In regards to blenderartist.org forums

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loquack
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In regards to blenderartist.org forums

Post by loquack » Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:59 pm

Hi,

Before reading the following please understand this is not intended to start a flame war or any great debate. What I express herein is a legitimate concern however minor it may seem. My intent is to present a logical argument and nothing more. Oh sorry ahead of time its a bit lengthy.

I have been using blender for various things for sometime now. Up until recently I have found everything I needed either in a tutorial or in the docs, occasionally I use a forum here and there for research. But now I have been trying to learn how to use the sequence editor and the node editor for video editing and composition. I could not find the information I needed. So following the advice in the community section I went to blenderartists.org as it is listed as a "friendly" forum to get support. After searching for a while I had not found the precise information I was looking for however I did see a post which had not received a reply. I had some information which may have helped this person so I signed up and posted a response. That post did show up. This morning someone had replied to my post correcting me on a point, and that person was correct blender does support 29.97 ntsc as of 2.46 via base fps divisor.

Here is where the problems begin. I attempted to reply to that person thanking him for the info. As I posted I received a message saying the post must be approved by the moderator. I tried a repost thinking it was a session timeout issue, my new post showed up but then vanished after trying to change "tot he" to "to the" via the edit function.

I went to look in the Website & Forum forum under the support section and the first non sticky topic spoke to my problem. I was not the only one in fact there were several other posts about this problem. One such post referenced another thread found here http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=130409 In that post moderator OTO explains the new user policy for posting.
Hello
new users posts need to be approved now, it's a quite great amount of work!
If you still have posts "invisible", post links here, please!
Bye
Following those instructions I posted and included a link to the topic which contained my missing posts. Well guess what, that post does not show up either. You can't even post to the support thread about invisible posts. Irony in action. Furthermore that thread indicates that some posts have not been approved and are still missing weeks later. That thread itself dates back to July 17th. What is even more troublesome is we can have no idea how many users are having this problem since they can not even post to get forum support.

Yes approving every post is in dead a great amount of work and if they are not up to that task, which would require 24/7 moderation of every forum, they should not use such a policy and find another method for weeding out spam. There are many solutions which do not require a manual touch.
Furthermore there seems to be some inconsistency as some posts show up immediately for no reason, so we cannot be sure it is a policy and not a technical issue which they are unable to identify.

This situation is frustrating at best. The moderators are non communicative. The quote above is the only moderator response in that thread, despite several questions raised.

I cannot begin to tell how much I love blender as a program. I can not use other apps I have problems with the interface since the first 3d app I used was blender. Indeed the interface is intuitive if you have not learned the dogmatic approach of other programs. It is this reason that I am so concerned by the current state of blenderartists.org forums as a recommended source of support and information.

Imagine yourself as a new user of blender and you go to blender artists as suggested. You search and search maybe you find the info maybe you don't or possibly you find it but have additional questions. You go to post your questions only to find that your post may not be visible for week on end and perhaps never. When you try to get help on the forums, your told to post a message that does not show up either. What level of frustration do you think the new user may experience and what outcome will that generate? If I were not a software engineer and instead lets say I was just an artist or animator ect... without a great deal of technical knowledge. I would likely be downloading Maya PLE 8.5 right now and say bye to blender. But I am a software engineer so worse comes to worse Ill just spend some time looking through the source to figure things out. But those without such skills may not have the patience to wait it out.

The purpose of a forum is to communicate. The ability to post does not Guarantee you a response or a solution. But what it does guarantee is the potential for a response. Its the age old question if a tree fall is the woods and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound. In the case of the forum no it does not make a sound nor can you verify the tree exists in the first place. From a design perspective the usability of a system is critical, as a forum it is currently not functional at least for new users.

Just as giving someone a job reference reflects upon yourself, the resources and tools which blender.org recommends to its users reflects back to blender.org and Blender3d itself, regardless of whether or not such a reflection is valid, most people still relate such things. I would hate to see blender lose new users from frustration or just in spite of an interacting with a third party product.

Perhaps at sometime blenderartists.org was a mighty resource for blender. Today it remains a good source of information however the forums are currently not interactive.
As described on this site
One of the most active independent user sites, with excellent forums for support.
As this is in no way accurate for a new user,
I would respectfully request either Blenderartist.org be removed from the blender.org site from both the user community heading and the blender.org forum index or both locations have an updated description in bold Warning user of the inability to communicate using their forums and as such the site may only server as a non-interactive source of information, until such a time when the situation is verifiably ratified.

