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

Morten Mikkelsen mikkelsen7 at gmail.com
Sat Feb 2 20:50:44 CET 2013

Just wanted to say though I'd like to make it a min. requirement for
blender to support pixel shaders
last I checked I wasn't kickin it with the Rockafellas :)

I also want to echo what campbell said that blender runs very well on sub
$500 systems which btw support pixel shaders.

I also want to point out that very few developers work on blender full-time
and let's face it less sexy work
like legacy platform support will most often end up in their hands.
Furthermore, Blender is expected to run on all new generations of OSes so
it seems only fair to me
that subsequently they'd phase out older OSes if there is a need to do so.
I know more about graphics than OSes though so whether or not this is the
case is not for me to say.

If they don't have the resources available to manage it then I feel we all
have to respect that.
As developers they also deserve time to work on features/functionality and
not get wrapped up in perpetual maintenance.

That being said if there is some special interest group that feels as
strongly about it as you do then
obviously, as was already said, could handle such a task.

I do like the idea as much as anyone that blender can be a path for anyone
and at any age to enter
the community and maybe even the industry eventually. However, not to the
extent that I'd be willing
to sacrifice functionality for higher end developers (in terms of abilities
as an artist). As long as that's not the case
I am on board with striving to serve more people. I guess it's a balance.
But ultimately I value features
and functionality over support for legacy hw.

That's my 2 cents anyway.



On Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 5:55 PM, Chad Fraleigh <chadf at triularity.org> wrote:

