[Bf-committers] Minimal Blender specs - 5 year old systems & OS

Chad Fraleigh chadf at triularity.org
Fri Feb 1 01:36:22 CET 2013

On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 8:25 AM, Jed Frechette <jedfrechette at gmail.com> wrote:
> FWIW, I see 3D content creation as a fundamentally high-end endeavor.
> Being able to start learning Blender on low-end systems is great. However,
> I want Blender to be taken seriously as a professional tool, not just
> something you play with until you are able to afford "real" hardware and
> software.

That sounds like a rather narrow view. Wouldn't this be like telling
musicians that they _can't_ make a career unless they sign up with
some major recording label that has "real" resources (that then takes
90% of the artists' money). It is a good thing those people that wrote
that software for commodity hardware that does much of what costly
recording studios used to only do didn't think this way. Or maybe
start charging $500 for blender to filter out all those pesky users
that can't afford (or prefer not to waste that much money on) $2000
"real" systems. This must be the Maya philosophy, given the [are you
&$^* kidding me] US$3675 price tag (it probably requires $10,000
hardware minimum).

> If development is being held back by attempting to support old hardware
> and OS versions and no one is willing to step up and support those bits
> then their use should be depreciated.I would much rather see the limited
> developer hours available put towards moving Blender forward rather than
> attempting to maintain compatibility with an ever increasing list of
> legacy hardware and OS versions.

And if the product _only_ caters to the rich (or "professionals" that
write it off as an expense) and significantly limit its target
audience, then interest in development will drop (the nature of OSS).

It seems part of the issue here is all these generic statements that
blender should drop support for X and Y, but not many specifics on
what "development effort" it would actually unhinder (OpenGL is maybe
the only one that has had some specific reasons mentioned [I think]).
For example, "Drop XP".. Ok, if support for just XP was dropped, what
would be different? I mean if I was to go out and buy some $5000
top-of-the-line system and then install XP on it (assuming the drivers
all worked fine), then what about this machine would be harder to
support in blender? Similar vagueness goes with RAM.. the suggested
new minimum is 2G. I assume this is what the machine has total, not
what is available to blender after the OS, any background
apps/processes (and what if one runs a Windows VM on their linux
box?). So how much memory does blender typically "get" after overhead
on a 2G system running XP, how about Vista, Win7, Win8, or Linux? Each
newer OS version tends to use more memory that prior ones for itself..
so requiring a new OS is likely to artificially "require" more system
memory to let blender do the same thing. So maybe the better thing to
do would be state what specific developmental/runtime requirements
will be minimally supported instead of what some assumed hardware/OS,
that may or may not meet those true requirements, when blender is
executed on a user's system. This goes back to my previously stated
principle of "don't assume just because a system _has_ resource X that
application Y will get that due to user's choices of how that system
is used overall" (give or take however I originally phrased it).

Oh, and when the minimums do change.. would it be better to do it on
major 2.x lines? So we don't have users going "Feature X in 2.67 is
great (despite the crashes).. I can't wait for the stabilized form in
2.68, the next minor release. What? I can't run 2.6x anymore _with_ a
stable feature X?!"


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