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PIL, XML and other 3-letter acronyms

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PIL (Python Imaging Library) support was really easy to add with my plugin system in place, providing better image format support and other features if you have it installed. For example, it directly supports grayscale images with an alpha channel, while the Pygame image module supports neither. With Pygame, you have to load such images as RGBA textures, while PIL allows to load them as LUMINANCE_ALPHA, saving processing power, bandwidth and texture memory. Pygame also only supports saving images as BMP.

I was considering how to best reimplement COLLADA loading, and I think my best bet might be to write a tool to generate Python modules directly from the COLLADA XML Schema. Mixing XML tree handling code and scene generating code just seems a bit too hackish... I already tried using generateDS for this, but it just hung up (infinite loop?) after generating about 1.3MB(!) worth of Python code. I couldn't find another tool for doing this, so I'll look into writing one myself. Stay tuned for results.

After I finish COLLADA loading (at least as much as I'm going to do for this release), I might have some nicer screenshots for you to drool at. [grin]
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