Blender Official Feature Request System, a proposal !

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Pierre-Luc_Auclair
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Blender Official Feature Request System, a proposal !

Post by Pierre-Luc_Auclair » Tue Dec 21, 2004 10:21 pm

I've worked about a week on this, designing various pages and functionnalities. It is a project for an official feature request for Blender.

A few pictures
I haven't done all the pages yet, but you get the idea.

http://www.heliosmulti.com/images/bfr/bfrs_home.png
http://www.heliosmulti.com/images/bfr/bfrs_bnv.png
http://www.heliosmulti.com/images/bfr/bfrs_bnv2.png

Description:
The Blender Official Feature Request System (BOFRS) is a complete feature request system to help in the development of new features. There is a priority system included, so most requested features will be pushed for development.

Feature requests will have to be complete and exhaustive. No butchered requests.

This will also help to gather all the requests made by users. It will be a reference point for everyone.

Users will have to login to post comments, requests and development process.
Requesters and programmers will be rewarded by points systems. Simple posters will have statuses depending on the number and pertinence of their comments.

Submit feature request:
-Keywords
-Name
-Exhaustive description
-Explanation why it's something we need
-Type of feature (categories)

Browse feature request:
-By category, subcategory
--By name
--By author
--By date
--By rating
-Search option

See feature request:
-Description, name, date, etc.. (information)
-Rate (on 10)
-Comments system
-I'll do it ! (allows a programmer or programmer group to assign himself to a feature)
-Go to development process (if a programmer is working on it)

Development process page for programmers:
-Newest releases
-News
-Comments system
-Request for final status approval by the programmer (has to go through testing before given permission)
-Feature for coders to offer or ask for help (forming a team)

Top coders/coders groups system:
-Points are assigned to teams or individuals at every feature they accomplish
-Programmer levels (based on contribution levels)
-Gives another reason to do a feature, or to do more, for reputation (eventually reward maybe)
-Top priority request give a few more points

Top features request:
-Based on number of demands

Features completed/Updated system:
-Latest releases are listed there

Profile/Favourites/PM/Management system:
-Coders can access their individual development page update system
-Groups news
-Favourite request
-Profile (avatar, name, email, website, etc.)

Help:
-FAQ
-Contact support (for issues with the website)

News system:
-Various news about everything related to Blender


I'm not a good php coder myself (have a basic knowledge), so I'll need a few web programmers to help me on this (html+php+css+mysql).

I'm eager to get your comments and suggestions.

halibut
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Post by halibut » Tue Dec 21, 2004 11:21 pm

Imo, the design should be unified across the blender site(s). Adding a new style, imo, will not help.

Also, I believe people code pretty much what they want. I think it would be overkill to implement what you have suggested.

And if it were to go ahead, surely it would be more efficient to use prebuilt scripts to do what you are suggesting (but then again, in OSS people can decide what they would like to contribute!).

Also, see: http://wiki.blender.org/bin/view.pl/Requests/WebHome

I hope I have not come across as rude, it is obvious you have spent some time on your proposal. Keep in mind this is only my opinion. See what others think also.

- halibut

rcas
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Re: Blender Official Feature Request System, a proposal !

Post by rcas » Wed Dec 22, 2004 12:17 am

Pierre-Luc_Auclair wrote:I've worked about a week on this, designing various pages and functionnalities. It is a project for an official feature request for Blender.
......
This was discussed at the Blender Conference and the Coders (and I must say I agree) said that it would be a bit useless, since they do it for the fun in it, not because someone is forcing them to do it.

This would work if there was a team that was being paid for coding things in Blender.

Nevertheless you may make a poll to check the opinions.
How to use a Blender:
Put your model, rig, animation and textures in the Blender, turn the Blender on and wait for it to Render, then turn the Blender off and show it to your friends.

