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(Houdini-like) Maya configuration

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I'm force to take a look into Maya's specifics of a pipeline and configure it similarly to Houdini's in the studio. I know Maya very little, so I thought I could catch here someone Maya savy to hand me a couple of hints or maybe a link to some blog about that subject?


1) Basically I want Maya to look for plugins, scripts, modules, and shelfs in different locations in appropriate order: install/studio/show/home. Whenever I try to use global variables (like MAYA_SCRIPT_PATH), some things work some don't. mel scripts are seen from both home and studio locations, but  python not. There are other issues like that. Is there any canonical solution? 


2) I'd like to create custom menues (main window), specific for a show or an user. Where should I look for that to work?



Thanks in advance!


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1. Never had that issue. Have tried to remove all mel from our pipeline and what is left is loaded on demand through sourcing instead of MAYA_SCRIPT_PATH.



*For user specific they can have their own userSetup.py in their home folder

*For project specific you can create a userSetup.py in a project specific folder and add different folders depending on project to MAYA_SCRIPT_PATH through your Maya launcher.




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