The Developers Invite: "Ask us Anything!"

We (the developer team) invite everyone to ask questions about the general development of the Blender project, from which we will then choose the most frequently asked ones and answer them on a new wiki site:
Developers: Ask us Anything!”.

This is mostly because we get the same questions asked over and over again, which of course is all fine and understandable, but also a bit annoying having to repeat ourselves continuously. So this aims to answer some of these questions, without getting into too detailed topics.

Please:

  • Don’t discuss here
  • Keep things general
  • Be nice to each other (and us :wink: )

Now it’s your turn: What questions about the general Blender development would you like to see answered?

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to ask.
I’ve seen that Blender is developing very fast, incorporating important new features in each release. But apparently, I see that some bugs are not fixed quickly and there are old complaints from users about improving existing features. So my question is:
In the Blender 3D development cycle, Is there some period of time where the incorporation of new features is completely frozen to focus exclusively on solving bugs and enhance existing features?

With “period of time” I mean a considerable period of time, not just a few days prior to each release.

I hope my English and my question is understood correctly.

Can we ask questions about the initiative itself?

where do we ask the questions at?
the link doesn’t seem to have a message or form on it.

Can we make a add-on that would show us the .blend thumbnail like it shows in windows 7, but in the blender itself.
I’d like to make a sand-box drag and drop fetcher so I can place items into the sense in blender render and blender game.

@YAFU: added, @BTolputt: yes, @Joshua Jay: here

OK, so I can ask the right questions, what is the difference between this initiative and the earlier one started by m9105826? It seemed he was going to be presenting you guys with questions about development and posting the answers. I’m a little confused about this starting at the same time. :confused:

I have a question, are there any plans to tidy up / add more to the wiki to aid new developers?

I’m thinking of things like overviews/introductions of how different areas are structured etc (e.g. modifiers have the modifier implementation file + DNA modifer data etc, you need to make sure you specify how to write the data in the readfile.c /writefile.c files etc).

I was actually thinking of doing a little writeup of what I learnt about modifiers while doing the delta mush stuff, but I haven’t got around to it.

Is a complete redoing of the Undo system planned for the future, and eventually when?

Thank you,
paolo

I, too, have this question :spin: This kinda came out of nowhere (at least for me). Guess I’ll have to figure out where my plan fits into this now…

Is there a list of currently employeed BI/BF coders? Is it a requirement for them to keep weekly wiki logs? (I can only find three active wiki logs)

There are a few controversial features currently in the developer portal, off the top of my head there is adaptive sampling & wireframe. How are controversial features evaluated to know which are committed to trunk or discarded? Who is in charge of this decision?

We are nearly halfway through 2015. Can we get an update as to how the 18 anticipated blender projects of 2015 are going? ( http://www.blender.org/press/18-anticipated-blender-development-projects-of-2015/ )

@Sazerac: Nothing official.

In recent months, there have been a few occasions when I almost went ahead and added “checklists” that developers can use to make sure they haven’t forgotten anything obscure for adding new types of things (ID Types and Animation Channel types in particular). While I agree that a tutorial style writeup may be something new devs may like more, a more practical option IMO would be the checklist route I propose - that is, just a simple list with “file, function/enum/section, 1-line description of action to take”. Additional clarifications can then be added below this list as needed.

The differences between this approach and “coding tutorials” are:

  1. Existing devs can use this as part of their dev processes - A checklist is easier to scan through and/or to add to whatever you’re using to keep track of todos than to go through prose and extract out the points again. Plus, when you’ve done something before, you don’t really need to be told why/how to do something in full; you often just need the hint of what it is that’s needed. Plus, if really necessary, it’s possible to just copy this onto a new wiki page to actually mark the status of each item (using the status indication macros)
  2. It involves a lower initial setup burden - Compare “create a little 5 point list” with “write hand-holding tutorial for such and such process”: which one feels easier/less work to do?
  3. Easier to maintain - If additional steps need to be added, or some previous steps change, it’s less work to modify the list than it would be to modify the section(s) involved

@doublebishop:

  1. To my knowledge, there isn’t a full list of all the currently employed devs.
  2. It is a requirement that BF/devfund employed developers maintain a log on the wiki (and to also send that week’s log to Ton). IIRC, Campbell used to do these on the wiki, but has recently moved to having these as pages on his graphicall ftp storage space as they were getting too long to fit on there :wink:
  3. I think lukas and psy-fi probably don’t have logs on the wiki, since their reports end up on the gooseberry weeklies atm

I wasn’t really thinking of tutorial so much, more like checklist approach anyway. The only other things that might be helpful there are a brief description of how things work (e.g. the readfile/writefile stuff is used for undo history on modifiers, not the copydata function, which threw me for a while). This could potentially be in a sort of FAQ format, which could basically just be copied out of the mailing list or IRC or whatever as they are asked.

