[Bf-committers] Design process meeting notes - 2019.08.13

Dalai Felinto dfelinto at gmail.com
Tue Aug 13 21:16:06 CEST 2019


We had a meeting today about the design decision process in Blender.
The design module was represented by William and Brecht.

Participants: Brecht Van Lommel, Dalai Felinto, William Reynish
August 13th, 2019

A lot of the points here apply to the other modules as well. But since
the design module spread throughout all Blender is important to also
be the more clear in its communication process.

Quick topics overview
* Big picture
* developer.blender.org
* Buttons removal
* Miscellaneous topics

Big picture
The design team helps us define the big picture. And this should
always be properly documented so we can refer back to it. Without
this, changes may be perceived as arbitrary personal preferences.

When it comes to change the user interface to comply to these,
however, the specific modules are to be involved directly as much as

The tracker is still the place where all the design is presented.
Though for the design process often chatting is important. It is a
dance where we keep going back and forth between discussing things in
our channels, reporting them back to the tracker, receive feedback
there, and re-iterate.

It is important though to keep the discussions concentrated as much as
possible on the tracker, so they are not lost in blender.chat, emails,
... even if only to summarize what was discussed elsewhere. Though the
more we can have the conversation there, more open it is.

Buttons removal
We had recently an episode where the first points here were rushed
through leading to some disagreement on design decisions. This
particular incident was related to the removal of buttons in the video
sequence and text editors.

This was a very isolated episode where the design behind these
decisions wasn't well documented (and reviewed by a broader team).

There is not much to add to this though. The autonomy we delegate to
the modules may lead to surprises like this every now and then.
Considering the sheer volume of the design team workload, I'm actually
surprised these "polemics" don't come up more often. That said we will
keep working to make sure the bigger picture and guidelines are more
clearly communicated and signed of before we go down to the specific

Miscellaneous topics
Since we were together we got over the short/medium term roadmaps for
the design module and the current state of a few projects.

1. Video Sequence Editor, or, VSE - need a clear usability picture for
the future. [The grease pencil team has a whole task dedicated to
bring storyboarding into VSE, they are planning a meeting on that soon
- T68321]

2. Collections I/O - during 2.80 we had some rough design for
supporting I/O integrated with collections but we need to move this to
the tracker [it is on Dalai's list].

3. Short term projects - Drag multiple objects, ... as the first
project to follow the new module page format with papercuts and all,
the design module has its hands full already.

4. Asset Manager - Bastien (Montagne) is in the institute. He will
meet with Brecht about how to tackle it for future releases.

5. Particles / Everything Nodes - The current goal is to have some of
it in 2.82. The focus is on delivering something solid as a start
point, without getting lost on the project complex scope.

6. UI developer

We once again acknowledged that we still need a dedicated UI
developer. At the moment our UI developers are also our most senior
developers. And we can't afford to fully allocate them for that.

Best regards,

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