-efbie-
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Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2004 9:47 pm

Post by -efbie- » Wed Dec 22, 2004 12:40 am

I think it could give at least ideas to the coders and to have a general feedback repoistory. It could have a 'Favourite Existing feature' section when people show things they especially like. It could give tips to other users and show to developpers what people want to be kept or applyied in the new tools :)

aoe2bug
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its all good, isnt it?

Post by aoe2bug » Wed Dec 22, 2004 2:20 am

While what the other posters said is generally true (making a feature request
site wont necessarily get it implemented), I think a centralized webpage for
submitting requests would certainly be easier to browse/submit-ideas-to then
the current forum/whatever-else-we-have, and therefore is a good idea. So if
Pierre-Luc_Auclair and others want to work on it, I say more power to them.
That's what open source is about, I thought :D.

Whether or not it is useful will be dependent on whether people use it/coders
visit/etc. :)

But then again,this is more of a general statement on feature requests. :oops:

Money_YaY!
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Post by Money_YaY! » Wed Dec 22, 2004 3:46 am

aw dude ! That isso coolness. I was trying a while ago to build one of these but just cdould not get enough support for it.

It would be nice to see it at the very least built cause it 'could' be used if you and a few others really work at it and keep it advertised and in the coders noses..

I will helpp if you want my help as I really want to see it built..

pinhead_66
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Location: Belgium

Post by pinhead_66 » Wed Dec 22, 2004 10:58 am

Would it in this case be possible to put your complete feature request online? Would the site host the idea's of the people?

Centralizing the request and idea's isn't a bad thing. Discussing and implementing them is something else. If you have to roam several sites with links to other websites, I can imagine that is a lot of work to gather idea's.

To make a whole new site for it would be maybe overkill (one more site to visit), if it could get integrated in blender 3d.org or so, on the official site, it can work, when we all point to that way and direct people towards it.

You obviously spend a lot of time on it, send in your proposal. If it gets picked and worked out (in anyway imaginable) you're work will not be in vein and if it doesn't get through, remember the fun you had making it :)

greets

joeri
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Post by joeri » Wed Dec 22, 2004 1:32 pm

Hi Pierre-Luc_Auclair,

that's a very well thought out proposal.
And you obviously put a lot of work into it.
Generaly it's a good idea.

I'll try to discuss it with Ton and Bart and come back to you on this subject.
If you could mail me your email adress I can contact you by email.
My email is joeri[at]excellentWhale[.]com

There are some problems with your idea.
The main one is that there are to many blender sites already. The foundation is buzy making b.org and b3d.org into one. (There, I've trown your design in the trashcan, just like that).
Another one is php. Blender is pretty famous. So b3d is all .html.
It's cms driven, but the visitor gets static pages.

Currently I'm working on a blender3d.org page that tries to list all the feature requests "out there". It will be (imcomplete) online pretty soon.
I like to see it as: step 1.

It seems to me that (it's a general feeling I have):
Developers like Wiki and artists don't.
Trendwatchers like the forum.
Artists like to put the idea on their own website and discuss in a forum. But maintain the feature request themself.

Some personal notes:
Voting.
Voting can be very contra productive. It doesn't say very much about the feature. It doesn't tell how important the feature really is, it mostly says how much a few internet "stalkers" think they need the feature. (I don't mean it so harsh, it's a sentense in joeri style).
I'd rather have a Testimonials list. "If this is implemented I can finaly finish this animation that I'm making for my mother" "I have a nice work around that did the same, but it took me 32 hours to do it". "with this I can explain much better to my class that Z is up."
I think/hope that's more inspiring to implement the feature than "#1, 8 out of 16 votes."

But....
If it's not "The Blender Official Feature Request System"
but the "The Independant Blender Feature Request System" (like elysiun) it might work as well. Depends if you would want that.

-Joeri

macouno
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Post by macouno » Thu Dec 23, 2004 1:27 am

I love the idea, but have to admit that as someone whose posted a few requests and read a thousand... I've hardly seen any implemented.

