[Bf-committers] Proposal for clarified VFX Reference Platform Support

Sergey Sharybin sergey at blender.org
Fri Jan 14 14:59:50 CET 2022

Hi everyone,

This message is meant to address some ongoing confusion about how Blender
is adhering to the VFX Reference Platform, and clarify the Blender
project’s goals.

Currently developers and platform maintainers are spending considerable
amount of time in discussions when a library update is proposed (or even
when it is needed as a bug fix). This time is spent on weighting cons and
pros, sometimes ending up with decisions that go against measurable
benefits of Blender users who are not following the VFX Reference Platform
in their pipeline or work environment.

In other cases, some libraries are already not following the VFX Reference
Platform because of critical bug fixes that required a library update.

I propose to limit the compatibility scope with the VFX Reference Platform
to the following:

 > Blender runs on an operating system stated by the VFX Reference
Platform, but the exact library versions are not followed.

This allows Blender to run in an “industry” pipeline, while at the same
time provides developers with the freedom of quickly improving and fixing
Blender for the whole community. In order to help the industry to mitigate
risks of symbol conflicts when their Python add-ons use mismatching
libraries, we can make the symbol hiding more aggressive.

The restriction on the libraries update would be not to break file
compatibility for 3rd party formats such as EXR, VDB, Alembic: files
exported from Blender should be openable in another software used in the
pipeline, and vice-versa.

Surely, the proposal above is based on my own observations and experience
of working in the related areas. Feedback is welcome.

Best regards,
- Sergey -
Sergey Sharybin - sergey at blender.org - www.blender.org
Principal Software Engineer, Blender
Buikslotermeerplein 161, 1025 ET Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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