> On Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 3:31 AM, Ton Roosendaal <ton at blender.org> wrote:
> > I don't think this response justifies the careful and positive way
> everyone who works on Blender is handling this topic. But I realize it
> might not be well visible whether people who talk here are also
> contributing to Blender though.
> >
> > Knowing all of the active devs here quite well, I can only ensure you
> they're all very responsible, and proud to contribute to a program that
> runs on nearly everything.
> >
> > But we have to cope with open source dynamics, which depends on the
> singular fact that nothing happens without people contributing to it.
> That's democratic & fair.
> I have nothing against the blender developers.. in fact I've been
> trying to help and _be_ one of those developers (part time anyway). It
> is just that when someone makes a comment that seems to imply "play
> with blender if you like, but if you're serious and don't have _real_
> hardware, then don't bother", it comes off a little insulting..
> especially for those that don't try to "keep up with Joneses", so to
> speak. This is what I was trying to point out that _IF_ such a view
> was applied to an open source project (like blender), then interest in
> contributing would drop. Letting blender do new and great things,
> giving the average user the potential to create amazing things (and
> without shelling out an insane amount of money for Maya) is the best
> goal.. but alienation effects (which will always happen no mater what)
> should be balanced in.
> And I know I'm not anywhere near the best "professional grade" user of
> blender in the world, and it took me a long time to get the hang of
> it. When I first started I would try it for a while, learn all the
> [effectively] minimum shortcuts, then stop for awhile, and then had to
> relearn all the shortcuts I forget. Mostly this was because there was
> a bug in my laptop video driver that would lock up the system about
> %80 of the time I used the selection box (B), followed by a hardboot,
> and filesystem check. There was no driver update available and being a
> laptop I couldn't install a new video card. I even tried running an
> Xserver and displaying blender back from my BSD box, but hit the same
> bug. Eventually when I did get a new laptop, part of the criteria was
> it _had_ to have a keypad and not use the same series video card, so
> that I could run blender without the problems (see.. that's how much I
> like blender!).
> > For non-developers this 5 year guideline might seem arbitrary or
> unclear, but for everyone who's been working - especially on support and
> bugs - it's a growing frustration that we can't help people anymore using
> old hardware or OSes.
> >
> > Also... developers and users also want the best product possible,
> utilizing current hardware and OS developments. To balance this I proposed
> this guideline, which still offers a far better platform support you'd get
> from any commercial 3d software. Maya wouldn't even be supported 5 years
> ago on systems we still do!
> >
> > At some moment people who are stuck in the past with hardware, also need
> to accept they cannot get new software for it either. We will do our very
> best here, but in cases where support is really impossible we can use the
> proposed guideline to define what to do.
> If it is _just_ a suggested minimum [for the user] and official
> support criteria [for the developers], then that isn't so bad. But
> most of the time when software comes with an OS minimum, they mean it
> -- if it said XP minimum, then it generally _wouldn't_ run on Win98 at
> all. If all blender is changing is that it will only support bugs that
> they can reproduce on "these" officially supported OS's (even if the
> bug was seen on an old OS by the user), then that is different. This
> is why I kept asking "what" those minimum changes really mean (e.g.
> "Don't expect to run newer blenders on XP [at some point] at all" vs.
> "It is known to run on XP, but we can no longer provide support for XP
> specific problems"). Ideally Win32 is Win32 is Win32 and something
> written for that spec, running on Vista, Win7, etc, should still run
> on XP (and maybe even Win98?) But in reality M$ is M$ is M$ and when
> library calls that work on XP Pro don't always work on XP Home, the
> whole ideal thing goes out the window.
> Having said all that, I have no delusions that the current blender
> should run on old systems forever, like a 32M RAM system running Win98
> (though I was a little disappointed many years ago when I could no
> longer install FreeBSD on an old 4M RAM laptop). Maybe I'm just too
> much of an idealist developer, in that if done right, you don't always
> have to make sacrifices (or complete sacrifices) to move forward (the
> Capt. Kirk/Kobayashi Maru opinion of software I suppose). Or maybe
> I've been burned too many times by vendor support and gotten a little
> sensitive.. like that laptop video card -- seems like every hardware
> vender declares EoL on their products just after (if not before)
> people buy their product from a store (unless one buys it when it is
> bleeding-edge and probably costs 5x as much). The laptop venders are
> another problem with customized drivers that you can't always just
> upgrade the OS and find working drivers (because they discontinued
> support once again), forcing you to buy a whole new system (where the
> old one may have been fine, except for the OS, if it was very high-end
> when initially bought).
> > Also note that effectively, for OSX our support level is less than 4
> years now. This is due to the fact Apple makes OSX upgrades available very
> cheap, so nearly everyone's been switching to newer versions.
> This seems to be the new model I heard M$ is adopting (well, I don't
> about the cheap part).. instead of service packs you can "pay" to get
> an update each year. If they charge too much, this might make it worse
> as many users may be unwilling to pay for these updates, where the
> SP's filled in some before so they wouldn't have to jump major
> versions every time. If it becomes all just updates now, some may drag
> their feet even more before becoming "current" (unless you'll be able
> to upgrade from a 5yr old version for the same cost as a 1yr old and
> not all the upgrades in between).
> Oh and as for the dual boot idea mentioned in the other reply.. yes,
> that is an option for some. I did a dual boot on my desktop many years
> ago, but was inconvenient. Now a days just using VirtualBox or
> something would be better, but needs HW with more memory (depending on
> the max it can be upgraded to). Now I just use the Windows that comes
> with the laptop and SSH into my BSD box to do most of my real work.
> And yes, users can still use older versions of blender (in some cases
> with a security risk), but that only goes so far if one expects to
> interact with others (that use current versions). Even if a newer
> blend file can be opened by an old blender, if the model extensively
> uses some new modifier or cycles feature, then the old blender can't
> do much with it. This is another reason why I would like to help get
> blender to a point it can support plugable modules.. so that one might
> be able to drop in a new modifier from say blender 2.93 into blender
> 2.75 (assuming plugable support existed at that point). It could also
> help with system resources.. so instead of compiling or not compiling
> all the features in (e.g. ffmpeg, osl, cycles, xcf), they might all be
> compiled/available modules that can be disabled for those running with
> less memory and whatnot, while still letting those with high end
> systems do it all. And this might even go both ways and let a user
> drop in an older OpenGL blender module into a newer blender (depending
> of the abstraction layer, if any, it uses), getting all/most of the
> new features and still running on their old video card/driver.
> -Chad
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