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Is vvvv already dead?

absolutely: things take longer than expected. we’re not happy about this. we try to be communicative and responsive. we’re available for everyone basically 24/7. we try to help solve problems where we can. we keep you updated on our status in the monthly recaps. we created a roadmap so that you have a general understanding of where things are going.

we do understand and share most of your frustrations. specifically regarding the lack of documentation/tutorials and the basic things that are missing that you expect to just work. on these two, we could be in a much better state by now.

because we’re aware of these, we’ve also not been to active in onboarding new users lately. contrary to some other experts in this room though, we have reason to believe that vvvv gamma is actually going to be a very strong new tool. but we wanted to wait until we have an installable version for everyone to run, before we start talking more about it. such a version is finally available since april and we’re now starting the process of running regular workshops as mentioned by @david.

when planning those we’ve found, i believe, the same understanding as @bo27. we’re not only trying to sell vvvv as a tool, but we’re talking about practical things you can do with it, targeting specific audiences with specific workshop offers like “Computer Vision”, “Interaction Design”,… announcement still to come.

we’re also planning to start with video-tutorials soon after we have tooltips finished, which should bring the UI in a state where we wanted it to be for 1.0. doing videos earlier means they would be out-of-date rather quickly. i hope you can see how we have to take such decisions.

@fibo and anyone who is maintaining vvvv communities: thanks for your service and please make sure to point people to our official channels periodically, so they are not stuck behind some walled gardens.

@jj-h obviously these are still exactly the types of projects we’ll be optimizing vvvv for. we’d have hoped that showing a project like Ocean Of Air, that was entirely realized with vvvv gamma+xenko would give confidence in that.

given its current lack of modern rendering engine we understand that vvvv cannot be used for all of your latest projects. what worries me more is that by now it seems we haven’t managed to spread a good understanding of what it is we’ve built with vl and how you can use it for your benefit already. and with the prospect of VL.Xenko being in development an understanding where we are taking this. but then apparently this comes back to the lack of more demos and documentation.

so how can i conclude this without repeating myself? we’re so ON to making vvvv the fastest and most comfortable tool to use, to realize your multimedia visions. big part of how we’re going to do this is ramping up on documentation, running workshops and getting more basic things to work out of the box. so far we’ve concentrated on making developing libraries for vl a breeze (with importing .NET libs). next we have to deliver and show more basic stuff to be stable and usable out of the box. then VL.Xenko.

please help us by reporting problems, asking your questions, requesting workshops and specific tutorials and sharing the projects you’ve realized with vvvv to inspire others to give it a shot.

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About 6-7 years ago, I moved on from VVVV to my strengths of UI/UX for local opportunities. Back then , It was exciting to hear about VL, Since then I visit VVVV occasionally and hear about VL all the time but never anyone saying VL rocks and today, we are still talking about the birth of VL. To be honest, It’s saddening for me to see a community I love going through difficulties. I am confidant this will change and soon VVVV will become popular with masses.

Don’t know much these days how VVVV is catching up, I like to share my thought on how it can get better… please excuse me for my ignorance if any

  1. Like fellow user suggested, we need more aggressive marketing to position VVVV is easy and efficient
  2. We need more tutorials or user engagement methods, Please check out www.webflow.com and their live session and tutorial topics are well crafted and we can adapt some of those strategies to keep new and pro users engaged
  3. While I have recommended to many people, VVVV installation and dependencies are not something easy for everyone. Considering windows gonna roll out whole PC experience on Virtual machine, what if VVVV rolls-out a subscription modal, where user just pay and gets access to Virtual machines ready to run and some expert assistance if possible to help them if they got stuck in patching
  4. Get a re-branding on vvvv website

It’s not my intention to offend this beautiful community, after all, I learned a lot from this modest and skillful community. I love to see VVVV grow.

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@joreg:
the roadmap you mention is actually more of a history view into the future. as subtopic of the most recent release is all the things that are in your minds. and literally ALL, not just the ones targeted for the next release.
a nice sign of alive-ness (and to make it actually a roadmap) could be to actually put some points into upcoming: in your post you mentioned dll export, tooltips,… topics which you are actually tackling at the moment. and peeps in berlin or ones who are in (private) communication with the vvvv group now that. but the rest of the community is left in the dark.

guess it would be a nice gesture (which costs very little effort) which would show a little more activity from the actual devs here.
(and i think it’s important to do that, especially for the occasional vvvv user or beginners, who most likely don’t just hang out in riot all day)

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@woei good point, i updated the roadmap to reflect our current status.

