2.5: How much risk in this project, will it become a grand step foward for Blender?

I’ll take the post on face value, as CD hasn’t been a “troll” that I can see and those thinking that should read some of his other stuff (mostly praise and eager waiting on the new features).

I’ll answer the question though, because I think there is an issue worth discussing behind it.

Do I trust the developers? Well, that depends on what I’m actually trusting the developers on. So I’ll re-ask the question two ways, with some more clarity, to get to the two core opinions I have with Blender development.

Do I trust the developers to put together the best tools & user interface for the professional Blender user? Not particularly, but this is not a new thing.

Blender is primarily developed for free by people that love Blender. It is the way Open Source development works. As such, the developers not only work on the things that interest them (which is often not something shared by professional users) but they will implement it in a way that reflects existing Blender methodology &/or their own personal opinion on how something should work.

I’ve been a user of Blender for years, but have used several other tools in my workflow because Blender’s interface left quite a bit to be desired. Among many others, I have called for changing some of the fundamental interface decisions that block new users & those of us who use Blender in a pipeline made up of many other tools. The left-click select that is prevalent in 99% of graphics applications (3D & 2D) was something EVERY professional I ever saw or convinced to try using Blender commented on.The dedicated click for 3D Tool placement. The right to left click “hack” that still has problems (cannot mix it with the ALT key properly). Mouse gestures next to no-one uses. The inability to change shortcut keys that were next to impossible to use on certain keyboards. And so on.

That said, alot of these things are being fixed in the new version. The fact it is still a “trust” issue is that it took so long and the reason given for this (eagerly supported by the fans in the forums) was that “The Blender way is better” and “You’ll just get used to it like you do with every other application”. The first is highly debatable and the second was a poor excuse to not fix things that were broken (left/right click & ALT button for example).

So, to sum up the answer to this. Do I think the Blender developers will implement everything the best way? No I don’t, because they have shown in the past that it takes years of begging, pleading, and flat out arguing for them to see they might not have the best ideas after all. This, however, is a common factor in Open Source development until profit becomes an issue which is not the case in Blender.

I will highlight the fact that I think most the problems I have brought up over the years will be addressed in the upcoming releases. Interfaces are becoming HIGHLY customisable and they are even bringing in n-gons (via the BMesh changes) after the initial 2.49 feature-complete version of 2.5 given the current roadmap.

Do I trust the developers to release stable, efficient, and working code in a reasonable time-frame? Hell yes!

For all my personal disagreements with the direction of development (which I am not paying for, so don’t bring up unless asked - such as in this thread) - the Blender team has consistently delivered working features & bug-fixes much faster, and alot more stable, than any other graphics application project I have dealt with. This includes commercial applications such as Maya (which has crashed more often on my computer than any stable Blender release).

The core developers know what they are doing. Given the personality types of all the great code-monkeys I have met (and my own personality type as a developer) - there is no real surprise that they have strong opinions on how Blender should work. I am just grateful that they have heard the calls for flexibility to allow the rest of us with strong opinions to customise their great application into something that works the way we like it to.

Amen brother.

Quit stalking the devs, CD!

“Trust the developers”!!! C’mon, CD. These guys are way out of either your, or my, league. It’s like watching a bunch of Shakespeares at work. Just sit back, enjoy, and wonder at it all.

From what I understand, the refactor is essential for the ongoing development of the program. Ton’s thing about a “tool for making tools”, and a platform upon which the community can build their own solutions, plays to the strengths of an Open Source project. I like to think of it as a tools and appliances divide. Microsoft Word is an appliance, Emacs is a tool. This vision, I think, is worth the growing pains.

How dare you!

I definitely trust the developers and their commitment to making Blender one of the best 3d apps available.

My only real problem with 2.5 is that I think it’s really too many changes at once. I think it would have been much better to do the refactor first, but keep the interface as close to the 2.4x series as possible. This would allow documentation to catch up while users (new and experienced) still experience a feeling of familiarity with the interface while learning the new features. With the interface changes being done at the same time, there is no real transition period for users. It’s like flicking a light switch and suddenly everything is quite different, and documentation is immediately viewed as out-dated and untrustworthy. Everything looks great, but you have to admit it’s quite a big pill to swallow. It should have been broken in half to make it go down easier.

