[Bf-committers] Please can we get a decision about future support for Collada ?

homac homac at strace.org
Fri Nov 27 08:40:53 CET 2015

Hey there!

Not sure if I'm free to express my opinion here, but I feel somehow 
related to this discussion due to my current project.

Long story short: I suggest a radical change and move further towards a 
pure plugin architecture (even on C language level), removing (i.e. 
outsourcing) everything that's not blender core functionality into a 
separate plugin project (no longer part of blender's source code tree).

Blender has grown to a significant large system trying to fulfill all 
kinds of user demands. Unfortunately, the development/maintenance effort 
grows exponentially with the size of a software system due to the 
interfaces between modules and necessary negotiations between the 
different teams maintaining it. And people tend to stick to what they 
already have which results in interfaces getting more and more messed up 
with every compromise made to suite the needs of others due to the tight 

Consequently moving to a plugin architecture concept (again: on C 
level), and removing everything not actually part of blenders core 
functionality, cleans up interfaces and gives you more freedom for 
future developments. The plugin teams on the other side have their own 
freedom to write whatever they think is necessary, and they know exactly 
what they can expect from core. (so, gaia: you could keep maintaining 
collada if you so desire - that's why I wrote this mail ;) ). Due to the 
same reason, it will attract more coders to contribute and the blender 
ecosystem will grow even faster without you having to worry about it. 
And blender can need it, because development seems a bit behind schedule 
considering modern methods and technologies - as I realised in less than 
a month working with blender core and listening what you are talking 
about on channels.

For those, who didn't get the picture yet: I think of Eclipse or Apache 
server as some prominent successful examples. There is of course a lot 
of ranting between the different groups, and plugins/modules tend to 
have compatibility issues but the benefit is obvious, I believe.


On 26/11/15 23:09, Brecht Van Lommel wrote:
> I think the main issue is that every feature in Blender has some
> maintenance cost. Refactoring, updating for new features, bug fixing,
> building library dependencies, etc, also for people who are not
> maintaining the module itself. Especially with big refactoring like
> Blender 2.8. Imagine for example big changes to the material system
> that would require Collada material I/O to be rewritten.
> The question is then if it's worth the cost. A few years ago Collada
> seemed like it could become a real 3D interchange standard, but it
> seems that hasn't happened. Looking ahead 2 years for the Blender 2.8
> release, will it still be relevant then?
> Still there are some users, so it would be interesting to understand
> what they use it for. I've seen some people use Collada for basic mesh
> export from Blender into some smaller or custom game engines, but
> other file formats could work for that as well. For materials,
> animation, armatures I'm under the impression that I/O was never
> working well enough (both on Blender's and other application's sides).
> But maybe there will still be important use cases for it in 2 years
> and I'm just unaware of them.
> On Thu, Nov 26, 2015 at 9:45 PM, Gaia Clary
> <gaia.clary at machinimatrix.org> wrote:
>> Hello;
>> Recently there was a serious discussion about removing the Collada
>> module from Blender. As far as i understand there is no decision
>> made yet, but i have the impression that all main developers want
>> this module to be removed.
>> * The main problem with keeping Collada seem to be the size of its
>>      libraries (some 40 MBytes) which need to be shipped with Blender
>>      releases.
>> * The main problem with creating a Python based alternative is that
>>      Creating a Collada Importer for Blender is a challenge. Collada
>>      exporters are not such a big problem.
>> Can we get a decision on that? Depending on that decision i will
>> either continue to maintain the Collada module or let it go.
>> But Please do not misunderstand me. If the decision is made to keep
>> the Collada module, then i will of course continue working on it.
>> Otherwise i will step to new challenges :)
>> thanks
>> cheers,
>> Gaia
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