Bforartists 2 manifest

Reiner's picture

The Beta of Blender 2.8 is close. And i am already back at work and at preparing everything for the new development cycle as you may have noticed. Time to define the development goals for Bforartists 2.

Bforartists 1 was once started to fix the UI issues in the Blender 2.5x series within the given bounds. And we have been very successful with what we did. Bforartists is much more user friendly and accessible than Blender. And we have lots of happy users already. Thanks for your support !

Blender 2.8 was then the long promised and long awaited development step that should solve and fix most of the UI issues in Blender. Blender has even introduced icon buttons in the tool shelf. Something that was plain impossible when we started with the development of Bforartists 1. So they obviously learned from us. They have now also official learning videos. Which is also a good thing.

All in all Blender 2.8 is a big step forward in terms of usability, and should have made Bforartists obsolete in best case.

So why a Bforartists 2? Why should we even continue with Bforartists when Blender 2.8 is so great now? The answer is simple: Because it is still not so great here and there. And can be improved in many areas. And that's why we continue with the development, and why there will be a Bforartists 2.

Roadmap:

We will merge the 2.8 code into Bforartists once the Blender 2.8 Beta is out. Means fingers crossed that the 2.8 Code is finally in the Blender master then. This merge will most probably kill nearly all of our old changes. The code base has changed too massive. And so we need to start over again in most areas.

Next step is to go through all old commits to check if they are still valid and if and how they fit into the new code. For example, we most probably need to reimplement our toolbar. A fuzzy task since lots of things are connected with this toolbar. And that's just one issue. Another one is to remove fragments that may still exist after the merge. The old Wireframe colors code needs to be removed. All in all thoudsands of commits are waiting here.

Then we need to make Bforartists working again, and to remove all the flaws and conflicts. As told above, some functionality has changed. Some stuff is now hardcoded. And conflicts with our Bforartists keymap. The addons needs a fix, and so on.

The time frame to finish this chapter is hard to judge. We have lots of things already done. For example we don't need to recreate the icons. But i cannot say if and how our old code integrates into the new Blender code. I expect to be busy for around half a year or more up to this point. But i wouldn't be surprised when it's a year or two instead. That's development.

And then let's have a look what can be improved. A few points have been already told. We need to revert some bad decisions. Like to make the panels more compact again and to remove the empty space, remove double menu entries again, reduce the places where the user has to look for tools and settings. There was a request already to make the annotation and grease pencil tools more accessible. And so on.

As you can see, there is lots to do. We cannot promise that we have a working version when Blender 2.8 goes final. But we do our best to create the best possible Bforartists 2 version for you.

- Reiner