[Bf-committers] Handling of user data.

Zack Brown zacharyb at gmail.com
Mon May 16 22:57:37 CEST 2022

Hi again,

I feel like I have a better understanding of the debate now. On the one
hand, we want to protect user data; and on the other hand, we have a
garbage collector that eliminates data that the user in theory doesn't care
about. And in the grey zone, we have data that the user *does* care about,
but that gets garbage collected anyway. And the problem is, how to prevent
the user from losing data they want to keep, while avoiding keeping data
the user doesn't want to keep.

It seems like one primary suggestion is to simply throw out the garbage
collector -- no more garbage collector, no more problem. If the user
doesn't want a piece of data in their file, they would delete it by hand.
The counter-argument being that the garbage collector is actually really
great and helps us keep our blend files clean and useful.

Another primary suggestion seems to be issuing a warning if the user tries
to quit blender with data that will be garbage collected. The counter
argument being that it would be complicated and bizarre to present the user
with a potentially dizzying array of data and options for that data before
they could quit the software.

It's a fascinating problem, in a piece of software that seems to specialize
in presenting the most unbelievably brilliant solutions for apparently
unsolvable problems, like how to render 3D images in glorious detail in
real time. Obviously impossible. Yet there it is!

Here's a suggestion from a  non-expert who knows nuttin about nuttin: Don't
kill the garbage collector, and don't warn on exit. Instead, why not give
all orphaned data their own prominent collection in the outliner? Maybe
something called "Garbage Data". With a nice set of tooltips that appear
when the user hovers over the various relevant bits. Things that say
something like "Data in this collection has no user and will be deleted
when you exit blender. To prevent deletion, follow the instructions at
http://usefuldocs.blender.org/garbage_data.php to give the data a 'fake

But I'm sure you guys will figure out something 100x better than that idea.
Can't wait to see it!

Be well,

On Mon, May 16, 2022 at 6:40 PM Jacob Merrill via Bf-committers <
bf-committers at blender.org> wrote:

> What about popping up the outliner / orphan data window in quit, and
> showing exclamation icon somewhere if there is a orphan
> On Mon, May 16, 2022, 9:15 AM Harley Acheson via Bf-committers <
> bf-committers at blender.org> wrote:
> > I’d love to have someone flesh out this “warning on quit” idea, because I
> > can’t imagine it actually
> > working in practice.  Mostly because of confusion on what “saving” really
> > means. Users should
> > rightfully only consider that “saving their data” does exactly that, not
> > that some of their data might
> > differ and have to be “saved” in different ways.
> >
> > As its simplest, imagine that you have no unsaved changes in your file
> (you
> > just did a File/Save)
> > yet there is orphaned data at the time you select “Quit”.  What exactly
> > does the warning say?
> > “You have unlinked data that will be lost”?  How do you communicate to
> the
> > user what they should
> > do now?  Is there a way to offer to do it for them somehow, or is this
> > warning going to just have an
> > “Ignore” and “Cancel” button? Text that says “please mark anything you
> want
> > to keep by marking
> > the data with ‘fake user’”? That will not help a typical person being
> > caught out by this
> >
> > Now imagine there are both unsaved changes and orphan data at the point
> of
> > “quit”.  We now
> > have to warn about unsaved changes that can be “saved” and there are
> other
> > things that should
> > be “saved” in a different way before you “save” so that they are actually
> > “saved”. So we have a
> > button to cancel, one to save the unsaved changes while ignoring orphan
> > data, and what else
> > is on the dialog?
> >
> > I'm not sure there is sufficient lipstick that can be put on this pig.
> >
> > Harley
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Zack Brown

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