That's the thing really... most coders do it for fun and because they come up with stuff they'd like to code... why would they ever do what anyone else wants them to....

The only way is through something that was tried before... the bounty for a feature thing, and I don't think that's working either.

I really hope something like this could be implemented in a way that would truly be productive. And basicly... no one is stopping you. Thumbs up go for it, but though I may post something there I hope you don't mind if I don't hold my breath ;)

Money_YaY!
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Post by Money_YaY! » Fri Dec 24, 2004 6:12 am

aw ya,, Bounty for a feature I forgot that name.. Ya imiss that. Wish it would have went somewhere but eh oh well. The sad fact is that without major funding the feature lists will allways be commanded by the coders choice. Ton has been good at fielding a bunch of missing stuff like face select and the upcoming animation tools.

Alex has been trying to get the base to over look his fast progress but messy code and get more features in that he likes.
Theeth has been very helpful in bugs and the soon to be widget mover.

Now see this is where the site would be very cool in keep trackof the coders names and contributation work. No real cash would be given but a nice level of prasie would be neat..

Please tell usifyou are going to gothrough with the site or not. I cant get php to play nicesoI have no control of trying to build another, it would be static if I had to do it again..

bfvietnam
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Modify Gforge/Bugzilla

Post by bfvietnam » Fri Dec 24, 2004 1:59 pm

I think a better idea would be to take Blender's current Gforge/Bugzilla bug tracker, change it to allow for feature requests (an unimplemented/expected feature is like a bug). Then allow for the features to be correlated and rated by a votive procedure..

A co-relation of features is like a bi-directional pointer between the feature requests, that if one feature is found a reference to the other can be found .

Moderators should be able to unify two feature requests together into a grand feature request with both descriptions intact (making just one database key to reduce the database complexity).

The features individually can be rated by the users such that the most popular features come to the top in search results, or when developers are considering a feature. Features can also be anotated by users, as bugs can be anotated already.

Of course searches can be filtered such that only bugs are seen, or only feature requests are seen. In a general search, bugs take priority over feature requests.

When a developer implements a feature, the developer may say they were inspired by a feature in the request database.. Or the users may draw this conclusion and mark the feature as implemented with anotations that point to the manual, source code, etc.

Given that a bug is like a feature, the bugs should inherit some or all of these features, to make the tracking of bugs easier too.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Optional:

I would suggest allowing for all the images, movies, pdf's, docs, or general media files to be located on the server, so that multimedia representations of a idea remain intact with the feature request. If this gets to be too costly, you could consider allowing users to rent space, or include it into a budget. Another thing to consider is the mirroring of the feature requests to another server.

Another idea I had was to allow those donating to the project, by purchasing books and such or by basic donations, to reference one favorite feature from the feature request database, so that there are two classes of votes, votes by paying members and votes by non-paying.

You may determine a method of paying the developers through this system.

Pierre-Luc_Auclair
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Post by Pierre-Luc_Auclair » Fri Dec 24, 2004 9:54 pm

Sorry for the lack of replies of my part, I've been busy installing mandrake, then messing it up ! (I completely fuxxored my X when I tried to install Gimp 2.2 haha)

Yeah so I'll definately get it done if I can find people who are going to stay with me till the end and get it done right. It's not a very complex system I believe, it's just a lot of pages and features interrelated.

I just need maybe 1 to 3 coders. Send me an email at p.lucauclair(AT)heliosmulti(DOT)com . I'll join you via email or msn (msn would be ideal).

I really want it done. I'm dead serious. I'll post the process so you all know what's going on.

Pierre-Luc_Auclair
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Post by Pierre-Luc_Auclair » Fri Dec 24, 2004 10:32 pm

Okay some more words now, sorry about the formatting I did it in notepad.

