[Bf-committers] Remove Frameserver

Peter Schlaile peter at schlaile.de
Sun Aug 5 11:18:01 CEST 2012

Hi Campbell,

> Its helpful to remove because we shouldn't give users options that are
> not useful/tested/ready-for-production...

> When you use software and get the impression that some parts are not
> maintained - they crash or just fail, it doesn’t inspire confidence
> you want when relying on software for important projects.

Hmm. That's probably true. But I think, analyzing *why* something isn't
used and how things can be done better is a lot more clever than
just deleting code.

Simply deleting the old plugin infrastructure without providing a new
one, caused already a lot of grief with old plugin developers.

The message to those developers was: well, we don't use it, so noone
ever will, let's delete it. Please go away, find yourself another project.

Not very nice!

> I had a look over the frameserver docs:
> http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:Source/Render/Frameserver

> ... but I'm still not convinced this is really worth keeping - its 8
> bit channels. no alpha, no compression,

Uhm, well, but you already noticed, that most video encoding engines
do actually only work in 8 bit, right? With no alpha. And compression
is the job of the encoding engine not the frame server.

> that it can be setup to work
> with scripts over a network is clever but not generally useful IMHO.

the frame server is build as a simple HTTP-Server and keeps a directory 
hierarchie and could as well serve out EXR-frames or PPMs with other 
options, or PNGs, whatever you like.

8-bit PPMs with no compression were chosen in the first place, since 
the main intend was to provide a general interface to arbitrary video 
encoding engines.

> This could be put in a similar category as "Compiling blender as a
> python module" - its nifty and maybe very useful in some cases, but
> I'd prefer to disable for regular builds (if not remove).

Nope. Frameserving is pretty much standard. In video editing apps (take
a look at VirtualDub).

It's sad, that we haven't brought the sequencer to the state, where it
is generally accepted as a video editor, but having some sort of
frame serving functionality is certainly a must, if we want to.

The reason why people seldomly report bugs in the sequencer is caused
by the simple fact, that not so many people use blender as a video
editor at all.

The only way to master a DVD without the frame server in current blender
is using a directory of still frames and do the encoding from the still
frames. (You can't use ffmpeg in one pass mode for that and: you most
probably won't use ffmpeg at all, if quality is of any concern :) .)
Do that on long time lines (say: 3 hours) and watch your hard disk explode.

The only reason, why I (as the author of the frameserver) haven't noticed
it crashing for a long time, was the simple fact, that I don't create
DVDs anymore.

But you will certainly agree, that DVD creation is somewhat important?
It wasn't just very important to me lately, that's why we got those
unnoticed breakages in the first place.

That said: it may be possible to add the same functionality using
the current python interface (which you do know a lot better than me).

I have no problems with the idea of moving the whole frame server
functionality into a python add-on (if that is possible at all), provided
that we *do* have such a functionality somewhere.


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