of Lua Studio soon that will include most of the key features listed above.

Going Forward

We are also looking at adding 1-2 more "light-up" features that we could build given our resource constraints, like:
  • Integrated debugger (for Lua files only)
  • Rename Refactoring

As always, your feedback is important to us and thank you for your support over the years.

Last edited Jul 17, 2010 at 12:29 AM by danielfe, version 1


Celess Mar 11, 2011 at 4:47 PM 
Not sure how much of a heritic this makes me...

t1m1976 Feb 2, 2011 at 10:18 PM 
I agree with the people who say having no visual designer was a bad move. I feel this is a de-evolution on their part and should be labeled as such; how can you evolve by removing something? I agree that there are already so many code/txt editors for people to use with syntax high-lights (intelliSense) already. I feel the team working on this project should have worked to include the visual editor and continued to work through the bugs so that this project could be cutting-edge and above the others. A lot of code/txt editors, that do the same thing as this, are smaller and not full of ugly as Visual Studio is. If there's no visual designer, there's no point to further branding myself with Microsoft products.

vabatta Jan 23, 2011 at 1:30 PM 
But, this project is dead or in a remote future we can downlaod LUA Studio?

DavidJ61 Jan 14, 2011 at 11:10 AM 
"ericfine Nov 13 2010 at 2:53 AM
"Visual" Studio without "Visual Designer"?"

No, that's why it is going to be called LUA Studio...

zys924 Dec 23, 2010 at 5:09 PM 
Code-Only editor sounds fine and more practical than ever. Syntax highlighting and simple intellisense are not the crucial parts which are commonly seen and easily done by some other editors already. If a dynamic intellisense system in which user-defined variables including tables and functions can be recognized comes out, it will be a great revolution. I will of course dedicate myself into this miracle editor and discard the stupid Notepad++~~

ericfine Nov 13, 2010 at 2:53 AM 
"Visual" Studio without "Visual Designer"?

MrExillion Oct 25, 2010 at 4:03 PM 
Check out my suggestion concerning #Develop under Discussion... maby youll agree and change oppinion.

bhaelochon Oct 18, 2010 at 10:14 PM 
OK, so we should use Lua Studio. Where do we find it, exactly?

TiaMaster Sep 14, 2010 at 6:55 PM 
So is this dead or what?

warcraftps Jul 30, 2010 at 12:51 AM 
AddOn Studio for World of Warcraft v2 BETA 2 works great as long as you don't install Patch 3.3.5

warcraftps Jul 29, 2010 at 9:11 PM 
Cutting out the Visual Designer? That is the only reason i use this app.. There are so many code editors out there that it's silly!! Even if the designer doesn't look the same as in the game, it can be tweeked later.

nodesigner = "No point in using the new app";
Error: Big mistake cutting out the designer.. Find another app..

magicsimon Jul 23, 2010 at 5:03 AM 
Sad about the Visual Designer:( Ofcourse im gonna ask of a date, likely for the Lua Studio?
So their aint gonna be any visual at all? A feature that could show the frames?
Keep up the good work:D