I understand if this is not well received or if it is not viewed as a concern by others, I respect that and do not intend to push this any further than what I have stated.

Thank you for you time.

loquack
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Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:41 pm

addendum

Post by loquack » Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:06 am

In addition to the 2 places on this site blenderartists.org is mentioned. It is also referenced in the this News and Chat forum.

http://www.blender.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11012
Welcome new users!

You have questions about *using* blender?

The quickest place to get answers:

The friendly User Forums at http://blenderartists.org/forum/

Is hardly accurate and also should be updated.

Thanks again.

leFaquin
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Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:09 am

Post by leFaquin » Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:57 am

Same thing here. I needed help, posted an image to clarify things and make it easier to understand...but it's been a week now and nothing happens.

If one's needs help, he shouldn't have to raise his post count to be considered human.
He should have a anwser from the commnunity.

There is always someone willing to help you on Blenderartists, and that's what makes the community so awesome, but then again, if you have to wait for an approval, it's simply frustrating.

*Sorry for the grammar/syntax mistakes.

ysvry
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Post by ysvry » Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:46 am

that forum sucks, better try the blender forum at cgnet or renderosity.

I too tried it long ago , it was called something like assylun and i oppted to call it difrently only to be greeted with abuse, lo and behold they changed theire name but didnt change theire attitude. better include the forums i mention in the link page here. renderosity is for serious hobbyist
cgnet for profesionals, and blender artist for teenagers.

joeri
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Post by joeri » Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:58 am

LOL... No really... LOL.
I'm called brutal before today so: ROFL !!!

So sad to see blenders capital ( the huge resource its user base is ) being waisted on an amature site as blenderartists.org.

I'm so happy Bart started BlenderNation to reflect some professionalism that blender is trying to reach as an audience. But Ton's failure to see that the real capital should be hosted and facilitated on this site is of the biggest ignorance i've seen in him.
Albeit I can see that shifting pro and troll on a user forum is not an easy task.
And maybe not a nice hobby to have.

ton
Site Admin
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Post by ton » Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:52 pm

I only see this thread now. Urgent attention is just an email away eh! :)

Anyhoo, you are right to reject this action from blendartists.org, will ask around what they think to do about it, otherwise we have to find alternatives.

Goofster
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2002 12:26 pm

Post by Goofster » Tue Sep 09, 2008 4:21 pm

Hi,

Ton referred me to this thread.

Let me first say that the usability and friendlyness of blenderartists.org is a great priority to me. I know we have a great responsibility to Blender users.

Let me clarify the moderating situation of the forum:

- users who register at the forum must pass a bot-check (so-called captcha)
- users with less than 5 posts may not post links, the post is blocked
- some keywords in posts will cause the post to be blocked, these keywords include certain brand names and spam-heavy words like pills

The last 2 precautions were implemented because we saw a big rise in spam, to a point where the forum was becoming un-usable. I am very aware that these precautions can cause frustration with users and it is certainly not my intention to keep these measures for a long time. However, I felt they were necessary to protect the forum and it's users.

You are correct in stating that the workforce required to handle the moderation queue is currently not available. I chose for a very effective, yet slightly clumsy way to prevent spam that unfortunately also targets users who mean well.

I apologize for the inconvenience of these measures. I can only promise that I am working hard to improve this situation and find a better solution to our spam issues.

Sincerely,

Roel "Goofster" Spruit
BlenderArtists.org Administrator

malCanDo
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Location: Ireland
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Post by malCanDo » Thu Sep 11, 2008 5:06 pm

While I understand the need for moderation to a point, it definitely seems as if something is wrong.

Here are two recent examples...

1) Maxime, from the GSoC Freestyle project.
This was in the latest blog...
"Finally, I don’t know why but none of my posts on the BA thread are listed. I registered 4 days ago. Is that normal to wait for that long for getting moderator approval ?"

4 days???


2) There was a thread that Campbell had started, relating to ports of the GE to other platforms.

I briefly chatted to Jeremy from http://www.goop.org/psp/gl/ ( an OpenGL PSP library ), and he posted to the thread, offering his advice.

However, he mentioned that he had posted something, but nothing had gone through after a few weeks.


Now, of course Maxime will get on ba.org eventually, but the 2nd developer might not.


Do new members get emailed back as to why their posts are not approve ( eg contain links ), so at least they could address this?

And maybe lower the e-mail limit a bit, even to 1, so that the first posting cannot contain links, to see if that helps a bit?

What happens if the first post contains a link ( and gets with-held ), but the 2nd post doesnt' contain a link?

