Ok, I’ve just started using Blender and I’ve heard how it has this “interesting ui” that’s very keyboard intensive and takes time to learn but you’ll love how productive you are when you get used to it blah blah blah. So I was expecting a steep learning curve and a lot of keyboard commands to memorize, sure. That’s no problem. But I wasn’t expecting some of the very basic usability issues that I would have expected to have been fixed way back in the 1.0 release. So I’m throwing these out to see if I’m somehow the only one who finds these things annoying or what. ( blender 2.31a, WinXP )
The main things I’ve noticed are:
one-line textfields. Whoa! I can’t even select a range of text with the mouse in the one-line textfields! And many of the basic editing keys aren’t functional: home,end,etc. Apparently there’s no concept of a selection at all! How can this be?
text editor (Shift-F11): better than the one-line text entries (at least there’s selection), but still things like ‘end’ and ‘home’ do nothing. And cut and paste with windows doesn’t work? That’s like 12 lines of code to get pasting text from the Windows clipboard to work.
Filenames: On WindowsXP, blender keeps reverting to dos 8.3 filenames for some reason. For instance when I click on a .blend to launch it. If I go to save that file later, it thinks the name is somefi~1.BLE. Gross! I wouldn’t even know how to write C code that reverts to 8.3 filenames if I wanted to, I don’t know how Blender manages to do it.
Console: using the actual system console is annoying (at least on Windows). For example when running blender full-screen you keep having to flip back and forth to see console output. The printfs should be replaced with some sort of more flexible logging facility, but as a short term solution, you can just call freopen() on the STDOUT and STDERR file handles to get the output to go some file (memory-mapped, perhaps) and from there slurp it into a graphical console in the UI.
Prefs: I keep setting it to “Emulate Numlock” and it keeps forgetting. It doesn’t matter if I hit Ctrl-U or not. Nor is it remembering that I want it to be full-screen. Actually I don’t think the prefs are working at all.
I have to say Blender is really cool, and I was able to figure it out well enough in about a day to make some 3D illustrations (which involved generating some meshes using a python script I wrote to import matlab data), so that made me happy. It also made me happy that it was free. So don’t get me wrong, I think it’s quite a great little tool. The boolean ops didn’t work for me, but that I can understand. Getting boolean operations to work robustly on breps is not easy. But it boggles my mind that paste doesn’t work, and these other little things that really wouldn’t require that much effort to fix.
I downloaded the source code to see if I might could figure out a fix for some of these things myself, since it really seems like just an hour or two of coding would be all that was required to fix a few of these issues. But
maybe there’s something I don’t know? Maybe 8.3 DOS file names are so ingrained in the source code that no one has been willing to tackle the issue because it will entail a complete rewrite? Maybe text in a textfield can’t be selected because the president of NaN declared that it was better that way, and all the loyal Blender devotees believed him? Maybe I’m just wrong and pasting from the windows clipboard does work, I’m just using the wrong key?