Something that I have not seen mentioned in this thread: what is the plan of the vvvv developer group business-wise, @joreg? Are you guys trying to grow the company as well as the product? Looking at the slow progress of the vvvv gamma roadmap, it seems pretty obvious your team is completely swamped.

A few quick video tutorials by an overworked developer is not enough to properly market your product. Why don’t you guys hire someone to do this full-time? I don’t know what the financial status is of vvvv, but this is, in my opinion, clearly the investment with the highest ROI.

I personally don’t see a long-term future for vvvv beta. Gamma/VL, however, has a lot of potential and could be a good opportunity to completely rebrand your product alongside a well-oiled marketing strategy. A few personal suggestions to accompany the Gamma 1.0 release: (I hope none of these points come across as disrespectful, I only say this because I love VL and want to see it grow!)

  • Easy to find, well-written, and consistent documentation. Perhaps even a wiki? The graybook is sparse and incomplete. I’ve had to learn VL through various channels alongside a lot of trial-and-error. VL needs to be as beginner-friendly as possible.
  • A new website. The current one is unnavigable and confusing. Consolidating all educational material would also help with the previous point. Also, the look and design of a website matters, and there is empirical data to support this. (read p.23-24)
  • It hurts me to say this, but it’s 2019 and virtually every company has a social media strategy. e.g. a Twitter account which regularly posts news and reposts people’s patches; an official Youtube channel with tutorials and lectures; Facebook; Instagram; hashtags, etc. All that crap is important. Easiest way to improve community outreach.
  • Random idea: why not also advertise VL to computer science students as a graphical programming language and educational platform? It’s essentially a slick graphical wrapper around C# (Which is why I thought it would have been amazing to name VL V#, but I digress) and can be used for rapid prototyping and visualization of an algorithm. I made a Brainfuck visual interpreter a few weeks ago as a fun exercise. It was really quick and easy in VL! Would have taken ages even in Python.
  • (Growth is also easily quantifiable through web traffic. So you can collect hard evidence if a strategy is working or not, and act accordingly.)

You’re clearly very competent developers, but please don’t overlook the business aspect of developing a software product. Either you guys choose to do the marketing yourselves, which crushes my hope of a speedy Gamma 1.0 release, or you outsource it. A company, on average, spends 10-12% of its revenue on marketing, which, in theory, generates revenue which can then be spent increasing the quality of the product. Is there a reason you guys don’t do this? Is it a financial reason or an ideological reason?

P.S. Apologies for the rant…

EDIT: I just thought of another marketing-related issue which I think is worthy of discussion, but I have a feeling it might be unpopular within the community. Please let me know. I think vvvv gamma is very confusing name. vvvv alpha is the unstable dev branch, vvvv beta is the stable version, and vvvv gamma is a subset of the unstable dev branch? The nomenclature does not even progress linearly. My view would be to completely rename and rebrand it for various reasons, but I’m sure the developers have their own perspective on this…

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100% agree with @maro but marketing, tutorials and namings are only part of the thing. It still won’t get adopted by more people and companies if the UI is not meant to be used by human beings, or people carrying habits from other authoring environments.

As tebjan said no one will use your software if there are no docs, I’d also add no one will use your software if it’s throwing out basic UX conventions (I’ve also learned that via my failed packs)

For example look at Blueprint in UE4. VL has so much more language features and so much broader usage, but Blueprint excels in one thing which beats VL to the ground, and that is the familiarity of the UI. even when you’ve seen it for the first time you immediately can know where to look for certain features. They were combining the traditional UI elements of an IDE (property editors and functionality of VS or eclipse) and the traditional node graphs of a 3D package (maya, c4d, blender). They did not reinvent or innovate anything on UI side and by not doing so they achieved incredible adoption by artists and designers.