I think blenderartists.org is a fantastic resource ( esp the GE sections ), but it's important to take notice - if people are complaining, something needs fixing to ensure that the high level of user happiness is maintained.

2c...
Mal

kernond
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Location: Virginia

Post by kernond » Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:39 pm

I would have to say that it's been my experience that Blenderartists is not the friendliest place to be.

However, I don't believe it's a reflection of the Administrator(s). My experience has been more with the attitude of some of the users and moderators. It's unfortunate because the site has been around for so long but, I can't see it surviving the long-term in its current state. As more forums are born and mature, I believe that Blenderartists will simply become less attractive.

Too many things happen there that are just complete turn-offs.
BlenderNewbies
A resource for learning Blender 3D.
- LINK: http://www.blendernewbies.com

achrystie
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 3:33 am

I completely agree.

Post by achrystie » Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:53 pm

I joined Blenderartists about a year ago. I got some good help with image files for the online version of the essential blender book. However, I've tried three times in the last few months to post in "other" threads and not a single one of them has shown up, at all. Two of these posts were many months ago.
So I guess Blenderartists is a "club" forum now. Exclusive to those that managed to get in a minimum number of posts on the forum "prior" to the change in moderation.
This is unfortunate for people like me who pop in and post from time to time but don't spend loads of time posting to every discussion on every forum we visit.
I'll try out the cgsociety forum instead.

Blend'n 4 jesus
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Post by Blend'n 4 jesus » Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:14 pm

I disagree with it being a non-user friendly forum. A few of my posts were blocked, but for good reason. Easy to get around the spam block, post attachments, instead of linking to images until you have enough posts.

See this quote from moderator Blendenzo:
I apologize for the problems you experienced. Our forum is very popular, and as such we are regularly targeted by spambots. It is a common practice of spambots to post links and images in threads, so the forum software is set to hide all posts by new users which contain links or images.

I know this is inconvenient, but it is necessary. You cannot see the threads hidden by the forum software like I can, but I assure you that there are at least five threads containing hardcore pornographic images, three threads advertising mortgage and credit services, and about five more threads advertising a range of other unwanted services on the first page of the News and Discussion board alone! We would not be able to run a reputable community website if we did not employ measures to prevent such postings from appearing to our members. The unfortunate side effect of these measures is that legitimate postings like yours are occasionally mis-identified as spam.
I am thankful that us members don't have to see this garbage! The forum is still being targeted by spambots that get around the blocker, but when reported, the mods usually get the spam deleted quickly.

The mods and admins are doing a good job of keeping the junk away from us, so it can be a clean forum, but unfortunately they are people and have other responsibilities, so they rely on technology to help them. Unfortunately, technology can not tell the difference between honest members and spam, so it causes some difficulty. I wish new members were alerted of this when they joined though.

/happy blenderartists member![/quote]
-Becs

geissinger-design
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Post by geissinger-design » Fri May 01, 2009 1:06 pm

I disagree with being a user-friendly forum.

First time I tried to register I got this message:
Our server has detected the presence of multiple IP connections from your machine, with one of the connections being an "Open Proxy" or blacklisted IP. Connections of this nature are often used in order to abuse, spam or defraud. Our server has denied you any further access until both IP addresses can be resolved or the presence of the Open Proxy connection closed.
WT..?

As I have a dynamic IP I was able to register the next day. Then I posted my latest rendering but it didnt show up. On CGTalk it took maybe 6h to get my post approved by the mods. There I´ve been waiting for over 24h and nothing happend. I posted a similar text on blenderartists.org, not knowing if it comes through. It actually did. As I can be shure my posts will show up here, I want to say some more words on that problem:

Until I accidentally discoverd the thread covering this problem at blenderartists.or I thought all the time it must be my fault, that I´m doing something wrong, that my image wasn´t "good" enough or whatnot. As I waited and had a look at other images in the "Finished Projects" forum I ruled out the 2. possibility. I want to stress that again. All the time I was not aware what is going on, so I started to say the least wasting my time trying to find out, what the problem is.

So I totally agree with loquack:
As this is in no way accurate for a new user,
I would respectfully request either Blenderartist.org be removed from the blender.org site from both the user community heading and the blender.org forum index or both locations have an updated description in bold Warning user of the inability to communicate using their forums and as such the site may only server as a non-interactive source of information, until such a time when the situation is verifiably ratified.

animate1978
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Post by animate1978 » Wed May 13, 2009 2:27 am

I too feel that the BA forum is a bit too hostile. Recently there has been a team of 3D artists that are using the BBB content to make an short, fully complying with the CC license and even have Ton's approval and support - yet because it's made in Maya and NOT Blender there has been sickening uproar all over the net about it. In the thread there were MANY hostile and even a couple of racist remarks against these people, all of whom are doing this for fun - not profit. They are only using Maya because that is what they know. I won't go into detail about more of it because there is so much more on BA as well as BlenderNation that it's not worth repeating. Though the BA moderators did remove the obvious abusive posts - the mark has been made. It has been bothering me for some time and I think it's time to say something.

