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The status of Blender

So after my recent complaints on the way Blender is packaged upstream, it’s a probably a good idea to see what the current status on the topic is.

First of all, upstream has been at least discussing how to deal with these kind of complains: while some commenters complained about leaving Gentoo because of our decision of not bumping to 2.65a (yet), with the idea that it’d be much easier to have Blender on Debian, Arch Linux or whatever else, it turns out that Gentoo was not alone having trouble with Blender, and indeed Matteo asked our help with patching at least for libav-9 support.

For what concerns Gentoo, while I keep getting bugs requesting an update to version 2.65a, I’ve been basically closing them every time, as none seem to care about getting it right — and I really don’t want to get a crappy ebuild in, as I’d be the one taking the pieces anyway. Mostly, what we need is a version of Blender ebuild that does use CMake, but also does not use the bundled libraries for all the code we have in the system already. The main issue here is Bullet, which requires a version bump, possibly with a pre-release snapshot of 2.82, due to the patches that are applied on top of the copy that comes with Blender.

Today I actually had to shoot down a request for a live ebuild; due to the quantity of patches that we end up having to apply, we’re not going to get a live ebuild, full stop.

Unfortunately, this also left us for a long time to deal with the old, buggy, and bitrotting version 2.49b which was marked stable. That stopped today as, with the agreement of at least some of the arch team members, I masked Blender altogether and got rid of version 2.49b-r2 and its patches from the tree. If you do want to use Blender now, you’ve got to unmask it. While this could be considered like dropping the ball on it, it’s just making it explicit that we haven’t been supporting version 2.49b for a long time already.

No, don’t ask for it to be re-added slotted. Upstream is not maintaining a 2.4x branch, so we won’t be doing that either.

So right now if you want to help, start by preparing (upstreamable, or even better, upstreamed) patches that allows to select with CMake the use of system libraries for most of the bundled ones. Another thing that would be very useful at this point would be a separate ebuild for libmv, even with the bundled libraries to start with, so that would at least stop the multi-level madness and we would end up with good old single-level bundled libraries.

Comments 9
  1. This is not going to end well. Gentoo is not big enough to force upstream to straighten out and by dropping support for the latest versions we the users are relying more and more on ebuilds from the bug tracker.

  2. If it’s not going to end well, it’s not well now either.Upstream is actually straightening out, because they _did_ see that it’s not an isolated developer who’s upset with their behaviour, but we all have something or other to complain. Hopefully this means that soon we’ll have something decent done.

  3. I for one support the this decision. There’s not enough man-power behind gentoo to patch everything that’s needed all the time and if there’s community support for having it easily accessible we should soon see it in an overlay.I’d rather see those who work on gentoo regulary spend their time on fixing the root issues than put band-aids on everything our users can throw at them.

  4. Flameeyes I have known blender for a very long time. You are always going to run into bleeding edge problems with blender its the nature of the beast.Patches will be in the libraries blender is using before they are in the mainline libraries everything else uses. Adding these libraries globally not a good idea same with the reverse forcing blender to use global libraries also not a very good idea.My best recommendation is build it Linux Standard Base style. Install location like /opt/blender/ using the LSB dynamic link loader. This will allow you to place the modified .so files blender needs in /opt/blender/libYes this goes against the common distribution model.Really blender most likely will suite… style package not common distribution packaging.Bundled libraries with blender particularly like bullet are always going to be pre-release versions. So no matter what blender will always have 1 to 2 libraries that cannot be shared with other applications quite yet since they are only tested to work perfectly with blender.

  5. Thanks for the note Diego. I was already wondering what had happened after the recent sync. I built that blender long time ago when it was ~amd64 and that time I obviously managed to compile it somehow. Anyway, seems like an upstream problem. I think they should be happy about the Gentoo based bugreports. I mean it is probably the best robustness and bug test they can get. And it is not that every gentoo user uses totally ridiculous CFLAGS. Most of us (I guess) compile with just -O2 and march=native. But it’s a good sign when you’re not alone and other distributions also see problems so Blender folks can’t just ignore Gentoo complaints away. :)But that is one downside for Gentoo users, you actually get the fallout from all the upstream problems (anyone remember the libpng update that had to revdep 80% of your world?). You’re quite protected from that if you use a binary ready to use distribution. But that would not be the Gentoo way of life, would it? 😉

  6. Regarding bullet.Actually what we have bundled in blender is 2.80 with a few patches.We cannot just update things to work with the upstream version (especialy now, close to a release).There’s been some changes that need proper testing before we can rely on it and we need to get our patches in as well.I understand why you want things to be split up and I’d prefer it that way too.However, until it’s actually possible to use upstream bullet, you’ll just have to use the bundled version.Also it would be nice if you actually talked to us about these things. It’s really not an optimal way of communication to read a blog post after a gentoo user complained on irc 😉

  7. As u see. I believe they are intended to help. keep clear your mind and cooperate with them diego. I was the one who came on IRC and asked them for support and inform them about the problem we have in gentoo.try to tell them directly a request instead just posting here.i am a passionate gentoo user and also lover of blender. i dont want miss it in our repository. both project should enrich each other.

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