How does Synfig development work?

I really love this program, and I am wanting to get involved. Could someone please explain how this program gets developed? What do you do if you can add code to the project? How do you contribute artwork? Who determines what is added to the release? Is there a voting system or something?

you can get some useful info from below topic:

find some small parts interested you, then show your work in the forum… :mrgreen:

You’re welcome!

Synfig is a C++/gtkmm application that uses autotools for build and install and its source code is at sourceforge in a git reposittory.

First steps to add code to the project is send patches at sourceforge patch tracker. Then one of the coders (ugh, lately only me and nikitakit) takes the patch, apply it and see if it is possible to apply to stable branch.

Same as for source code if the artwork is related to the application (icons basically). For the splash screen there are contests with its voting pool.

I determine which goes first and what’s not ready to be sent to the stable branch. I would like to have more participants but number of regular developers of extremly low.

There is a Idea Torrent application set up at sourceforge but it needs the participation of people to make request float up. Not much participation lately.

Getting involved is easy. Most of the patches are accepted. Get involved regularly is different. It depends on you and needs effort, continous contact and a bit of knowledge on how does the code is structured.
Consider that this is not a program created by the current admins. The code was developed by people that is not involved now (and wouldn’t be anymore) so all that we know is just discovered by the people who are now on it.

Please take a copy of the git repo and start by reading the API. Start by synfig-core.

Good luck and thanks!

By the way, your list of questions is a extremly useful start point for a “How do I contribute to Synfig Project?” entry.

Thank you so much for the answers. I have another question. Does anyone make money from this project? Is the code provided entirely by volunteers? Is this forum the main place to communicate about code ideas and artwork?

No-one makes any money from this project (at least not directly as far as I know). There was one company (unaffiliated with any of the Synfig contributors) who took it, bundled it with some apps and were selling it, but I doubt they found many takers as you can also download it for free.
The majority of the code was originally developed as a commercial animation package by a small animation studio, but that folded and the owner decided to open source it rather than leave it sitting on a shelf.
Yes, please use this forum as a place to share your ideas for Synfig (in the right topic section of course).

I don’t mean to be butting into business that isn’t mine, but I’m very curious. All the incredible effort it must take to make Synfig work and keep improving, what is the motivation for people to donate themselves to this? Do they put it on resumes, or share it at open source conventions or what? Is it just out the goodness of their hearts? I just want to learn the ins and outs of how open source works.

There will be a donate system very soon. Also it is possible to donate to individual members which have it enabled at sourceforge.

Yes but the main place to track the requests is the feature tracker from sourceforge. Forums is for discussion mainly.

Each individual has its own motivation to contribute to open source. The community contribution to an open source project is the good and the bad part of it. The success of the project is always dependent of the mood of its community. If it reach a very low level it could be abandoned or death.
In my case the motivations to contribute to Synfig Project are several:

  1. I like computer graphics and 2D animation covers lots of things I like form computer graphics.
  2. I like coding and I only know C++ deep enough.
  3. I love open source. I like the freedom to adapt the application to your needs.
  4. I feel good when something gets out from my mind and I do it my self. Coding is part of that.

And over all those motivations there is one basic premise: it must make me have fun. When I don’t have fun I don’t contribute.


Speaking of which, ever wondered how Blender and Ubuntu earn funds from Open Source technology? Mostly that, although the software is free they do “sell” training DVDs (although the documentations are also free) and the Durian Project helps attract donation and developers. I was actually thinking Youtube partnership for Synfig though: since we don’t really have many Synfig animators, we can have a finished/fully-polished videos made exclusively with Synfig and upload them to Youtube. Once we have a decent (and regular) gallery of videos we could apply for Youtube Partnership. :smiley:

The videos to be uploaded, on the other hand, would be the artist’s contribution. If the artist “donates” a good animation to Synfig, that animation can be uploaded to Youtube in the Synfig channel. More the viewers, more the funds!

This could work. You tube offered to let me register both the demo reel and the ‘installing Synfig under Windows’ videos as advertising revenue streams. Unfortunately, I couldn’t honestly claim that these videos met all their requirements. But it’s clear that we can generate the traffic to trigger their thresholds for viral videos.