Blender users (a percentage) are thinking as elitist. This is a bad move by them and with all due respect I think a lot of us should start rethinking our approach towards the rest of the 3D world. This recent flame war against some people who are using Maya is a very good example. I made a post on BlenderNation as well that in regards to this - why are we so eager to celebrate someone's efforts to convert other 3D models into Blender but when it's done the other way around that is considered bad? I am speaking in fact of the Generi Rig originally made by Andrew Silke years ago in Maya but was converted to Blender format (and rigged) last year - the Blender world was happy. Reverse that and some people converting BBB content to Maya and the world explodes. To the best of my knowledge very very few people have used the open content at all, so someone doing something new with it is worth it - it shouldn't matter what app they use.

The worst of it is that it seems to be mostly present at the BA site, I frequent CGTalk the most since I do talk to a lot of professionals that don't even use Blender at all so it is worth more of my time to be there. However the Blender users of that site tend to be a lot more kind and in general do not go and post harsh remarks about anything not open source or Blender related. Even here on the mother site (hehe) the "attitude" is a bit more professional (though I rarely visit here either).

Point is that if this "elitist" thought process goes on, it will only hurt Blender in the eyes of the industry. Us Blender users don't get a lot of nods of approval from professionals, which is slowly changing but still the general consensus is biased against it. The difference is that these people on CGTalk for example do not post flame wars, they understand that Blender is an open source project and do admire it's strengths but are quick to point out that in order to "get a job" in the industry (as in working for a studio or production house) you NEED to learn the standard tools, which is VERY true. The atmosphere on the BA site seems to feel that unless it's not in Blender it's not worth it and they will attack you if you try to defend your stance. If you speak bad about Blender (or even just aggravated) then you are attacked even more. I avoid going to that site because of the unfriendly and sometimes hostile attitude.

It does affect us all though because even though some of the worst are made by a small percentage - these kinds of attitudes are spreading and that makes Blender users as a whole look VERY bad. I am a big promoter of Blender - I own www.blendertorenderman.org - and I can tell you I have had my fair share of hostility, I can take it because I understand that there is a need for the things this project is about. I also use Maya a lot since that is what is used most by the kinds of places I want to work at. I am fully aware that not one tool can do everything and most studios do not use just one tool for everything and mainly use that one tool for one thing before it gets to the next stage and something else is used.

So why all this hostility? Why does the Blender community, BA mainly, feel that they need to be hostile towards anything else in the market? It's becoming a problem and I would hate to see Blender users being shunned because of a few rotten apples (as the saying goes).

Sorry for the rant but this has been on my mind for a few years and the recent extreme hostile nature towards some guys donating free time to make a short popped my trigger and now I feel I have to voice my opinion.

Can't we all just get along? :(

jitendra
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Post by jitendra » Wed May 13, 2009 6:02 pm

My first post too was considered a spam. but then its human nature, when they see something unusual, rather than considering it good , they assume it to be bad and this is were problem starts. i think people should stop bearing this attitude and start looking at new things with a positive attitude.


-jitendra-

joeri
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Post by joeri » Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:01 am

Okay, some constructive remarks:

1. Maybe BlenderArtist's owner can hire Bart to do a good review on the layout of the site. Bart is good at that, and blender artists really needs it.

2. Maybe some funds can be raised to examin the target group and create a site targeted at them. Blender old-farts have died and generation X is becoming a pain.

3. Split Opensource Evangilism from art. Nobody who makes art cares about spreading their tool, rather the opposite as believe today is that the tool creates the difference. Getting Open Code and Open Content is really important, putting it as primary goal is fine but then dont put the word 'art' in your url. ( ie. quick fix for blenderartists is calling it blenderevangelists )

4. Put new web technology in place. Old web technology makes your site dusty. Get some people who know web to straighten up your site. Not only anti spam wise but also community wise. Been on the web lately and seen the social networks? There are some pretty good examples out there on how you can separate debate from flaiming and bulling. I'm sure there are loads of programmers die-ing for a network as the blender community to try an opensource facebook on.

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