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

Sebastian Parborg sebastian at blender.org
Fri Jan 21 16:21:12 CET 2022

I don't think sticking to the VFX platform is a good idea.
Especially since the python versions they are sticking to are in some
cases not supported anymore (or the support for them will be dropped
very quickly upstream).

This will lead to issues where we can't use the required python
version ourselves anymore without considerable effort to maintain the
python packages ourselves in our Linux distributions.
Which I would never recommend to do as upstream python developers
dropped support for it.

>From my point of view the VFX platform is for studios that wants to
setup a production environment and never update any of the installed
software for 3-5 years. That is fine for them because they will then be
in an self isolated and frozen environment.

However for development and moving the Blender project forward, that is
a utterly horrible environment that is very much alike the "waterfall"
style of product development.

It will lead to very rigid and stale development environment which will
use obsolete library versions and APIs even before we do a new release.
Our developers will not be able to be agile when handling library
related issues or follow upstream development incrementally. This also
means that we can't collaborate with upstream that well either.

To me the easiest solution would simply just to take the stance that if
someone wants to use a frozen and outdated target platform, then they
can simply just use an older version of Blender that uses the required
python version and libraries.

Otherwise it seems very counter productive for us to try to accommodate
and supply newer versions of Blender to a system that shouldn't update
and stay frozen in the first place.

This discussion feels to me like a "you can't have your cake and eat
it too" situation. There is a request to be able to use a "stable and
frozen" system. But at the same time it also wants to have the latest
and the greatest.

On Fri, Jan 21, 2022 at 02:27:19PM +0100, Dalai Felinto via Bf-committers
> To have studios contributing to Blender is a two-way street. And Blender
> sticking to the VFX is the least the Blender project can do on its end.

I think we will just be doing everyone involved a disservice to be
honest. What you are essentially saying is "moving from agile
development to waterfall development is the least we can do".

When I read this my alarm bells and warning sirens are going off as I
have seen this before. It usually doesn't lead to the big players
contributing more, the reverse actually.

You will reduce the incentive to contribute upstream. You can see this
with for example Android. There, google has tried for a very long time
to have people contribute to the development. But by creating distinct
stable versions, most of their potential contributors instead just
targeted those version and never contributed back anything.

I has gotten a bit better lately as more companies did eventually
realize that having their changes upstream would reduce their
development and maintenance costs.

However, this took several years is not decades because there was a nice
and stable target they could use.

If we listened to what "the industry" would have liked, then we would
have somehow relicensed Blender to be BSD instead of GPL and the be
surprised when we actually get less contributions.

So what I am trying to say is that you are saying that you are making it
easier to contribute while at the same time removing an incentive for
upstreaming code.

That is a one way street to me.

Sebastian Parborg

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