In the latest and greatest SketchUp 8 maintenance release, M2, we added an easier way for users to install your Ruby scripts. In the past, folks had to manually copy your .rb files into their Plugins folder, or you would have to write a custom installer to do it for them.
Now there's a button in SketchUp that'll make this easier. It's found under Preferences > Extensions > Install Extension. Clicking this button will bring up a file browser window where your users can select any .RBZ file from their harddrive, and SketchUp will put them in the right spot plus load them up. No more fumbling around looking for the Plugins folder. No need to restart SketchUp to see your shiny plugin.
But what is an RBZ file?
And how do I make one?
It's simple. RBZ files are nothing more than ZIP files. You can use your favorite ZIP tool (I like 7-zip on Windows) to create the archive, then rename it to have a .RBZ extension. Anything you put inside of this RBZ file, including files and subfolders, will be unpacked into the user's Plugins folder. That's it!
So let's say you had a plugin with the following files in it:
- SketchUp 8/Plugins/helloworld.rb
- SketchUp 8/Plugins/helloworld_files/hello.html
- SketchUp 8/Plugins/helloworld_files/smiley.png