Open Source Creative Podcast #27 – How Not to Discuss New Releases

Missed last week, but the show is back! And boy, oh, boy… this is a ranty one. Short version: we need to change the way that we discuss the new releases of open source software tools. There’s this propensity for wanting to discuss other software or, worse, make gross generalizations about the viability of a tool based on our own limited experiences and uses cases. It’s not entirely specific to the open source community, but we do see it a lot… I daresay more than in other circles.

So yeah… this is a rant about that, and perhaps a solution (or at least a suggestion) or two about how to avoid doing it.

3 Comments

caetano

I found the thread and didn’t find the courage to read through it. How can you do that ? It gets bad so quickly. Inkscape 0.92 has such good new things to talk about. The new object manager is not even mentioned once in this thread.
Anyway to give my answers to some of your questions or remarks :
– Is it specific to open source applications or does this “comparing and discrediting” also happen when proprietary applications make new releases ?
I think the problem doesn’t rely on open source or proprietary. Blenderartists.org is one of those rare forums where we talk about programs that are not in the name of the forum (Blender artists > Inkscape). As a consequence, many people who don’t use this program seriously (or use it at all) will still stumble upon the thread and feel like talking about it, and of course their posts can hardly be pertinent. You won’t find this behavior on dedicated forums
(http://forum.inkscapecommunity.com/index.php?topic=347.0 http://www.inkscapeforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=31053) or in a general forum like CG Society because it’s big enough so people will only go in the subforums for their software.

“modeling in maya feels like modeling with socks on my hands” : Something you already said but I wanted to reply to it. I think most Blender users find Blender faster for modeling but in the recent years, maya got some quite powerful modeling tools (modeling toolkit, topology based symmetry and much more) and has always had some cool features like visualizing in real time your “proportional editing” selection, editing multiple objects at the same time (allowing proportional editing on multiple objects) and many other cool things. And all the good shortcuts are there too, just not in the same place. So I think (although you don’t claim it to be) it’s not an objective statement and it’s mostly due to a lack of experience with Maya, since experienced Maya modelers are really efficient.

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Fweeb

It *may* be a thing that specific to the BA forum, but I’ve seen it in general discussions as well when interacting with folks in meatspace. Maybe BA is a more accurate reflection of general behavior… or maybe I have a knack for finding that type of person to talk to. I can’t say for sure… neither one of those things sounds all that favorable or pleasant. 🙂

As for Maya… Modeling in Maya has indeed gotten better over the years (many a feature pulled from Max from years ago, but I digress), but it’s less about tools and more about approach. I’m super-comfortable rigging in Maya and animating in it is pretty nice as well. However, I personally abhor the channelbox approach that most Maya riggers seem to favor. I want my controls *on* the model, in the scene. Maya caters itself to a particular workflow and that workflow simply doesn’t jive with me as well as Blender does. From a proprietary tool standpoint, I was much more comfortable in Softimage than I ever have been in Maya.

I’m sure that there *is* some personal bias in there. I am, afterall, a Blender “old fart” and have been using it as my primary 3D tool for almost two decades now (Yow!). Short version: as I said in this episode, one is not better than the other, just different. And that’s OK. 🙂

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