Pro VVVV Economics

I think that asset store model from unity is just great, a lot of people can save hours of work by buying the right asset, devs are motivated to even compete with each other in terms of prices and features of contributions. I Bought some assets and i have a feeling its a best way to do it.

But if we would do something like that, there would have to be some changes done to core of vvvv, to make using assets more natural in vvvv.

As for sharing of my projects, lot of stuff that i develop is highly specific, and does not give a lot of sense without proper context. I tried publishing contributions, but for example I am much more a designer of interaction/artist and not a coder, i never learned coding in school, I was learning conceptual art while working restlessly on my knowledge of vvvv and its logic. So i can do my code but every patch is more a personal achievement than anything globally usefull. One thing i can do is to teach vvvv to people like me, which i have done several times, always sponsored by some kind of state grant, I spread the lovvvve to people so they can enjoy the freedom of expression that vvvv is capable of giving them. VVVV was kinda there through my whole university study and it changed a lot in my life, apart from the whole philosophy of “internet of things” I was capable to get some extra money while study and finally find a job and buy a license through my company. So i really think of myself more like a user, depending on contributions. I just registered flatter few days ago but i think its not a good system for this at all, Asset store sounds to me like a way to go.

Also for me question of development of vvvv is always crawling through my mind, I think that things like mmr should be considered to be distributed between more devs and inserted into vvvv for much bigger ease of use. Also things like physics engine is so clunky to work in vvvv, I know it is not just question of programming but rather of the whole philosophy behind working of vvvv, but I think roadmap of vvvv should be more apparent and open to discussion on site.

@StiX: 50-that-next-big-thing.-an-overview. and 50-the-humble-quad-bundle

writing as a member of an academic institution i’d like to add a few things, being related (or maybe not).

as a great fan of vvvv and admirer of the wonderful work done here by all the devs i’ve been trying to spread the vvvvirus to quite a lot of students in the recent years. for me personally learning vvvv increased my insights of how digital media actually works on the inside to a great deal (and even more: to discover the beauty of maths and algorithmic concepts, for which vvvv can be an excellent tool).

still, it is oftenly hard to convince people from different backgrounds why it can absolutely make sense to learn something that is so different from what they know (designers - getting them to use something that they cannot drag and drop; programmers - oftenly not seeing how they can achieve the kind data wrangling the way they are used to (loops, etc.). still, in every course there are a few guys that start a lovvvve affair, even though we just scratched the surface (one of the nicest feedback i got was: “it started with enforcement, lead to interest and ended in enthusiasm”).

to get to the point: all this would not be possible if vvvv wasn’t distributed with the license model that allows using it in this context like this. also, the contributions, packs and helpful users as they exist now are wonderful enablers for many nice things. the “free” availability of these thing makes it possible that the word can even be spread to outsiders. sometimes, even some stuff comes back to the community (e.g. this). (side note: for all our audio stuff we started to switch from MAX/MSP to PD for the reason of easy availability, because we want to be able to let the students tryout all the cool stuff on their own computers, not being limited to dongles or 30-day-trials or cracks).

however, i absolutely do understand why there is a certain discontent among heavy contributers. from a professional point of view i find the “appstore” concept quite fair but am aware that the community might lose some of its “warmheartedness”. also, i’m quite curious in which way this discussion will go when there is a vvvv50 without a need for a plugin-interface (but i’m only guessing here).

I have a bit hard to see an app-store approach work for vvvv both when considering economics and that I don’t think it would benefit the community.

What seems most likely to work for someone to get paid to make solid contributions is a “sponsored by company x” (like we’ve seen a few) or bounties for specific wished for functionality. To make it more likely to happen it would help if more people (companies and individuals) shared more about what they do and are interested in.

For me making a user page (and a homepage) is one of those things I’d like to do but put off because of other things having higher priority along with wrapping things up to make contributions.

I’m one of these users who doesn’t post very often. I have to say coming to 4V as someone of a certain age, I have not found it easy or fairly intuitive to learn, I still struggle with it a lot as it is completely opposite of just about everything I’ve learned how to use for the past ~20 years. I’m not a college kid studying this at uni, I have to make a living and so I don’t have time to noodle about with 4V all day. Wish I did but those people at the lottery corporation just are not cooperating with the funding. ;) Granted if I lived in Europe there would be more of a community and it would be easier to attend events but where I am in Canada, I don’t know anyone else in my circle who uses it. I went all the way to the UK to take a training course because after going through the tutorials on the site, I still wasn’t quite understanding how it all worked.

