Manual for building older versions of Blender

Hello.
I propose adding a description for building older versions of blender in manual.
Please tell me your opinion.

Problem

  • Blender Wiki does not mention the existence of an older version of the svn repository.

I tried to build an older version of blender to investigate an old bug, but I couldn’t because of the different version of libarary. Fortunately, I found out about the existence of version-specific svn repositories in this thread.

I first learned about the existence of the tags/ directory in this thread. I’m sure there are other people who don’t know about this directory.

In addition, it would be good to describe how to build older versions for those who want to investigate blender lts.

Solution

I think it would be good to add a sentence in Building Blender section of the Blender Wiki (Building Blender - Blender Developer Wiki) to inform people about the existence of the svn tags directory.

For example:

# How to get library for building older versions of blender
svn checkout https://svn.blender.org/svnroot/bf-blender/tags/blender-2.83-release/lib/win64_vc15/

How is my proposal?

While I agree at least mentioning the libs/tags folder in the wiki is a good thing, that being said, building old software is hard and will never get any easier as time passes.

2.83 is not too distant, you probably could still get it to build with a modern compiler, but as time passes building older versions will become harder and harder, building 2.73 will be a significant undertaking, you’ll either have to obtain compilers from around that time (which may not always be easy on windows) or you’ll have to make a really old codebase (and all deps!) work with a modern compiler, which will be in between hard and sheer impossible, there’s no “oh just follow this handy guide, it’s easy!” for any of these things and there never will be.

Hi,

Not trivial for sure. But possible.

The required libs: bf-blender - Revision 62649: /tags
Older versions of VS can be found here: https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/en/vs/older-downloads/
Old Python versions can be found at the Python page: Releases | Python.org
You also need an older version of cmake. Here’s a repo mirror with binaries GitHub - Kitware/CMake: Mirror of CMake upstream repository

Then you could setup a Win 7 environment in a VM to bypass the Win 10 problems for older Blender versions. And then you need to know which Python version and which Cmake version was used for what specific Blender version.

I hope i haven’t forgotten too much :slight_smile:

Kind regards
Arunderan

Like i said significant undertaking, as the code you trying to build ages it gets harder, the VS archive link you posed for instance only goes back to VS2010 blender goes back to the mid 90’s :slight_smile:

Thank you for the reply!

I did not anticipate the version that would require the old tool. Finding old tools is going to be a huge amount of work.

Manual for versions that are too old to be built using only git and svn command may be not a lot of benefit.