Comments:
-@joeri

I wouldn't mind if it would be an "independent" website, but it would
definately need some kind of linking to blender3d and blender.org.
I don't know what you're doing exactly. If we could find a good and
efficient way to merge the two together, I think it would be cool, but
the layout doesn't really fit with blender's actual websites. The layout
is this way for accessibility and functionnality reasons only. I tried
to keep a certain uniformity in the colors but I gave myself some liberty
on the design too.

The reason I'd like something like that is that I believe discussion of
new features is really sparse. People put feature request and proposals
everywhere on their websites, wikis, different blender "official" websites
and forums (blender.org, elysum). I believe if coders would get together to
code the most asked and most needed features instead of doing it on their own
would help them go give a go the the more complex requests.

- About the I do if for fun comment (coding):

I totally agree. The thing is if people add things without direction, we'll
end up with a bunch of real cool features, but the basics (what I would call
the needed features of any program to be competitive) won't be done. I
understand that it's not the collest thing to do and probably not the easiest
either but we need it. If we can find ways to get people to invest some money
in it to pay people to code features, even if it's very minimal (I don't think
we can afford supporting full time coders).

So maybe if there could maybe be some kind of "fame/reputation" system that
would help. Fight for honour they said ;) I know it's not much, but it's
a beginning at least, shows some kind of will to give them at least
recognition and proudness for their work.





Suggestions gathered:
- Find a way to pay people (donations, selling objects, funding)

Agree totally, is it possible, maybe, we'll see. Hard to find investors
who are willing to get no money back.

- It could have a 'Favourite Existing feature' section when people
show things they especially like. It could give tips to other users
and show to developpers what people want to be kept or applied in
the new tools

Don't know, I believe discussing the requests will be enough. It's a good
idea but I think it's kinda redundant. Gonna have to talk about it.

- Media hosted on website if needed, but should be using self hosting
if possible.

Absolutely. I don't want 404 on the webpages !


- bfvientam's proposals

Too much stuff to comment, good points !

Money_YaY!
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Re: Modify Gforge/Bugzilla

Post by Money_YaY! » Sat Dec 25, 2004 2:59 am

bfvietnam wrote:I think a better idea would be to take Blender's current Gforge/Bugzilla bug tracker, change it to allow for feature requests (an unimplemented/expected feature is like a bug). Then allow for the features to be correlated and rated by a votive procedure..
i vote against that. Unless it can be shapped in any form and fashion with some css magic . The number one thing for users I would think is the layout of a site. The projects cvs sites are just messy piles of junk. Lots of good stuff in them but finding stuff in them is a mess.

Now that said. Lots of content is a must still. Most sites that last have an influx of content. But they need a clean structure to :P Aw the dilemma. Anyway Iwill contact ya, but Ican not offer any code just ideas and photoshoping..

blendix
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Post by blendix » Sat Dec 25, 2004 3:45 am

I think the idea of having an organized list of feature requests, with ability to discuss them makes sense. But I don't think you can organize development in such a rigid system.

Some thougts:

- For almost any feature, one dev will do the bulk of the work. In free software development, individual coders are more important than teams. Don't bother to code the team stuff.

- You can only trust a dev to finish a feature, if he has already coded a part of it. Some devs will be hesitant to 'formally' promise they will work on a feature, and others might make these promises to soon.

- I think points are just a nice toy - that's not going to motivate me. Seeing a user do something cool with a feature you coded is much more rewarding.

Coding a complex php system is likely to fail, just look what happened to 90% of the other (over-)ambitious projects here. We need something that just works.

My proposal would be to make it a wiki based system. You can make proposals in it, add comments, ..., and it will work now.

To make it really used this would then needs an active maintainer, who organizes the content, posts about what's happening in the wiki on the blender.org, elysiun forums, adds proposals from the forums to the wiki, and just generally pushes users to make it the central place for feature requests.

Don't requiring a user account, or merging it with the blender.org account, and making the wiki more visible from the other websites, would also help.

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