[Bf-committers] Understanding the dev process

antonioya blend blendergit at gmail.com
Wed Jul 10 13:35:26 CEST 2019

I have been reading all previous emails and I can only add my personal experience.  First of all, I’m a developer and system designer of databases, financial systems and business applications in general, so I don’t come from Graphics or Games world and maybe my opinions are not relevant here.

I came to Blender in 2009 because I wanted to do something fun, outside of the world of financial applications. I started as user and in 2014 I started to develop.  All my Blender development was done as a voluntary with no payment, and this is part of the fun… I have my work (DB) and I do Blender to relax, because I love programming.

The first thing that I noticed to Blender was that it was a close group of people talking in a language that I did not understand.  I came to Blender with ideas, and I knew what I wanted to do, but sometimes phrases like “oh, yes this is not in the daily build, take patch xxxxx from Phabricator and apply, but be careful with the DNA to not break RNA”. For someone that comes from outside Blender, this is like a mystery, so I had to use a lot of time, not to develop, but to understand the “workflow” and what they meant.

About grease pencil, I started due my frustration with the limitations of Blender in 2D, so I did some code and had the luck of contact with Daniel, so we did a team and we started to develop and enjoy. Later, Matias added to the team. During this development, sometimes we had the feeling that the people don’t take our opinions as seriously as it would be… I mean, sometimes we were one week thinking in any small decision, doing meetings and finally take a decision… but when we explain this decision to core developers, the first answer sometimes was: you are wrong… but then we spend days/weeks trying to explain that our decision was not trivial, we had reasons for that. This sometimes was frustrating.  Sometimes I feel the same when you call a help center of any company, you explain you are developer, explain in details a problem, and they answer “did you try to shut down the PC?”. We must avoid it because this can make us loose new talented developers.  

During these years, I noticed a lot of small, but important, changes in the new developers welcome and communication (great Kudos for Pablo Vazquez communication work) in the right direction. Maybe add some videos made by developers to developers would be great… something like a “welcome pack” for developers with basic tutorials. We must think that outside Blender there are a lot of people doing great things that don’t know what is Blender and we must help them to understand what is and how works.

Finally, I want to say that my opinions above are the 0.5% to improve, but I like the rest 99.5%. Developers and people in the community are great and they are always open to help you, so I only can give thanks to them. Developers have limited resources and time and I’m sure all try to do their best.

Regards and thanks for your time,
Antonio Vazquez (antonioya)

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