I’ve had enough experience with similar sort of documentation at work to know that keeping that stuff up to date is a pain, so yeah, a simple approach is best.

When is the GSL viewport upgrades going to hit trunk?

Will realtime GSL animation be a selection like internal and cycles?

What about the game engine,
when will it receive newer GSL viewport code?

Thank you all!

Would it be possible to get a list of these links on the wiki? I cannot find a log page for Mike Erwin (Hired for Viewport Dev)

A few questions.

  1. Not that i am not happy with it, since communication is always a good thing. But why this charm offensive with “ask us anything” now? Is this a direct reaction to the announced transparent blog of m09105826? Or more a coincidence of simultaneously development ?

  2. How many paid developers are currently working for Blender. And how many volunteers?

  3. Since Blender generates income to the developers, and has paid developers, isn’t it a company like Autodesk?

  4. How is the money spend in Blender? How much of the income goes into Tons pet projects now, and how much into the real Blender development?

  5. Will Ton retire in the nearer future to make just movies? Or will he continue to split his forces between various movie projects and Blender development?

  6. How’s the patch review going? Are there still so much open patches waiting for a review since years?

  7. And how could it come to this situation? Aren’t the module owners obliged to do patch review? Isn’t that part of the job?

  8. What is the state of the open Blender branch where everybody can submit a patch? Is it still there? Does people use it? Or is the project happily forgotten already?

  9. How does it fit that nearly all Blender users are hobbyists, while the development goals heads towards professionals? Isn’t that a big gap in what you want to achieve and what the user demand really is?

  10. The one that nags me personally most since it influences my daily work: Why is there still no visible development at the UI? Why is still everything else more important than usability and workflow?

Count the two years without any UI development before Andrew showed his proposal. Plus the two years since then, and we have four years now with nearly no change at a UI that is known to be full of flaws and cumbersome to use.

The problems are all known. It was promised to fix at least some of the low hanging fruits. There alreadys was a first attempt with the tabs. And i know that behind the scenes there are quite a few people busy with UI stuff. But the visible output is still against zero while version by version and year by year passes by.

I would at least expect to have some of the already at the grass laying fruits getting fixed with every release. There is quite some stuff around that could be fixed within minutes. Example. We have Mark seam and Clear seam in 3D view. But just Mark seam in UV editor. Still, even such very easy stuff gets ignored.

1- I’m a professional and I don’t work only with blender, I need a good import/export and for that alembic is great, so why do not work on the import/export alembic ?

Octane for blender has and alembic export, why not work with them to include it in blender ?

Make everything in blender is great but sometimes we had to work on other softwares and being impossible to export to them is very anoying.

2 - When will we see the viewport VFX in trunk ?

  1. UI…why isn’t it improved? Seriously the most common complaint people have about Blender. Yes there are “some people” working on it but nothing to show for years and years. Tiles is right here…

  2. This add new feature frenzy is going on forever. Isn’t it just as important to fix and improve existing features? Make them more powerful and user friendly? Blender has lots of tools but many just seem unfinished, buggy, a pain to even try to use and overall just seem disconnected from one another.

  3. And lastly…why aren’t you actually doing something to fix instead of “thinking about it” or just saying it’s to hard to fix. Yes Blender has different paradigms but sometimes those paradigms need to adapt, improve. UX/UI is something that evolves continuously over the years…not in Blender.

My question, when will the rSelection addon make its way to official? Its the one plugin I cant live without!

@BTolputt #6, its unrelated to @m9105826’s initiative, AFAICS theres not so much overlap as it may seem.
Mainly because this page is for general stuff. Where as @m9105826’s is a regular update on whats happening.
(documenting-current-situation VS news-interview … style).

@Sazerac #7. answered http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:Doc/AskUsAnything#Are_there_plans_to_improve_the_Wiki_to_help_new_developers.3F

@sourvinos, #8. too spesific

@m9105826, #9. think your plans still fit fine?

@Aligorith, #11. feel free to answer on the wiki :slight_smile:

@BluePrintRandom. #14. too specific (one for @m9@105826?)

@doublebishop, #15. Agree, we should have developers weekly reports centralized somewhere.

@Tiles #16. Would help if you number our Q’s
One of your Q’s was asked already.
Financial details are not general developer questions, this is one for the BF to report on.

In fact most/all? of your questions seem like they are better for @m9@105826’s transparency report.

@pitiwazou, #17. too specific

@00Ghz, #18:

  1. Comments about the UI such as “nothing to show for years and years” are incorrect and come across contemptuous.
  2. Not sure what your getting at.
  3. Also not sure what your getting at. check bug fixes for each release, just last 2 weeks we fixed some years old bugs/limitations.

If you’re generally dissatisfied with Blender and its development, then its hard to answer this.

If you’re unhappy with specific areas, we would need to know exactly what you have issues, which is getting out-of-scope for this format.

@Gibbz, #19 too specific.