Tag Archives: open source software

How Blender Became as a Open Source Software

Blender is well-known in Virtual Worlds as an Open Source Software mainly used for 3d modeling, to make prims sculpts for second life and for other things. This program is not a new one but actually Blender was a close software and after time, it became to be a open source software. Blender was created  by  a dutch company called NeoGeo (please don’t confuse with the video game) and NaN (Not a Number Technologies).

Elephants Dreams, the first movie and the first project of the Blender Foundation. As you can see The 3D Computer Graphics are so impressive. There is not limit for the imagination!

The main idea was to develop a free 3d program with a business model would be selling products and services for it.  But after some years, the  sales became disapointed  (it was around 2001-2002 ) and  the investors of NaN decide to shutdown all operations about the program. This could be for ever the end of Blender.

Big Bunny Bugs, another project of Blender Foundation which the main character is a very friendly Bunny, who  was threatened by three evil small mammals.

But an enthusiastic support from the user community and customers, who didn’t want to leave Blender into oblivion and since that creating a new company was not easy, then the main creator of blender (Ton Roosendaal) decide to start a non-profit foundation. But how to get alive again Blender when the investors just already decided shutdown the program ?.

In July 2002, Ton managed to get the NaN investors to agree on a unique Blender Foundation plan to attempt to open source Blender. The “Free Blender” campaign sought to raise 100,000 EUR, as a one-time fee so that the NaN investors would agree on open sourcing Blender. To everyone’s shock and surprise the campaign reached the 100,000 EUR goal in only seven short weeks

Instead of getting funding to bring together software developers, the Blender Foundation decided to start a project to bring together the most outstanding artists in the Blender community and challenge them to make an exciting 3D animation movie short.

Because of the overwhelming success of the first open movie project, Ton Roosendaal, established the “Blender Institute” in summer 2007. This now is the permanent office and studio to more efficiently organize the Blender Foundation goals, but especially to coordinate and facilitate Open Projects related to 3D movies, games or visual effects.

Thanks to donations and sponsors, Blender Foundation currently employs two half-time developers for support activities. One other developer, and Ton Roosendaal, are being hired full time by Blender Institute for work on Blender.

And that’s how Blender became as a successfull Open Source Software that is used around the world for 3d modeling, and for much more other things!.

(Part of this information and the history of blender was extracted from their web page, and if you are interested to read the complete article, you can find the information at http://www.blender.org)

Opensource isn’t mean “free” it means “freedom” !

I will began this post with something I want to make clear, but it seems people still not understand. Even this blog is about metaverse and virtual worlds sometimes speaking about other subjects would be this interesting. Specilly speaking about “OpenSource” and with a some confused meaning that some peoples say or thing about like “It is OpenSource then it is free as a beer” or “It is Opensource, it is free or gratis”. What I really think about is that this is totally WRONG , OpenSource means “Freedom” not “Free” and just let’s take a look again in wikipedia what is says about “OpenSource”:

“The term open source describes practices in production and development that promote access to the end product’s source materials. Some consider open source a philosophy, others consider it a pragmatic methodology. Before the term open source became widely adopted, developers and producers used a variety of phrases to describe the concept; open source gained hold with the rise of the Internet, and the attendant need for massive retooling of the computing source code. Opening the source code enabled a self-enhancing diversity of production models, communication paths, and interactive communities. Subsequently, the new phrase “open-source software” was born to describe the environment that the new copyright, licensing, domain, and consumer issues created.

The open-source model includes the concept of concurrent yet different agendas and differing approaches in production, in contrast with more centralized models of development such as those typically used in commercial software companies.  A main principle and practice of open-source software development is peer production by bartering and collaboration, with the end-product, source-material, “blueprints,” and documentation available at no cost to the public. This is increasingly being applied in other fields of endeavor, such as biotechnology.”

here is another concept from wikipedia:

“Free and open-source software (F/OSS, FOSS) or free/libre/open-source software (FLOSS) is software that is liberally licensed to grant users the right to use, study, change, and improve its design through the availability of its source code. This approach has gained both momentum and acceptance as the potential benefits have been increasingly recognized by both individuals and corporations.

In the context of free and open-source software, free refers to the freedom to copy and re-use the software, rather than to the price of the software. The Free Software Foundation, an organization that advocates the free software model, suggests that, to understand the concept, one should “think of free as in free speech, not as in free beer”

OpenSource software are programs that can be used “without restrictive licenses”. I doesn’t means that the program cannot be copied or share, yes it can be just because the license allow to do that, but also when the developer ask for some donation or some fund to keep alive their program or their project that’s totally legal. Some of the opensource software developer would ask for some fundraising and donation (even some powerfull companies or corporation support them in their development), and there are some successful histories about how this work  but well,  other developers prefer to choose another method after if this doesn’t work and even I always respect with is right for them.

Finally, don’t be surprised or strange when  some opensource developers ask for some fund or for some donation, it is fine and they have the right to do it. Why ? because like any other developer they just spent time and work creating  great programs and sometimes they work are so valuable than any software developer.