However, I’m very glad to see that the word “Beta” is finally starting to be used when referring to 2.5. That will help relieve the level of expectation of proper documentation, especially for those that don’t keep up with the details of Blender’s developments. I think the word “Beta” should always be used when referring to 2.5, from now on, because a lot of mixed signals have been spreading for quite a while as to the real nature of the early releases in the 2.5x series.

I agree, I read the commit logs like most people read the sports page. These devs are Olympian coders as far as I can tell. At any rate I trust them way more than I’d trust the marketing of any proprietary package. No software is perfect, but at least open-source is honest.

I think it would have been much better to do the refactor first, but keep the interface as close to the 2.4x series as possible.

Actually, I don’t think that is really possible and/or wise. A primary focus of the refactor is splitting the underlying data structures and editing code from the UI.

To keep the 2.4x look & feel whilst refactoring the underlying code would require them to re-implement the UI (keeping most of the problems they are meant to be fixing!) only to discard the code later for the new UI. In other words, they would be writing new code that they know they will be discarding immediately after release.

Honestly, I quite like the fact they have taken the plunge and decided to make a clean break on alot of their previous assumptions / ideals. To keep most things exactly as they were implies that they were right the first time around… which would mean refactoring the interface is a waste of time right? It is a good developer that can admit they might have got it wrong - even if the admission is only implicit in the fact they are fixing the mistake (rather than explicit in the form of a verbal / written statement).

Let me be 100% clear on my position, to avoid the “troll” label that seems to be attributed to people that disagree with the devs, I am very impressed with the underlying foundations of the Blender code. There is some brilliant, innovative code in there (the RDNA stuff is pretty damn awesome for example) that makes up the foundation of the software. It was only interface stuff (& n-gon support) that I disagreed with in terms of code.

This was the one thing that had me truely worried too and am glad it has been changed. 2.50 has generated a lot of hype outside of the Blender community, I have seen links to Lightwave, Modo and XSI forums where 2.50 was been disscused. Seeing the roadmap that was linked to in the much bigger 2.50 thread. I hope what was tagged as 2.60 becomes the offical 2.50 extensively tested, feature complete and with documentation in place.

I dont think the phrase “Do you trust the devs” is the right way to phrase it but I will give my small view on this:

There will always be a bit of defence from a developer or anyone that puts their sweat and tears into a project for free.
Things happen when the devs want it to happen and they do basically how they want to do it. This is the strength and weakness of free and OSS.
In the same breath I can also say that if they where not doing a good job we wont be here right? We wont see all these amazing work being posted right?

I personally can’t thank the devs enough for all their hard work and I am always amazed to see how Blender is progressing. I however don’t do a lot of work with Blender itself. I’m a Lightwave user and there are features in LW that I would love to see in Blender. The biggest thing was a more standardized interface and my expectations have been surpassed here.

I am hoping that with Blender 2.5 / 2.6 I can switch to it for 90% of my work instead as to have to upgrade my Lightwave again. In a sense Blender and Lightwave is going through the same issues. They are also re coding the interface and underlying architecture and it’s pretty interesting to see Blender and Lightwave going through the same issues regarding what the community responds.

To answer the topic question then.
I think Blender 2.5 was VERY needed. We will see new users pick it up and get working with it more so than pre- 2.5 on the interface alone. That is a boon to Blender and the community as a whole and I think Blender has now taken n massive leap and matured in mindset to any other Open Source application I have seen to date.

I can’t wait for the post 2.5 journey to begin and again I can just commend all the people working on it.

Had a good laugh reading this thread :slight_smile:

  • Don’t trust devs as far as you can spit a rat, often they add some amazing sounding feature and only test it on a cube. (I’m not even kidding!)
  • Devs make stupid mistakes all the time, it never hurts to double check their code
  • Try to be skeptical, then we don’t dash your hopes when things aren’t overwhelmingly incredible!

yeah it is a kinda an arb thread…

I think there are people who write a lot in this forum, but using blender very little. =:-)))))))
I would like to see more works of artists and less … blah, blah, blah

Thanks for your work

You missed one thing there which I think is important, so I’ve to rectify it.

To have a software being lead by someone that do not share the user’s point of view is quite common. In closed software industry, the leaders that search for new features are salesmen, they do involve the software in a way they think will produce many money, and they don’t care of what their users need. In open source software stuff, as you’ve said, most common leaders are programmers and not end users, that’s true.

