[Bf-committers] 2004 plans

Ton Roosendaal bf-committers@blender.org
Thu, 15 Jan 2004 12:58:42 +0100

Hi everyone,

I am working - from Blender Foundation perspective - to get some  
crucial gaps solved, especially for facilitating all Blender projects  
in general. With the excellent pre-sales of the 2.3 book, and some  
additional subsidies that most likely comes in, we can expect a couple  
of improvements to be realized the coming period.

1. Improving projects.blender.org
This still runs on a Gforge 3.0 pre-release. It will be upgraded to  
3.2, with hopefully all Gforge features properly working. The target  
for the projects site is to provide the 'virtual company' on the web,  
facilitating developers to cooperate on coding projects. I'd love to  
get some feedback on this topic from people here, especially what  
features are missed most, but also ideas how to manage the site better  
(moderators providing news stories, etc).

2. New blender.org portal
More detailed concepts for this will be presented later, but we  
definitely need more attention for the organization/structure of the  
sites, and a lot more content there ranging from docs, faqs, tutorials  
to a great gallery that shows Blender's power. This is also based on  
the feedback session we had during the Blender conference. A couple of  
ideas are:
- make sure our central portal is unmistakingly clear what it is about,  
and where to find stuff.
- merging the blender3d.org and blender.org sites, and efficiently link  
to services other community sites offer
- actively support one 'community' only, and that's "people who want to  
be involved". Which includes artists, coders, teachers, writers,  
universities, companies.
- make sure all the community sites, such as elysiun etc. provide good  
artist services (open galleries, support forums). If needed, support &  
sponsor them to get this realized.

3. Development management
With so many active volunteers we also need more professional support  
to facilitate them. People who fill in the little gaps that annoy  
everyone; fixing old bugs, doing meeting minutes, writing specs,  
collect user feedback, helping doing releases and testing, create demo  
files, user documentation... but also assisting on more complex coding  
work such as restructuring. A couple of part-timers will be enabled to  
do this in a paid job.

4. Blender 3.0 startup
There's also funds reserved to start working on this project. Which  
still is only is in a very early 'ideas' phase now. Apart from  
technical research on all kinds of interesting aspects, I think of  
organizing brainstorm/design/feedback sessions with users and  
developers worldwide during the next year, which is targeted to deliver  
a good set of requirements and specifications to base a design for  
Blender 3.0 on. And get a maximum endorsement and support for such  
plans, of course.

5. Building a 'professional' Blender Network
Not only volunteers like to be involved, but also companies  
(institutes, artists, universities) expressed interest in participating  
in our projects. The first developers have already been paid to do  
coding work. Animation/art studios are actively using Blender for  
commercial projects. All this is expected to grow during 2004, and will  
require a more professional oriented support.
It is the BF's aim to help others make a living with Blender as much as  
possible, and limit commercial activities within the BF to the absolute  

6. BF projects
The internal organization gets more complex in 2004. I've already hired  
a 'project manager' to help scheduling our projects and targets, and  
especially on getting the additional funding for it. There's active  
interest from sponsors and subsidy funds, which really needs to be  
managed well.

The 2nd week of february is targeted to have a good (financial)  
planning for all of this. I then can also be more specific about what  
exactly the funding is we'll get, and how it is going to be spent!



Ton Roosendaal  Blender Foundation ton@blender.org