Blender Foundation getting corporate investment and how that might affect Bforartists...

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Draise's picture
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Joined: 08/25/2015 - 15:42
Blender Foundation getting corporate investment and how that might affect Bforartists...

Ubisoft and Unreal Engine (and Google and Intel and more) have both pledged either cash or development to Blender software through the foundation/institute. - and now they are in the tens of thousands in monthly subscriptions with up to 10 devs hired near full time to work in Blender. Ironically they still don't have a full time UI developer, and they admit the UI arquitecture is outdated.

It has been a curious few weeks lately with all the news. I see Blender 2.8 as yes.. feature rich and interesting, but nothing that new in the industry, if anything, caught up, they even have official documentation videos now - yet also... it's still a mess with the UI and documentation as we've seen in the tracker here. It's still easier to use and learn Bforartists, still. But then the age old question hits me again, how does all the Blender Institute and Foundation third party development for the "opensource" GPL Blender source code that goes into Bforartists affect the development roadmap and pace of Bforartists and also, how does it affect other developers and UX?

During this year, there were many development descision that would break, revert or make improvements incompatible with the fork, which slowed things down. Many addon developers are burned from the new architecture - there is little centralized support for developers outside of the institute (as you have to go through them to be then merged to master, or you have to go to third party distributors, distribute yourself, and never get any direct user support of fans of Blender) Now that the development of these powerful third party entities to the opensource sourcecode might keep the sourcecode development speed and changes as a typical thing in the next coming year, making it still hard to have some freedom to developers (it's their way, or no-way).. will the task of forking the rapid development be hard due to the speed and power of development by the key party? Does Bforartists need more developers to keep up? Will it ever get behind with future work? What will happen once they get their UI division sorted out? Will two parties to an opensource code working on UI conflict and make the fork development slower/harder?

Or.. since it doesn't really matter being all GPL and opensource? Will the merging not really be that large a task if they keep the master accessible (eg. instead of having the master locked away 6 months last year) with the new feature base, code architecture cleaning and more - will all this just.. be a benefit for Bforartists development and nothing really changes?

I'm just thinking. I still think that developers should be sponsored directly through the users of the GPL software and thus supported in an independant way withought a third party agency, something like a foundation and their near corporate interests - evident by the development bottleneck to any branches, as Gsoc code that sometimes never is merged, any addon submission process beurocracy, any third party developer working on anything outside the foundation vision - and now it is still not clear that the Blender Institute/Foundation and their developers and their development and systems are third party, not lead devs or "owners" of what is essentially GPL..  but with all that said, it is kinda interesting that industry players and teams of people are all vesting into what an opensource 3D software can be. I wonder where all this will go... !! Exciting times. It is nice to know all this work in the software I use to create my dreams and earn what I need to grow family, live life, and do things - is all now GPL and free and opensource, but at the same time.. having been burned by corporate interest, how difficult will things be in the future? Specially if the lead development is now practically a team of people paid by entities concluding that the distance between developer and user relationships just increase? Or.. maybe it won't?

What do you think? Is all this news ultimately good or bad for Bforartists, for other developers, for user/developer relationships?

Sources
Ubisoft:
https://www.blender.org/press/ubisoft-joins-blender-development-fund/
https://news.ubisoft.com/en-us/article/353364/ubisoft-joins-blender-development-fund-to-support-open-source-animation

Unreal Engine:
https://www.blender.org/press/epic-games-supports-blender-foundation-with-1-2-million-epic-megagrant/

Blender Foudnation Fund
https://fund.blender.org/

 

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Reiner's picture
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Yes, that's some really nice

Yes, that's some really nice news for the Blender development.

Well, for us nothing really changes. The Blender source code is and remains available. Means we can always merge the newest features into Bforartists. And i will continue with work as long as there is a need for the fork.

Blender devs have fixed quite a few things. They have now things like a icon only tool shelf, something that we had before years already. Some things are even improved over our old solutions. They have even tackled things like having tool name in the tooltip. The Blender UI has evolved to the good for quite a bit. But looking into the past has teached me that they will most probably now more and more stop fixing UI issues. And will return to throwing features at Blender again, adding them where is space. Which will most probably end in the usual UI mess again in five years. Well, yeah maybe they surprise us ...

But this all shouldn't bother us. We should have a easier life with working at the UI now for a while. At least as long as we don't touch the core functionality. Which i don't plan to. Bforartists is about the UI and usability.

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Free gamegraphics, Freeware Games http://www.reinerstilesets.de

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