PS.: I know visually BP UI looks dated with its gradients, 3D icons, and skeumorphism and that’s repelling to some, I hate that too, I’m not talking about that (the decorations)

@maro i believe we’re all mostly on the same page regarding the things you mentioned that are expected and need to be done. some things could already have been done, others depend on vvvv gamma being in a state where it makes sense to get more people involved. i hope it is understandable that we were not in the position to make many annoucements before now that vvvv gamma is finally available at least in preview. thats why we’re now starting with setting up what we plan to make a continuous series of learning opportunities. while also working on documentation, tutorials and a new web appearance.

meanwhile our socialmedia strategie is one of the finest around: embracing the actual social and open web. we don’t fall for likes and followers, becoming complicit in the demolition of the internet! instead, please join us on mastodon: https://mastodon.xyz/@vvvv

“why not also advertise VL to computer science students…” absolutely, please go ahead. if you have specific contacts, let us know. we’ll launch our activities after the vvvv gamma release.

regarding naming:
we now have two products:

  • vvvv beta
  • vvvv gamma

and only relevant for hardcore users: “vvvv alpha” will be renamed to “vvvv beta preview”, to be in line with “vvvv gamma preview”. going forward mostly it should be enough to talk about “vvvv”. only in contexts where it could be ambiguous you’d have to add “beta” or “gamma”.

@microdee regarding UI/UX i think by now we’ve heard you. but when we’re concentrated and listening closely, we’ve got also other voices in our ears: those of other professionals and also of people who get in touch with vvvv gamma for the first time and enjoy its simplicity of not being overwhelmed by multiple windows and property editors from the start (think about the success of processing, in that regard). that is not at all to say we’re completely disregarding those concepts, but i hope you understand that we cannot make vvvv exactly like blueprint but without the gradients just to get you to say nice things about it.

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The quote was from a link he posted not him personally.

I really would like to hear from those professionals personally.

But they also don’t show up on your roadmap.

For me the lack of multiple windows and not being able to look at patches side by side is a major flaw. All the switching back and forth between tabs is time consuming and disorienting. Same goes for some kind of Inspektor window that allows a quick overview of a node without having to hover every single pin with the mouse (or connecting a bunch of io-boxes).

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to reassure everyone, i just put it there. as we’ve confirmed previously, we’ll definitely get multi-window support and also some kind of inspektor system.

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i haven’t met one professional or student who would support this. i imagine unity taking on such a concept, it would render the software useless. i really doubt a significant number of people like switching windows all the time and find vvvv gamma simple and intuitive. when you write something like this… it sounds like you are ignoring the majority and our criticism is vague and not sound.

of course you are not ignoring any of the comments and there will be windows, but don’t paint a picture as if only the old vvvv supporters have problems with the interface and concept.

ok this is actually the first time you responded to my UX concerns with coherence. So you guys want to position VL into the processing realms of things. Ok good to hear that and I accept that, and by hearing that I will continue to stay away from it. The inherent difference though between VL and Processing is that when you get tired of Processing’s limited IDE, you can switch to a proper one like VIM, VS code or Sublime and work infinitely faster there, because it’s just text and a compiler. Unfortunately you can’t do that with a visual language without a lot of work.

Or if artist-vs-developer criteria is so different on the UX side, we might need separation of UI and the VL interpreter?

we really shouldn’t get stuck in the multi-window discussion. we all agree on it. by mentioning those things i’m not trying to paint the picture you saw but merely explain why it hasn’t been our topmost priority so far. to explain that it is not a random decision to annoy anyone but a balancing act.

well no, that is why i added “in that regard” meaning: one of the reasons, i believe, processing is so popular for beginners, is because it comes with a rather simple UI for a start. that was to argue that there is value in such an approach. not to argue that we generally position vvvv gamma in that realm. regarding your analogy, where with processing you have to move on to other tools at some point, our plan with vvvv is that you can stay and only open a few more windows, inspektors and editors as you need them. this is what we’re aiming at.

Isnt Xenko integration going to bring UI editor, at least for 3d stuff to VL at some point ?

maybe is not dead yet… :P

Ok, this was a little joke… :) I didn’t intend to minimize all your complains and criticisms.

I love this community and I know how much you guys care about vvvv destiny.
I can just report here my perspective, which is probably very privileged right now, but maybe for this reason can give you a different view.

