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Enable 'Selection Only' for all built-in exporters
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Authored by William Reynish (billreynish) on Jan 17 2020, 10:59 PM.
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Details

Summary

Currently, all our exporters set Selection Only to False by default. In my experience, I pretty much always want this enabled, and often forget to set this.

According to many users that I've seen, they seem to say the same thing. Due to overwhelming requests, here's a patch to enable Selection Only for all the built-in exporters

This patch is against the 'addons' git. The Collada exporter is in the 'blender' git, and so must have a different patch, here:

Diff Detail

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This would be a great change. 👍

When the checkbox is set to active by default, will the whole scene be exported if no objects are selected? That would be convenient as well.

Thanks!

@Metin Seven (MetinSeven) No, the export will be completely empty if nothing is selected.

I thought the desire was for “Selection Only” be set true if there is something selected, but false if nothing is selected?

That would be the most convenient solution.

I don't have a strong opinion on this one, I'm fine going with what most users want.

If we do this, then Alembic, USD and COLLADA need the same change.

@William Reynish (billreynish): I know it's not the perfect place/patch to mention the following, but as this patch is at least still pending and is highly related to this topic, I'd like to ask for adding the "Selection only" functionality itself not only to the exporters but also to the FileSave Dialog for blend files. It's just logical to my view to have it in there too and could make saving parts of a blend file much more straightforward if this would be available in combination with "Save Copy".

@Debuk (Debuk) I think with that comment, that you may have inadvertently highlighted the biggest argument against this change. Since the exporters are located in the File menu, there is a change users would expect to operate on the whole file. In an image editing app, if you export the image, regardless of your selection, course the whole image is exported. It would be unexpected if it would just export a small subset that you happened to have selected.

Blender of course is more oriented around objects, so it's not exactly the same. But as long as it is in the File menu, and as long as nothing will happen as long as nothing is selected, these are two serious arguments for keeping it as-is.

Debuk (Debuk) added a comment.EditedFeb 25 2020, 7:59 PM

@William Reynish (billreynish) : If I get you right you're talking about the change to enable "Selection Only" as Default. Ok yes having this as default might be somehow unexpected. But the feature itself is not seldom useful. So why not simply duplicate the Export Submenu to a "Export Selection". We currently also have "Save As" and "Save Copy".

Two more thoughts on this. We could also move Save Copy to "Export" with the entry name "Blend File (Copy)" and add another one to "Export Selection".

Edit: Just because you hinted something like that in you last comment. I personally would find an "Export Selected" entry in the file menu very fitting, but of course it additionally would fit perfectly into the outliners context menu.

Is there some technical reason why "Selection Only" can't be set based on whether anything is selected? So if I have something selected when I go to Export that checkmark will be initially turned on, but it will be off if I have nothing selected. That just seems to fit with user expectations a bit better and wouldn't result in exporting nothing.

Is there some technical reason why "Selection Only" can't be set based on whether anything is selected? So if I have something selected when I go to Export that checkmark will be initially turned on, but it will be off if I have nothing selected. That just seems to fit with user expectations a bit better and wouldn't result in exporting nothing.

Why should there be a serious technical reason for that? The problem is rather that the opposite case would still be error prone. With your "export selection"-automatism people would not be aware that they just exported only half of the file if haven't deselected everything right before and just went straight to export. And if they think they don't need the blendfile any more....

With an additional "Export Selected" submenu it could have all entries greyed out in case of a nonexistent selection. And no misinterpretation as @William Reynish (billreynish) brought up would be possible.

@Debuk (Debuk) - Why should there be a serious technical reason for that?

Nothing serious. I would suspect something like the time it is set. But I don't know enough about the python subsystem to know when those inits are called.

With your "export selection"-automatism people would not be aware that they just exported only half of the file...

True enough. Any time the computer has guess intention there is a chance of screwing something up.

With an additional "Export Selected" submenu it could have all entries greyed out in case of a nonexistent selection

There's probably some way that dumbasses can still screw it up somehow.

There really isn't a big difference between the current behavior and adding an entire "selected" submenu. Either way the user has to select "selected" or not. The fact that the menu items would be grayed out is no different from graying out our existing checkmark if there is nothing selected. Moving it out of the dialog to a menu doesn't really change it or the chance of the user messing up.

Hi Harley, sure for whatever the solution will be like, there will be at least one person that fails using it. But that also applies to other ridiculous things like people could open a save dialog instead of an open dialog and overwrite the file they wanted to load.

The main difference between the automatism and the dedicated export selected menu is just that in the first one the user has to take care of the state the selection has when he uses an exporter that interpretes that state. But that might not be part of his thoughts when he's trying to export everything.

A second menu itself on the other hand just assumes he is able to read. And offers an often needed function directly from the menu. Yes the difference to leaving it solely as a checkbox inside the exporter isn't that big. It's just a comfort feature. You don't have to click that option, you don't have to open the settings in the exporter. That's pretty much all. But thats exactly the same benefit as having a "Save Copy" in the menu. And in that case it was worth the direct link. Judging on the amount of likes this patch has gotten, even if it's just such a small change, I think its as worth here as with "Save Copy".