[Bf-committers] Microsoft dev support

jonathan ferguson jdpf at edumetrics.org
Tue May 13 22:11:40 CEST 2008


On May 11, 2008, at 5:50 AM, Jean-Luc Peurière wrote:
> Le 11 mai 08 à 11:32, Ton Roosendaal a écrit :
>> Hi all,
>> I recently was contacted by Microsoft Development, they've assigned
>> one
>> of their people with the job to support open source projects better.
>> Yep, I've immediately asked for free MSVC Pro licenses! :)
>> They also like to know about file format support... which I really
>> have
>> no idea about. Are there files in the Windows universe you need to
>> have
>> a better Blender user experience?
>> ----------------- quote -----------------
>> With respect to Blender, what can you tell me about your community/
>> user
>> feedback that you have heard regarding file formats?  Specifically,
>> Microsoft is slowly shifting toward a more open standards based
>> approach to its file formats.  The ISO standard Office Open XML is an
>> example of the direction we are moving towards.
> I would not touch that with a barge pole.

Agreed, and a barge-pole might not be long enough. Microsoft's  
lawyers are allergic to the GPL, so if you GPL your code, you're  
pretty safe, but not totally safe, when Microsoft comes a-knocking. I  
remind you all about how Microsoft has sought to crush OpenGL with  
Direct3D (and the rest of DirectX). IIRC, the strategy was to make a  
_proprietary_ 3D API that would kill OpenGL. Compare Workstation  
(OpenGL 2.1) cards against a typical high-end OGL2.0/DirectX card  
sometime. Remember, at Microsoft, Microsoft is The Standard. Would  
Microsoft improve support of OpenGL on Windows if the Blender  
developers requested it? I doubt it.

Perhaps this is too much information, but I'll go ahead anyway:

Regarding proprietary file formats for those suggesting direct  
support in Blender, I worry that encoding content into Microsoft  
media formats may eventually _require_ DRM crypto-keys in the future.  
Obtaining such keys may also _require_ Non-Disclosure Agreements  
(NDAs) or other such _make proprietary_ hoops. Obtaining such NDAs  
goes against the spirit and intent of the GPL, especially the GPLv3,  
under which Blender is currently licensed with the "or a later  
version" clause. To this end, I also suggest avoiding such  
proprietary formats. FFMPEG already supports WMV encoding and  
playback. Finally, from a Free Software moral stance, DRM in a  
content creation tool is the antithesis of the Free Software philosophy.

Microsoft's ASF is such a DRMified format, as it is a container for  
WMA and WMV etc. See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Media_DRM and
Windows_Media_Video#Digital_rights_management for a brief overview.

Thanks to all on the awesomeness that Blender is, and has become!  
Keep up the good work!

have a day.yad

More information about the Bf-committers mailing list