Ok, so you probably have heard that maya switched its interface to QT in 2011, which opens up a world of possibility's for those of us who want to make UI's that can go above and beyond what MEL used to offer us.
So how do we get started?
Well if your like me, you probably are not too keen about in programming UIs in C++ to run commands we are scripting with python, so our first step is going to be to go and get 'pyQT'. pyQT is developed by Riverbank Computing (where as QT itself is developed by Nokia). PyQT allows us to write QT UI's with python.
What if I am writing code in MEL?
Well then your shit out of luck. perhaps this is the push you need to make the switch to python (having programmed in MEL for 3-4 years, I can tell you, once you learn python, you will never want to look at MEL again... ever)
Does it come with maya?
Nope. This is largely due to licensing issues.
So we get it from Riverbank's website? Not really. First thing is that it needs to be compiled. Furthermore from what I understand the version shipped with maya, does not line up with the way riverbanks versions (and this list of complications goes on)... but lucky for us, other TDs have done this leg work for us. For this you can thank Nathan Horne.
Now we download pre compiled file from his website:
maya 2011: http://nathanhorne.com/?p=229
maya 2012: http://nathanhorne.com/?p=322
and install to C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Maya2011\Python (or where ever your maya is installed to).
This should get you up and running (it did for me anyways, I am running on windows 7, with maya 2011). Stay tuned for our first simple window