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

Campbell Barton ideasman42 at gmail.com
Mon Jan 24 01:57:57 CET 2022

On Sun, Jan 23, 2022 at 12:22 AM Brian Savery via Bf-committers
<bf-committers at blender.org> wrote:
> > At some point strategic decisions like this should have tangible
> > benefits beyond the *possability* of attracting a user base. Maybe it
> > will be different this time - in that case there should be an
> > explanation as to why.
> >
> One benefit that seems to be overlooked is the compatibility of add-ons.
> Particularly those with c-extensions. With the move to python 3.9 some
> add-ons lagged in compatibility.
> Sticking to the VFX platform usually means add-ons will be up to date with
> that python if they are used in various apps.

Yes, there are benefits to using the VFX platform's Python version,
although I'd be interested to know if there are many add-ons meet the
following conditions:

- Use Python's C extension API.
- Rely on libraries that are part of the VFX platform.
- Were held back by Blender upgrading from Python 3.7 to 3.9 in the past
  (for more than a few months).

Making this point could come off as dismissive, as if to suggest such
add-ons aren't important but that's not my intention. The down-sides
should be weighed up against the accumulated benefits of ~2 years
fixes/features & optimizations that Python receives which add-on
developers can take advantage of too - areas such as improved
debugging, errors, type-checking and performance which is a focus for
the upcoming Python release.

> > > One of the long-term goals for the Blender project, is to welcome more
> > > contributions by the industry. And I think investing on that vision
> > trumps
> > > the immediate benefit the latest Python (or other library) brings to
> > > Blender.
> >
> > It seems likely to me the benefits of Python sticking to the VFX
> > platform are being perceived as greater than they actually are (beyond
> > messaging that "we support the VFX platform").
> >
> > While there are scenarios with Python ABI compatibility (relating to
> > the VFX platform) can cause problems, and I'm not saying nobody ever
> > ran into these issues - this seems more like a corner case which isn't
> > actually blocking people in the VFX industry using Blender in
> > practice. If it was, they were not vocal when it was announced we
> > planned to upgrade to Python 3.9.
> >
> > Part of my skepticism gets into the details of what the VFX platform
> > is generally used for, from what I can gather the QT graphical toolkit
> > and it's Python bindings are a significant factor deciding if Python
> > can be upgraded for the VFX platform. (PySide [1] sometimes lags in
> > it's Python support).
> >
> > Since using QT from Blender is impractical (last I checked at least),
> > it's not clear if sticking to an older Python has all that much
> > benefit for VFX users either (as native Python modules typically
> > aren't a problem).
> >
> > > 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.
> >
> > As far as I can see we tried this and it didn
> >
> --
> brian.savery at gmail.com
> 508-274-8700
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- Campbell

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