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Tensorflow is also managed by the most influential tech company in the world.



Right; Tensorflow is managed well, and working on it might lead to a job, while appleseed seems like yet another open-source time sink with few prospects.

Obviously money isn't everything, so maybe there's a better criteria for judging projects, but at least on the "lasting impact on the world" front appleseed seems to fall short...


>Right; Tensorflow is managed well, and working on it might lead to a job

Tensorflow's management is not relevant to its popularity. It's been well demonstrated that companies are tripping all over themselves to use anything put out by Google and/or Facebook, regardless of its applicability to the company's actual problem space or the quality of the product as compared to competitors. There are a lot of people out there just itching to find any excuse to blow millions of dollars deploying any open-source project touted by Google or Facebook, often blissfully unaware that these projects are born out of necessity, not amusement, and that Google/FB would've happily been using a mature, out of the box solution if it accommodated their needs.

The point is saying "Look at an independent guy's project. It's not even as active as some of Google's projects, and they're just one of the biggest companies in the world! Hah!" is really, really unfair, and doesn't say anything about anything.

>Obviously money isn't everything, so maybe there's a better criteria for judging projects, but at least on the "lasting impact on the world" front appleseed seems to fall short...

That the project does not now appear poised for world domination doesn't mean it's not significant, influential, or important, or that it won't eventually go on to have a larger-than-expected impact. This is particularly true if it explores an interesting or rarely-used paradigm, or is otherwise noteworthy for its technical excellence.

KDE's Konqueror began as a custom web browser for their desktop environment and easily could've been classified "yet another open-source timesink". But its engine, KHTML, became the foundation for WebKit. If someone is interested in making something interesting, there's no reason to begrudge it.


> It's been well demonstrated that companies are tripping all over themselves to use anything put out by Google and/or Facebook, regardless of its applicability to the company's actual problem space or the quality of the product as compared to competitors.

Angular being the quintessential example.


> There are a lot of people out there just itching to find any excuse to blow millions of dollars deploying any open-source project touted by Google or Facebook

Sure, but I was counting commits and contributors, which I don't think can be attributed solely to shallow business decisions.

> Look at an independent guy's project. It's not even as active as some of Google's projects, and they're just one of the biggest companies in the world! Hah!" is really, really unfair, and doesn't say anything about anything.

They're not that big, only 60,000 people or so AFAICT, compared to e.g. Wal-mart's 2.1 million. And then it's only ~50 people who worked on Tensorflow directly: https://research.google.com/people/BrainTeam.html. Compared to Appleseed's 12: http://appleseedhq.net/about.html.

Is it really that unfair to compare a 12-person MIT-licensed C++ project on GitHub to a 50-person Apache-licensed C++ project on GitHub? Or to remind everyone that 98% of open source projects fail?

> KDE's Konqueror began as a custom web browser for their desktop environment and easily could've been classified "yet another open-source timesink". But its engine, KHTML, became the foundation for WebKit.

KDE started in 1996, they wrote an HTML library, they didn't like it, they wrote a second version with a better architecture and ~10 developers. Appleseed doesn't seem to have that reactionary style of development or even that much thought on its design. I think it's easy to distinguish the two cases.

> If someone is interested in making something interesting, there's no reason to begrudge it.

Right. But I do begrudge them calling it "modern", when they have "no formal roadmap" (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/appleseed-dev/wMA4oW...) and a long list of features to get to where SIGGRAPH was 5-10 years ago. If they took that one word out I wouldn't have such a problem.


We call appleseed "modern" because, since its inception in 2009, it implements the modern paradigm of rendering: unbiased, physically-based, programmable, as few knob and hacks as possible. The quintessential example of a "non-modern" ("classic"?) renderer is Pixar's PRMan before it dropped REYES, adopted path tracing and was renamed RenderMan.

Regarding the roadmap: we don't have a formal roadmap, but after each release (roughly every three months) we discuss and decide upon what we think would be the next logical steps, also taking into account which contributors will be participating and what are their areas of competence. There is a laundry list of features that any renderer must have to be considered usable by artists, and we're still missing some, so the road ahead is pretty clear, at least for a little longer.


so all software sucks unless it can land you a job ?


All software sucks, period (http://harmful.cat-v.org/software/). And occasionally I open HN and write a meandering description of why the current top software sucks. Apparently this is not taken well, so I guess I'll stop.


I think literature sucks, but I dont go to literature forums and criticize it. I just spend my time doing what I love.


To some extent, I agree with you! appleseed is surely no exception. We're just trying our best to make it suck as little as possible :)




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