Addon development for newbies


I am new to anki, and I want to contribute to the community by creating addons.

But unfortunately my python skills are not really great. I have never created a program that is more than 300 lines of code.

i have looked at anki addons development page, but the content seems a little too advanced (i have attempted it, but failed to get anything working)

is there a place that i should study before attempting anki addons?

i know that reading the source code is the best thing to do. But, the source code is soooo large, and i have no idea where to start (ie which file to start reading).

in fact, i never really understood it when people say to go and read the source code of a program. programs are usually so extensive, and there aren’t many comments to help the users understand the code (I know that developers are too busy to annotate the code, so im not complaining)

i would really appreciate any help and advice.

use gpt4 or claude+,
i made 6 useful (to me) macros for mindmanager and python scripts.

btw, if you got a code, you can post into gpt4/c+ and ask it to tell you how it work.
among other things.

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As a beginner as you mention, you should firstly get used to python and maybe other standard programming languages.
I think anki is much too advanced for this as the documentation is lacking pretty much everything and you have to know stuff pretty well.
So maybe think of some own simple apps or such in first place, if you want to aim on anki architecture, with Qt. If you want to further modify the shown HTML content, you should also aim on HTML, JS and CSS or similar.

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Hi @anki23 ,

I was in exactly your position some years ago. I read the book python crash course and the official docs, later on I became a software developer and wrote a blog post explaining in detail the source code of the add-ons I wrote when I was beginning which could be helpful: How to write Anki add-ons by example ( but I would still recommend spending some time with Python programming, and Python Crash Course would be my recommendation.



@carbontube You are my hero. Thank you so much for this!

Yes, I am definitely planning to use AI.

I was just worried about where to start in terms of source code. By that, I mean where is the entry point. As soon as I am able to figure out the entry point, I can just branch out.

Thank you for the claude+ suggestion. I haven’t heard of it before!

You want to start coding addons. Look for some small ideas for addons. Then try to figure out how to make them. Have a look at (well made) existing add-ons. You can often reuse a lot of code. Then try to find out which parts of the anki source code are relevant and look at them. After having made or modified a few add-ons you should have a basic understanding of the anki source code most relevant for add-on development.

If you are looking for ideas for add-ons: there are many threads about suggestions for new add-ons in this forum or the anki subreddit or just look at once popular add-ons on ankiweb that no longer work and that usually have many recent downvotes.

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time flies,
gpt4 enpowered me to wrote my 1st anki addon too.

its MUCH simpler than one would think.