Since March 2019 I’m working at Praxis (vvvv developers studio) as part of the VERTIGO Starts residency program. I’m here to have developers support for creating a new artwork.
As said, being inside the developers studio is a very privileged position, that put me in direct contact with the development of vvvv.
Being an “advanced” vvvv beta user I knew all the problems related to beta architecture-language, that’s why I started to study VL 2 years ago, by coming to Berlin for an intense learning session with the developers.
After the first disorienting moments I started to grasp the huge potential of the new language and to realize things that I always dreamed of in beta but that were impossible.
Somehow getting into vl was the beginning of a radical transformation in my understandment-awareness of what visual programming is (and what programming in general is).
Being an insider I see not just the huge potential of the technology these guys are creating, but I TOUCH already the application of it.
I had the pleasure to be part of the team that realized Ocean of Air and that for me was a great confirmation of the possibilities that this new technology offers and the quality of projects that you can realize with it.
I know that lot of the frustration comes from not being able to have a clear picture of this “revolution”, and for sure the lack of documentation and tutorials doesn’t help. Hopefully this will be addressed (as joreg already said) with the upcoming serie of workshops and documentation posts.

I just hope that in the next months, with the incoming release, the image of vvvv will change at your eyes, since the community around the tool is a crucial aspect of this journey and I would be so sad to see some of you leaving…
@bo27 my friend, that “concert” in the abandon radar dome is in my heart :)

big hugs

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HI all,
this is an interesting thread despite the rather dark title. Programming isn’ t my number 1 jack-of-trade, more something I get into once a year. In that light vvvv was always my favourite application as I could easily get into trying stuff without getting sucked into complex syntax-stuff that I felt was the case in other programming languages.

2019 is the first time I’m picking up VVVV since several years. And when I read some of the comments I understand the frustration. I remember the announcement of VL many years ago and thought that by now sure a lot would have changed. That isn’ t the case (yet) as many have argued here already.

For me the biggest culprit is still the lack of cross-platform. While I’ m personally highly anti-macintosh, their computers where just the most popular among creative kids in the last decade. I can think of dozens, if not 40-50 people of whom I’m sure would have loved VVVV but that couldn’ try it. They just don’t have the hardware for it. That makes it then again difficult at universities to teach it and create a bigger platform for it.

Yes documentation by the organization is important, but user-generated documentation is becoming a big thing these days that can compete if not surpass official documentation. With youtubers who learned to capitalize on tutorials using patreon etc. and great online courses generated by users (udemy, kadenze…). However if your program is only useable with a niche operating-system that passes on two primary target audiences - Artists, of whom many use Mac / Programmers, of whom many use Linux -than the sheer quantity of possible users lacks for motivating user-generated tutorials/guides etc.

With having said that I’m stoked about the new features of Gamma and am optimistic about the developments, feeling that there is awareness of the problems and a direction drive towards solving them. Go vvvvorward!

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p.s. (playing a bit the devil’s advocate here) there is some mentions of software I’ve never tried that supposedly does better in some ways (ticflare, cables…). So I’m gonna start playing around to see if I’m missing out on something :P

for reference: our planned activities for august and september are now complete:

wanna help? run a meetup/patching-circle/workshop in your own city and let us know about it, so we can promote it on our channels.

(next up: tutorials)

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Absolutely agree. The target audiences are often not running Windows. Many people I meet in the scene may not know vvvv or VL for that matter and even if they are fairly impressed by the speed and possibilities they can’t run it because of their platform. Audio folk especially.

I did get a few people to install Windows on their Mac systems but it’s a time consuming process, requiring ample storage and getting used to a different UI experience. And sometimes things don’t work for one reason or another and the whole thing is a pain and a huge barrier to entry and it’s not like there’s no other tools to reach for.

For me personally for longer term installations I would love to run from a linux system and not have to be at the mercy of Windows updates (when the system is kept online for remote access) and having to deal more with Windows IT support rather than development. Also being able to avoid Windows licensing costs would be a huge boon to vvvv gamma based standalone devices.

I know multi-platform is on the roadmap as .NET theoretically enables this nowadays and hopefully it will come sooner rather than later. I’m slightly concerned about libraries lagging behind, such as Skia and using Windows specific stuff to create the final rendering windows. I hope the devvvvs figure out to support all desktop platforms but also windowless platforms such as phones and tablets along with their various input methods.

Agreed, I personally use Linux and only switch back to windows for VVVV and here and there some adobe apps.
On the other hand, Mac has a such a large user base that I’m sure it will bring a lot more user involvement and additions in forms of tutorials, packs etc.
Therefore I consider both equally important!