[Bf-funboard] 2.28 features

Matt Ebb bf-funboard@blender.org
Tue, 22 Jul 2003 10:41:28 +1000

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ton Roosendaal" <ton@blender.org>
To: <bf-funboard@blender.org>
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2003 11:01 PM
Subject: [Bf-funboard] 2.28 features

> Hi all,
> In the rush to get a 2.28 before Siggraph, I've copied a few features
> from Tuhopuu. Which include:
> - the feature which automatic shows LampButtons or MaterialButtons when
> you select an Object.

I have to disagree with this one, as I mentioned to Ton earlier. I can
understand the reasoning for it (makes things a little more
context-sensitive), but I think it will cause way more problems than it
solves, especially for new users.

Firstly, it'll make all the tutorials and docs out of date. When a newbie is
doing a tutorial that involves lights, they'll look at the screen and think
"huh?? this version of Blender doesn't support lights!" since the light
button only shows up if a light is already selected. I'm worried (and S68
seems to be as well) about the  extra 'support problems' this will create,
particularly over at elsyiun.com. It's also counter-intuitive to have the
button changing all the time. Especially for something as major as the
buttons headers (which is the main 'control panel' of Blender), it's best
for things to remain stable, so the user can build an expectation of the
system and 'get to know it'. If things are changing around, it leads to
confusion and a feeling that the user is not in control of the system. See
the remarkable UI failures of Microsoft's changing menus in Office..

Secondly, it's not that logical. Perhaps if it doubled with Editbuttons in
some way to make some sort of generic context-sensitive 'edit an object's
properties' button, then it would make more sense, but sharing it with the
materialbuttons doesn't make much sense to me since they're quite different

And last, unless there are definite improvements to changing things, I think
most UI changes that break 'backwards compatibility' (especially with older
tutorials) should be saved until there are many things, and it can all be
done in one big change. If we keep making changes in bits and pieces in all
the versions along the way, then you end up with a situation where the UI is
constantly changing, users must re-learn their old habits, tutorials made
along the way get out of date, and people have to try to remember what
version has what little idiosyncracy when trying to answer questions in

Anyway that's my little annoying nitpick The rest of the 2.28 stuff looks
great, and I'm really looking forward to it. However for this one, I think
the number of disadvantages greatly outweigh the advantages.