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Looking for a bit of Guidance

Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:44 am
by Ipo
I am looking to get involved in helping to develop blender, however, as I look through the documentation, bug tracker, and list of open projects I'm having a little trouble figuring out where I should begin. If anyone might have pointers or suggestions as to how one might begin helping please do let me know :). Yes, I am new to open-source development. This would be the first open source software package I attempt to help out with.

-Ipo

Posted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:33 am
by ldo
Maybe you need to give yourself some direction. How about thinking of something specific that you want to do? Perhaps some limitation that irritates you, or some feature you want to add. That will encourage you to concentrate on the parts of the source that are relevant to what you’re trying to achieve.

Posted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:52 pm
by mdias
Maybe this can be of some help to you:

http://www.blender.org/development/architecture/#c1595

Posted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:05 pm
by cnoevil
Greetings Ipo,

This is my lamentation exactly. I too am trying to get my head around the blender code base and I am not sure if I ever will. Kudos to all those who actually know what's going on, but I find the code to be rather fractured and scattered and unfortunately the documentation seems a bit untrustworthy as in most cases it does not readily appear to be current.

Blender has a most attractive renderer and I find the images produced by it's built-in rendering system to have a warmth and softness that is unique. The progress that is being made I'm sure contributes to the confusion in the codebase and looking at all that blender can already do I have to say that I am very excited about the direction this software is headed.

I too would really like to get involved but I sincerely have to doubt if I have the chops for it at this point. I hope I am not discouraging you, it is likely that you are better at coding than I am since I am a hobbyist tinkerer that seems to have fallen in over his head. I guess I will just keep at it and hope that my persistence pays off.

Good luck,
Mark

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:21 am
by Ipo
ldo wrote:Maybe you need to give yourself some direction. How about thinking of something specific that you want to do? Perhaps some limitation that irritates you, or some feature you want to add. That will encourage you to concentrate on the parts of the source that are relevant to what you’re trying to achieve.
I have been trying to determine this, I suppose that, since this is the answer I get most often, it is what I will have to try and do. Thanks for the help.

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:21 am
by Ipo
mdias wrote:Maybe this can be of some help to you:

http://www.blender.org/development/architecture/#c1595
I think that will definitely come in handy :)

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:23 am
by Ipo
cnoevil wrote:Greetings Ipo,

This is my lamentation exactly. I too am trying to get my head around the blender code base and I am not sure if I ever will. Kudos to all those who actually know what's going on, but I find the code to be rather fractured and scattered and unfortunately the documentation seems a bit untrustworthy as in most cases it does not readily appear to be current.

Blender has a most attractive renderer and I find the images produced by it's built-in rendering system to have a warmth and softness that is unique. The progress that is being made I'm sure contributes to the confusion in the codebase and looking at all that blender can already do I have to say that I am very excited about the direction this software is headed.

I too would really like to get involved but I sincerely have to doubt if I have the chops for it at this point. I hope I am not discouraging you, it is likely that you are better at coding than I am since I am a hobbyist tinkerer that seems to have fallen in over his head. I guess I will just keep at it and hope that my persistence pays off.

Good luck,
Mark
Well, I am happy to hear that other people share my pain! Best of luck to you in your own attempt to figure things out. If I ever do become familiar with the codebase, I think I will try to write something up to help new coders start out. At least, if it is possible to create such a document.

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:15 am
by stiv
The Blender code base is about what you will find with any large application. Maybe a little better in some cases since, as an open source project, we can take time to do things commercial software might avoid like refactor the event system.

No one likes to hear this, but one of the best ways to learn any new code base is to pick a bug in your area of interest and learn what you need to know to fix it.

Approached as a whole, Blender code is big and scary. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:18 am
by ldo
Who says Blender isn’t “commercial”?

Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:25 am
by stiv
Commercial software is funded by revenue from sales and licensing. Blender is an open source project. That does not mean we are not serious about it.

Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:16 am
by ldo
Commercial software is funded by whatever way customers want to pay for it. There are lots of people making a living off Blender, and lots of people happy to pay them to do so.

Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:20 pm
by cnoevil
stiv> > Approached as a whole, Blender code is big and scary. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.


I agree. And this is wise council.


Unfortunately, I find that maybe I don't have the most discerning selection process, or maybe it's just dumb luck, or maybe it's just the way that it really is in "big" application development, but for me it's always seemed more like grabbing the thread on a sweater. I give it just a little tug to see where it comes from and determine if I can fix it, then... I've got a hole. Well I'm committed to the process now, so I just keep pulling. Never mind that I tried to stuff the thread back in...then I tried wrapping it around the edges of the hole and pulling it all back together, I still have an ugly mess. So in the end I decide to just keep pulling and see where every single thread went and how it connected to the other, but alas....

Now all I have left is this pile of threads and no sweater. :shock:

Mark

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:44 pm
by jesterKing
Also remember to check the documentation in our wiki here: http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:Contents

/Nathan