Synfig's Future

Wednesday, December 6, 2006 by darco
Posted in ,

output I got a comment from Lucian on my post about the werewolf video on YouTube. I felt my response would affect enough people that it was worth blogging about. Here is what he wrote:

Is this project still Up and Running. I'm interested in Synfig. I want to create some animations (and tutorials) but there are no movements in this project for couple months. I need some documentation for this app. There are a lot of things that can't intuivly learn only just by looking at the program. (I tried to document some features on Wiki). I think the major problem to this project is the missing documentation (not the people). I think there are a lot of people just like me who tried to figure out how this app. work ... and give up. So .. is there anyone in this project ...

The project is not dead per-se, but I am not able to contribute to it in any significant capacity any more other than to be a resource for anyone with questions. Paul Wise(aka: Pabs), who has all but taken over managing the project, is currently on a three-month long sailing trip. Things have grown a bit stagnant without him.

Honestly, I think the biggest issue with Synfig is usability and stability. Resolve those issues, and people will spontaneously submit documentation and tutorials. At the moment, it is so obtuse that it turns people off before they understand it enough to contribute. They just see pretty pictures and videos and scratch their heads wondering how my company did so.

It is a bad situation which makes my heart sink. I'd love to contribute more to the project, but I don't have the time or the energy to do so unless it:

  1. Is directly related to something related to my job, or
  2. It becomes a significant source of income.

I realize that the sorry state of the website is stunting the growth of the Synfig community, and I'd like to do something about that (ie: having a website with a forum). Unfortunately that goal is months away, at least.

Ultimately what is needed is for some people to help set up and maintain a real community-oriented website. I cannot be the driving force behind Synfig right now or in the foreseeable future, so some other qualified individual (or group of individuals) needs to take over daily management and maintenance.

Anyway, I'd just like to remind people about the IRC channel, #synfig on Freenode. If you are a Jabber user like myself, you can join the channel thru my freenode gateway as well.