[Bf-committers] introduction

Ian Watkins watkinsig at gmail.com
Thu Jun 3 16:13:25 CEST 2010

Hello all,

I imagine everyone is quite busy, so I'll attempt to be brief.

I recently decided to contribute time to an open source project.  I've
had a passion for movies and an interest in animation for most of my
life -- so blender seems like the logical place to spend time.  I'm an
openGL novice -- I know enough to be dangerous, basically, but I've
been working as a software engineer for the past 8 years.

I've worked in embedded systems for 5 years, where I've written a
memory allocator, improved the distributed build system, and worked on
a number of other projects...  I know c, c++, perl, python, java,
bash/sh shell scripting, autotools, make, and more.

I've been looking for details on what areas need help in blender
development, but haven't found many details.

Short term, I plan on reducing/eliminating compiler warnings (if they
exist) -- mainly to start to get an idea of how things work.

Is there a coding style for blender?

As for features/fixes I'd like to explore the following (assuming 2.5
hasn't addressed these issues -- this is based off of 30 mins of
playing with 2.45).

* When collapsing tools, have the entire name of the section rendered
on the vertical bar.
* More configurable UI -- essentially, allow an area to be dragged out
of its doc, and placed in a new window (I have a huge 2 monitor setup,
and it would be nice to be able to have a full screen view of what is
being worked on, or have 2 views near full screen).
* plugin system.  pretty sure there isn't much work here, but I'd like
to be able to load a new plugin while blender is running (alternately,
update a plugin).  The plugin should provide menu items, tool tips,
etc. on load and the UI should be updated accordingly.
* Memory management tools.  Ability to query the allocator about in
flight data, who allocated it, etc.
* parallel code.  I have experience with chromium, MPI, threads, and IPC.

Mainly, though, I'm hoping to learn, and hoping that I'll be able to
teach a little as well.

Lastly, have you guys used git at all?  With the many branches you've
made for SOC, and the commit policy, I'd think you guys would love
distributed source code management -- along with the ability to merge
less painfully.

And I've failed miserably at being brief.  Apologies.

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