[Bf-committers] introduction

Nathan Letwory nathan at letworyinteractive.com
Thu Jun 3 16:29:02 CEST 2010

On 3.6.2010 17:13, Ian Watkins wrote:
> Hello all,

Hi Ian and welcome to the list and to Blender development in general.

> 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.

Nice, always fun to get more interested souls in the gang.

> 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.

C, C++ and Python are what you'll need mostly :) I use our scons 
implementation most when building Blender (having written it maybe not 
surprising ;)

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

Some todo list can be found here: 

> Short term, I plan on reducing/eliminating compiler warnings (if they
> exist) -- mainly to start to get an idea of how things work.
You'll find compiler warnings by the thousands probably :)

> Is there a coding style for blender?

Not really, but do checkout the code in core - that's what we mostly 
use. In general: don't mess with the style in an existing file. Do what 
is in that file.

> * 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).
You can create new windows from areas in Blender 2.5 (current trunk). 
Hold shift and with RMB pressed drag one of the corner triangles into 
the area you want to duplicate into a new window. Area management has 
been improved since 2.4x.

Entire window duplication is possible too.

> * 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.
Currently Blender 2.5 has a much more advanced Python integration that 
will help you do most of your extension needs. That said, I think it 
might be nice to have a better plugin system for some parts like 
textures (there's already plugins for that, dunno if that also still 
works in 2.5), but I can imagine that for instance for nodes it would be 
> * Memory management tools.  Ability to query the allocator about in
> flight data, who allocated it, etc.
I think guardedalloc already can give you that kind of info.
> 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.

No. I try to sync trunk to gitorious.org/blenderprojects though. And I 
don't think that a change of SCM will be done anytime soon. SVN has 
served us well enough and after a big CVS->SVN transition I don't think 
most of the users are longing for yet another one. Personally I'd like 
Git though.

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

Don't worry about that :)

Anyway, feel free to ask more, check out the docs on wiki and join 
#blendercoders to ask for live help. You'll find me with the nick jesterKing


Nathan Letwory
Letwory Interactive

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