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Re: What to do with (packages like) Blender?

(I hope a single reply will also address Paul's and Christian's

Maximiliano Curia <maxy@debian.org> (02/08/2009):
> Hola Cyril Brulebois!

Hola! (KiBi or Cyril would be sufficient. ;))

> Given the points you listed before, its understandable if you prefer
> to dedicate your time to any other activity and orphan blender.
> Although, it might be interesting to work together with the
> maintainers of other distros to maintain a set of common patches to
> improve the integration of blender and linux distros.

Sure. Thanks to the “whohas” utility Paul kindly pointed me to, I've
just looked at what other distros do. A very quick summary can be found
below. In order to answer more deeply to your point, see the 6th item

> I think that the project http://vcs-pkg.org/ could fit nicelly in this
> case, that is, if you still want to spend your time with blender, of
> course.

Thought of that back then, indeed.

Before going deeper into it, I have to say I've been trying to resist
the urge of going public with it, and coping with my duties as much as I
could. But it's just too much now. Members of the French Cabal (which of
course doesn't exist) can tell you how I've been made *angry* about the
current state of that piece of “free software”.

Blender status across distributions:

Following Paul's advice, gave “whohas blender” a try. The following
comments are based on what I saw by following the links. Please note the
one I'm most familiar with is Ubuntu through the diff that appears on
the PTS and patches that are sent to the maintainer/BTS, so I might be
missing obvious things or misunderstanding how that works.

The package comes from Debian with some tweaks for python 2.6 or
tweaking for some build-dependencies (header location, etc.).

Fedora (F11):
They strip some libraries too:
| pushd extern
| #Removed because of ip
|   rm -rf ffmpeg libmp3lame x264 xvidcore
| #Removed because we can expect to use system one
|   rm -rf fftw glew libopenjpeg ode qhull make verse
| #Will have to be removed later: bFTGL

Arch Linux:
They seem to download builds from:
and tweak some files. Granted, that's a binary distribution.

I could only see the contents of the package, one can notice something I
forgot to mention: /usr/lib/blender/.blender/**

Indeed, people are expected to unpack blender in home directory and run
it there, with all of libraries, data, scripts, etc. in the .blender
folder. Last time I checked, it looked like the next release should be
able to handle several search paths, though. One can have a look at the
symlink dance in the /usr/bin/blender script on Debian, which is a
wrapper around /usr/bin/blender-bin for this very reason.

They seem to have the same kind of patches as Debian has, make it
possible to use system-wide libraries.

They seem to build without tweaking anything related to embedded

My (very own) experience with sending patches upstream:

Again, I didn't follow very closely what happened last months, but I've
been asked to report how my bugs were received. Let's look.

1) http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.video.blender.devel/19383

Asking for pointers to implement HPC-friendly option. No answer.

2) http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.video.blender.devel/19825

Various build-related remarks. Bottom-line: until everyone has that
version of scons, use an old one. (Not quite they do for embedded
libraries, but oh well.)

3) http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.video.blender.devel/19894

Compiler warnings, valid bug, no answer on the list, but fix committed
in svn. (I used to follow blender using git-svn, and saw my name

4) http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.video.blender.devel/19895

Patch to add support for system-wide FTGL. I kind of get flamed for
thinking about using something else than what blender provides. And
who cares about shared libraries anyway, they are dangerous. If you
want to have a good idea of what blender folks think about being
distributed, you want to read that thread.

5) http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.video.blender.devel/19900

Tiny question about syntax warning/error. IIRC Debian was frozen, and
I was looking for a minimal patch instead of grabbing the whole new
file in svn, or trying to craft a possibly-broken patch. No answer
here, but got an answer in private by the author, though.

6) http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.video.blender.devel/19906

My favorite one. Where to discuss possible security issues? No answer
at all. Back then, I thought about setting up a cross-distro effort,
but well, is it really worth it?

7) http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.video.blender.devel/19931

Not a thread I started, but Fedora folks wanting to get some feedback
about a Debian patch for a CVE. No answers from blender folks, only
from the original poster and me.

8) http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.video.blender.devel/20224

Mostly a bugreport. No answer. My own fault, I guess, for not using
their BTS, which cannot be searched without being auth'd, etc. Mea

9) http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.video.blender.devel/20268

A freetype update made it clear blender folks weren't using the proper
function with the proper object. Posted a patch, never got any
answer. I think that part of code went away in subsequent releases (I
could check collab-maint/blender.git if I weren't that much bored


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