But Blender’s way of programming new features is way clever than that. Blender is involved in a production process of an open content film as BBB or ED, and in this situation it reveals the weak points that need to be worked on. And the weak points are pointed out by… end users ! and (mostly) not programmers !

That was my point :slight_smile:

@EBrain, generally your right, BUT…

  1. a number of blender programmers have been users or are users too
  2. OpenProjects also suffer from a term I call “Open Project Syndrome” :slight_smile: where just enough is done to keep the artists happy/productive but some design flaws are not really well sorted out, artists can live with weirdo key shortcuts and known bugs if they use blender daily but for normal users its not so acceptable. - Id really like to have an OpenProject with one guy dedicated to bugfixing/profiling/validating-artist-bugs/optimizing! 2-3 devs is not enough to address many of the problems artists experience.

I’ll pose a question: How many people here can calculate Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity for two contrasting, co-moving points near the event horizon of a black hole?

At one time, I could. You know what? At one time, I had my own 3D software semi-functional too. I worked on it for 1.5 years, sometimes 6 hours a day.

After a while, you see, understanding the effect of one simple tool in a chain of the many simple tools you will use on a mesh or model, becomes absolutely atrocious.

It got to the point where I would spend 3 hours staring at/modifying a freaking flow chart of my program model before I could make one simple change to the software. Hunting down bugs made me pull my hair out/would take several days sometimes.

The fact is, Blender 2.4 suffered some major growing pains. That is, it grew faster than it’s “skeleton” could handle.

These developers, they understand Blender’s internal structure, it’s program flow chart. The logic behind how every component would or should affect every other component. It is much, much harder than Einstein’s theory.

I have total faith in them. TOTAL. 2.5 is going to have a real flow chart and program map. Bugs will be easier to hunt down. New tools will be easier to implement. That’s it. I’m in.

I’m always amused by CD’s tabloid-style postings and his gossipy speculation. Seriously. I’m smiling right now. It’s like a kid at camp speculating about which counselors are hooking up with whom, but more importantly how Jim and Anne making out behind the pool house will affect the campers and tomorrow’s lunch menu!

  1. OpenProjects also suffer from a term I call “Open Project Syndrome” :slight_smile: where just enough is done to keep the artists happy/productive but some design flaws are not really well sorted out, artists can live with weirdo key shortcuts and known bugs if they use blender daily but for normal users its not so acceptable. - Id really like to have an OpenProject with one guy dedicated to bugfixing/profiling/validating-artist-bugs/optimizing! 2-3 devs is not enough to address many of the problems artists experience.
    Absolutely agreing here. I have handled many packages, and detected(many years ago, and have been polished through the years, many features you now see natural in blender, had an strong oposition by users to be added, while they were available in other tools (and I don’t mean cloning anything)) those small things in blender, I know which they are in a big number… (nothing serious, but can be improved, that is exactly what they’re doing!): 2.5 is a necesary step forward (but in many more directions)

I can’t understand why old veterans (maybe am old and am veteran XD) could be fearing anything (at all! ) at this advanced moment of the film… geez, blender has no danger(imo is in the brightest moment in its history, good news is it’s always so in the most recent moment every time (200% growing. Always.)). Is more solid than any comercial app, in terms of “long shot life”… I agree with ideasman. And no UI/internals/workflow solution are perfect . No one…so is why evolution will allways be welcome…

But those fears (if there can be a “fear” in sth that is actuall a 3d app… ) …man… I thought it was a sort of joke, but seems is not. :evilgrin:

If a group of coders has demostrated to be eficient as heck, those are blender’s ones…IMO.

After reading the thread title, i wasn’t surprised to read the Name “Cyborg Dragon”…

No further words…

Yeah, I think I figured out who started this thread when about half-way through reading the title. My morbid curiosity compelled me to look in on what I expected to be another CD train-wreck.

I’m pleasantly surprised to see that at least one of his paranoid outbursts actually resulted in a valid discussion and some interesting views.

A year or two from now, I’m sure many will look back and laugh at some of the overly pessimistic/optimistic expectations at this phase of development. I trust the devs to do what they’ve always done - improve Blender.

I only hope that many more users will do their part … reward the devs by improving their art using these tools, and supporting them through useful and positive feedback (not to mention financial contributions).