[Bf-committers] Sum up the long outside viewers post

Alexander Ewering bf-committers@blender.org
Thu, 13 May 2004 16:21:58 +0200 (CEST)

Ton, I always admire your talent for patience and staying calm
in discussions such as these. :-)

Sorry to further contribute to a discussion which is probably off-topic,
but I just want to clear up things a bit.

> -> Intrr: you point to known problems (the cleaning up makes work for  
> experienced user harder). But you seem not to accept that we can't  
> represent each and every option anymore as a quick hotkey or icon in  
> the GUI. And I don't mean we should accept each new option people come  
> with... It was always part of the redesign to find a solution for that.  
> With as rule that even *you* should be able to work efficiently, with a  
> minumum of clicks/moves/etc to create work. That work isn't finished,  
> and something we need your intellect (and open mind!) too to come with  
> solutions for.

I do realize that the GUI, as it was, was running out of space. 
I don't complain so much about the "general" decision to do that.
I think it's just poorly implemented in many places.

 - Panels waste 30% of space, especially horizontally.

 - Without that waste of space, the material buttons (as an example)
   could be kept much more tight, and allow the texture-mapping
   buttons to be available without switching tabs (and now, please
   don't tell me "just remove the material preview panel")

 - the menu in the 3d window headers and the spelt-out mode designation
   (Object, Edit, etc.) waste about 50% of the 3d header space for
   providing almost no information. I know the "newbie-friendly"
   argumentation will come into play again, but a newbie WILL know
   what the "Object" and "Editmode" icons mean after reading 1 page
   of documentation, and the spelt-out menu names (View, Select, ...)
   could be replaced by icons (as it used to be before the UI makeover).
   You know that Icons are much more intuitive than text anyway, can be
   recognized faster by the eye, AND take up less space. AND look flashier
   This would free up enough space in the 3d window header to bring back
   things like the "pivot" buttons and the "view mode" indicator/button
   (Top/Side/Front). Currently, there is no indication in the 3d view
   header as to what 'kind' of view it is.
   Or, AT LEAST, we should provide two user preferences for the UI.
   "Novice" and "Expert", "Expert" being more like the old interface,
   replacing obvious stuff with icons or leaving it out to free up space
   for more DIRECT controls (no little popups, but directly accessible
   ROWBUTS instead)
   Becomes particularly appearent in the IPO window header too. It used to
   be very simple to switch the extrapolation type with a single click.
   It now takes navigating through several menu levels.
   And I am not ill enough to know EVERY SINGLE hotkey of blender (i already
   know 99%), so i sometimes like to use buttons, too :)
 - The previous list item was too long.
 - And after all, you can't deny the fact that you _indeed_ wanted to
   make the UI look *just* a bit flashier. It's no offense at all - everyone
   is doing that nowadays. It's fine with me - as long as functionality
   doesn't suffer.

> within blender.org either. A lot of slashdot criticism for example  
> comes from non-artists, who consider Blender to be obliged to be an  
> accessible tool for the masses (of linux users :). Maya and XSI suffer  
> much less from such confusion, these apps are OK to be hard to learn,  
> have complex interfaces, and are meant for people seriously interested  
> in 3D.

Yes, and this brings me to the point where I ask you: What is *your*
intention with Blender? What do *you* want Blender to be? If you want
it to be the accessible tool for the masses of linux zealots, then OK,
you can expect it to pass the "30 seconds test".

My view on this is different, though. I consider Blender a "professional"
(gotta hate that word) application, and so it should be perfectly acceptable
to require a big fat book to learn it.

Do you know what  the Blender foundation generally lacks?


That doesn't mean that your self-esteem should be as exaggerated
as mine, but you should at least be proud of your product and your
reaction to the typical slashdot yadda-yadda should just be
"Who cares. I am Blender. You will be assimilated."

Even more so as Blender is free, and you don't earn money with it.

(You would even earn MORE money because of book sales if it is *harder*
to learn).

Think about it! I suck at marketing, but I sometimes forget that and
give suggestions :)

> other package. I think that each of the larger 3d packages is proud to  
> have their own conventions and UI design. There's not 1 single truth or  
> method, but you *can* stick to a consistant and predictable design.

See above. Blender and the Blender folks should have exactly this
same attitude towards *their* 3d application, and
should NOT seek to be like others.

> So, yes, we can all still learn a lot, and should be as open minded as  
> possible for anyone who's interested to point to improvements, to  
> better methods to model, animate, or render. But such efforts go from  
> inside out... meaning getting good developers involved, getting user  
> feedback & proposals into structured design, getting companies  
> interested, getting more artists using Blender... all nice challenges I  
> look forward to and don't mind to make a humble contribution for. :)

I tried to be constructive and contribute in the past, and I think
I managed to be successful to some degree. I must admit though that
*some* aspects of the new GUI design indeed scared me away from the
official Blender tree. 
I can assure you that I'm quite annoyed with having to port each
improvement to the official source over to my tree, as it gets
increasingly difficult.

So, Ton, here's my proposal: Implement an "Expert" mode for the UI
where it more closely resembles the old one, and I will happily
continue development on the official Blender :-)

Not that I think that you would care, but it would just make my
life easier. I'm an egoist :-)

Thanks for reading

| alexander ewering               instinctive new media
| ae[@]instinctive[.]de   http://www[.]instinctive[.]de