First of all Blender is great. So great it’s monolithic, and monolithic projects are hard to manage and even harder to suit towards so many people. But I’m having some trouble. If this was the only issue i’d come across where i had to stop and ask the internet for a work-around instead of relying on 4 years of industry experience to figure out things quickly I’d be chill. But there are so many little things like this and it’s driving me nuts that i feel like if i submit a request it’d going to be ignored or overlooked. I feel like the blender team need a STACK EXCHANGE entirely just for user feedback. People will ACTUALLY see things that are worthwhile and can vote it up or down.
For those who don’t know what i’m talking about, look here:
Look how simple, modern and easy that system is. Look how EFFICIENT it is. It’s completely powered by the interest of it’s users. It even has a satisfying reward system which encourages users to help each other. Relying a third party that specialists in meta-data is what i think is key to ironing out some of the most overlooked, top requests.
The difference is that maybe only the developers should be able to answer feature requests.
I wanted to bounce this off everyone. I think the general consensus is that devs are flooded with requests that they maybe can’t even keep up with and many of them are lame requests that get the same attention as the cool ones. Shouldn’t they be able to
I am logged in there since some days, too.
Stack Exchange has its pros and cons in my opinion.
On the one hand, questions are answered very, very fast, and the questions/problems were no easy tasks.
On the other hands stack exchange is completely missing the heart and emotions. Disskussion is not wanted/allowed. You cant comment till you receive an amount of 50 points. Deletion and editing is a normal thing.
For me its more fun to answer/comment questions in forums like blenderartist without beeing edited or deleted.
This topic comes up time and time again, and various systems have been tried. The problem isn’t that developers can’t easily find or sort requests, but developers are already busy working on something else, not to mention, they have their own features they would also like to implement if they could get around to it. Generally, an idea will get more attention if it pertains to a relevant feature currently being implemented or fixed, or whatever the development cycle is focused on. Your best bet for getting a feature implemented is to take initiative by implementing it yourself and sending patches in, or doing a code bounty.
I started a proposal for a site specifically for feedback and feature requests on stack exchange’s area 51. If i have enough interest on it, we will have a self sufficient method of ensuring that requests get effective public exposure and are filtered for the devs.
So a stack exchange just for Blender’s feedback. There’s already one there for blender, but… that’s not the place for feature requests
The reason given (“a related stack exchange already exists”) for the closing is a bit misleading, though. Stackexchange is a hub for Q&A sites, not for feature requests/proposals, not for feedback and not for general discussion. The OP’s proposal would not have been accepted under any circumstance. There also is a fairly high quality threshold both for stackexchange sites and their posts.
Having said that, there is a lot of software similar to that of stackexchange. In the past, Blender already had a site with essentially the same concept (wayback:blenderstorm.org). It was eventually abandoned, however.
Ignoring the maintenance issue: The problem with feature requests is that there is just too many to fulfill even a fraction of the highly demanded ones. I also believe that development priorities should not be influenced by “freeloaders”, i.e. people that do not contribute to the project (financially or otherwise). If indeed such a system was to be put into place, its use should be tied to something like the development fund first.
Since 4 years I am with Autodesk Fusion and they constantly refined the feature request.
Here is how they do it
A forum where users post ideas
A AD member sorts the ideas
An AD member passes accepted ideas to developers
The dev team needs to agree on what to do so it fits Blenders direction
I think there needs to be a member between user and developer so that ideas are organized better.
However on the other side over now 2 years I asked for better wood procedural in Blender because Cycles material lacked the SAW mode for waves. Lucas was just so nice to implement it stating that he read about it in the dev thread and stating that it was not much code.
Future requests are… coding work, so why not create a new category for it in the bug tracker ?
At my work we do it the same way, bugs and feature request.
With the only difference, that bugs need fast attention, while feature reqeust may be disproved are halted till some major software release. Its anyway a good way to see where coding work should be spend on.
So we wont have overactive developers who create something need, for which there is little demand, we rather code what our custommers want.
Someone should check it, and it shift out all the too wild ideas (which obvesiously would get collected too).
I’ll second @ideasman42’s suggestions. It would be great to see some users making the effort to kick things off. That’d mean setting up such a system and finding a team that volunteers to do the moderation work.
If it seems like the project is heading somewhere, I could definitely imagine to help out a bit here and there as soon as time allows it. I bet other devs would too.
This can work if the project has a narrow enough scope or the user-base is small enough that they aren’t making so many requests.
However the scope for a general purpose 3d application is very wide, and we have many requests already via every other means of communication.
At some point a small team of developers can’t handle responding and managing all requests effectively. (which is what we would have to do - if our bug tracker was used for feature requests).
I would really favor a centralized and monitored system for feature requests.
This would help the users know what is suggested and maybe get an idea of what is also going on.
Currently for example in my case I really would love to have the gamma/exposure and CRF look as nodes in the compositor.
Over the past 2 years I asked few times about if it would be possible to add SAW to the wave texture node. And just recently
Lukas saw it and did it quickly because it seemed to him not to be much work.
The reason why I mention those examples is also I think sometimes devs might not know what users would like to work with.
In the end the SAW function brought Blender back into the competition to make easy procedural wood textures wihtout
getting lost in an insane node tree trying to simulate the SAW function.
Yep, it can work if run well, the main problem is to find people who can (and have time) to run a site like this.
Despite Blender having grown in the past years, its still a fairly small group of people doing underlying infrastructure maintenance (which adds up), even ignoring any software development.
I realize it may sound negative to say, “if you want this - do it yourself”, but I don’t mean it as some dismissal.
There is so much energy in the Blender community that its quite reasonable some motivated people try out something when others don’t have time/energy to handle such things.
After some coffee: what about doing the simplest thing and opening a new “Blender Suggestions” forum here? One creates a thread there, can post pictures, links, code snippets etc. there is place for discussion (the usual you-can-already-do-that-by-ALT-CTRL-Shift-MiddleClick-while-standing-on-your-toes clarification :evilgrin:). When the discussion is settled, a moderator has only to mail a developer “have a look at thread so-and-so”.