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Blender Documentation Roadmap
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Description

NOTE: This is a general task described future ideas for documentation.

Manual

  • Versioning/language switcher, see: T49262 and D2544
  • Online editing: this might be possible with jupyter
  • Work on merging some of our CSS hacks to Read the Docs (@Aaron Carlisle (Blendify) is working on it)
  • Translations as usual, these are progressing nicely. We have most of the popular languages covered, however, we are looking for a Polish translator. (T43083)
  • Split/ improve the glossary (T50624)

WIKI

ADD-ONS

  • Discuss what will happen with add-on documentation in 2.8 (See task coming soon)

API

  • Cleanup https://docs.blender.org/api/
  • New theme (Should this be custom, RTD theme, RTD API theme (WIP))
  • Version switcher
  • Add HTML Blender logo (should be done sometime this week)
  • Polishing
  • Some OpenGL stuff will need to be written for 2.8

In Blender

  • Ability to use a local version of the manual (D1005)
  • Improve online manual access on right click (D2384, T49786)

Details

Type
Bug

Event Timeline

Hi, I have been thinking about Blender 2.8 Manual structure, and I'd like to hear your comments on this idea. @Aaron Carlisle (Blendify), @Francesco Siddi (fsiddi), @Brecht Van Lommel (brecht), @Tobias Heinke (TobiasH) , @Inês Almeida (brita_) , anyone else?

Idea for Blender 2.8 Manual chapter division

Basic principle here is strong correlation of manual contents with Blender UI:

  1. Use Blender Workspaces division for Manual Chapters as much as possible. The current manual structure is already partially aligned to this!
  2. Introduction to each Editor/Mode combination is placed mainly under one Chapter. This removes need for Editors chapter and makes it hopefully easier to decide where content should belong.
  3. Structure within each chapter should be ordered according to Blender user interface elements and order.

Chapters (main chapter for Editor/Mode in parenthesis)

Getting Started
User Interface
Layout (3D Viewport/Object Mode)
Modeling (3D Viewport/Edit Mode)
Sculpting (3D Viewport/Sculpt Mode)
UV Editing (Image Editor, UV Editor, 3D Viewport/Vertex Paint)
Texture Paint (3D Viewport/Texture Paint)
Shading (Shader Editor, Texture Node Editor?)
Rigging (3D Viewport/Weight Paint)
Animation (Dope Sheet, Timeline, Graph Editor, Drivers, Nonlinear Animation)
2D Animation
Motion Tracking
Masking
Rendering
Compositing (Compositing)
Video Editing (Video Sequencer, Movie Clip Editor)
Scripting (Text Editor, Python Console, Info?)
Data System (Outliner, Properties, File Browser, User Preferences)
Advanced
Add-ons and Import/Export
Troubleshooting
Glossary
About This Manual

Contents of other old manual chapters would be split to other chapters:

Physics --> under Animation
Editors (obsolete)
Pipeline --> under Advanced or Add-ons

New features:

Collections --> Data System?

Tools and Properties

  • Main description of Tool/Property would be in one chapter (first one where it comes up?). Other chapters would link there when Tool/Property is explained already elsewhere.
  • If a Tool has different uses in different Workbenches or Modes, the tool description would be split according to Workbench usage (as best as possible).

Yes, the current structure is mix of UI based (editors) and the production pipeline ("workspaces") - it's best of two worlds.
To be honest I have to reject this directly and even a more in-depth discussion:
We are too few people to handle such major restructurizations.
2.8 is enough a 'challenge' (euphemistically) on it's own.

@Tobias Heinke (TobiasH) Would you reconsider this if I can come up with a script that does the restructuring of rst files?

IMO 2.8 is a perfect opportunity to make larger changes to the manual.

But a script needs instructions, it's the planning that's costs precious time.
It would take 1 person 2 month full time to plan, test, apply this.
2.8 1 person 2 years full time at current speed 5 years (very vague).

No, like in corporations you restructure the personnel before you start a new big project (or if business is running bad - it's not) .

If you want to work on the structure 2.8 offers the following challenges:
The split of the Node editor (T 57404)
The Info editor to Main menu (T 57448)
Grease Pencil (T 57022)
and more...

I don't think it's a good idea to move all the editor docs under workspaces. This is a reference manual, where ideally things are in a predictable place for looking up. It's not so much a book or tutorial that you follow. Since editors don't clearly map to a single workspace / tasks, I don't think it's a good fit. The default workspaces are also just presets, which users can change.

I suggest to incrementally make changes as needed, when you are working on an area and making sure it's complete and fits together. For example I do think we need a "scene layout" chapter at the top level, which covers object mode and data types like scenes, view layers, collections and objects. So if someone is updating those docs to 2.8, they could pull out those things into their own chapter. Grease pencil / 2D animation deserves its own chapter too.

On the other hand I don't see much value in putting "physics" under "animation" just because we don't have a dedicated workspace for it. They don't really share that much. Also for example the "clip editor", despite its name, has nothing to do with video editing.

Yeah sure, except for "incrementally make changes" it's doesn't works and likely ends up in a mess.
We already have the Data System section for scences, etc.
Moving Grease Pencil is part of 2.8.

@Tuomo Keskitalo (tkeskita) I tend to agree with the other comments.
Updating the manual to 2.8 is already a huge task and I don't think it's very realistic to restructure it at the same time.
It would already be wonderful if you would pick up one section for something that is new or completely changed and make sure that's well documented.
Try the grease pencil! This is a very popular area that people are beginning to experiment with, including people who are totally new to Blender. It would be great to have official docs for it and a list of handpicked video tutorials to see different workflows and what can be achieved.

Yeah sure, except for "incrementally make changes" it's doesn't works and likely ends up in a mess.

Disagree, incrementally making changes towards a more consistent and complete manual can work just fine. As long as there are manual maintainers that keep the big picture in mind and ensure changes are consistent with it.

We already have the Data System section for scences, etc.

Object layers, groups and visibility are mostly undocumented in the current manual. This is an important topic, and it's not obvious how to setup all these things in production scenarios. It deserves its own chapter.

Is there any chance to see the possibility of online editing? At least, with the most simplified features for small edits.