Anyway, having said that, if there’s one way 4V could make more inroads into greater user acceptance it’s through education. I don’t mean universities or colleges, I mean through traditional printed (or eBook) media. Pretty much every piece of software on the planet has documentation on how to use it or learn it or projects to do with it step-by-step either through the developer or through independent authors at major publishers like O’Reilly. You want to learn how to use Word? There must be a thousand titles covering all the different versions over the years.

A simple search for “python” on in the Computer Progamming Languages department turned up 849 results. Unreal (which frankly until this post, I had never heard of before) brought back 40. Unity (another one I have no clue about) – 171.

VVVV returned 3 – Generative Design: Visualize, Program, and Create with Processing, Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists and Updating Logical Databases (which doesn’t count because it was published in 1990). So they aren’t even really about 4V but Processing. Whether you like Amazon or not, odds are that most people who have heard about something go there first to see what is available to read about it. Anyone who sees something cool done in 4V, wants to learn it, they aren’t going to find much out there in the wider “commercial” world to help them with that aspiration.

Prototyping Interfaces does show up in the bottom search “87 results in all Departments” (which includes Argyle socks for some reason) but… it’s in German. I bought a copy, it’s a beautiful book, but… it’s in German. There’s nothing wrong with German, except if you don’t speak it or understand it or can read it, then you’re pretty much screwed. I was in the process of using Google Translate to figure out what is in it, but then I got busy and had to go back to the business of earning money with the stuff that actually pays. Still haven’t done the exercises.

So, imagine this. A book that took the beginner 4V programmer through the kinds of projects that a beginner might start with or want to know the answers to. I know that when I decide to try doing something in 4V, I have an idea of what I’m trying to accomplish (usually it’s seeing if something I did in another method could be done easier/better in 4V). The elements of each patch broken down and explained what they do and why. Don’t provide the actual code, make people put it together for themselves, but give them the instruction sheet so they succeed. A node reference that grouped them, had more information about them (even just a shortened list of the most commonly used). As some people have commented on here, they use the same patches over and over again so I think it would be possible to gather enough to put together lessons like the Prototyping Interfaces book, just not so in depth (at least the patches/projects seem to me to be fairly advanced). Or chapters could be split up into topics like Spreads or dealing with the various ways of controlling timing and animation.

Also, I find this website to be difficult to navigate. I mean most forums are broken up into various areas so if you’re looking for a specific thing, you go to that area. If Adobe’s website was structured like this one… I don’t even want to think about it. I want information on AfterEffects because I’m having a problem rendering something, I go to the AfterEffects forum, not search the entire thing. There are so many valuable discussions on here about video cards/hardware (for example) that get lost because they’re buried under months of other posts and are hard (at least in my opinion) to find/keep track of. If this was a more traditional forum structure, you could have an area that was just dedicated to hardware and all questions or comments collected there, move your eyes down the list and see if someone had already asked your question without having to use keywords first. You could have a forum devoted to Projects/Inspiration that collected all the various projects people post about in the ShoutBox for reviewing later. Another one for events, similar to what already exists here.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I find the process kind of opaque. I have found people here to be very kind and helpful, much more so than other places that exist on the Internet. There are so many interesting things buried on the site where someone has contributed something amazingly useful but you really have to dig for it and that gets frustrating. However, it seems there is a core group of people who really know what they’re doing because they’ve been with 4V for years, many since it started, and with that kind of mastery it can be difficult to put yourself back into that place of “what does this look like to someone who has never seen it before? How can I explain it so that they understand what it is/how it works and they achieve their goals?”

hi pixelsmith, i just want to do a short comment on your section about vvvv’s documentation and point you towards some resources you should not have missed. but if you did, i wonder why?

this is obviously pretty hard to do, every beginner might have another imagination about what he wants to do and why. And if you look at beginners text books in computer science its full of useless, boring and constructed examples of programming.

this is exactly what @robotanton)) was doing in the last two years. he did a tremendous job in restructuring and overhauling the girlpower folder which comes with every vvvv download and is only two clicks away: ((blog:vvvv-easy-to-learn-with-girlpower
he is also the main author of the parasitic-design-a-vvvv-beginners-cookbook.
those two resources contain hundreds of patches about nearly every topic, documented in a very careful and structured way. it won’t get any better.

and there is also this: fun

but as you say:

from your perspective, what is missing to better promote the resources i pointed out and make them more present to beginners?

… but i don’t want to sidetrack this discussion.

i have to agree with one thing pointed out by pixelsmith:

the vvvv webpage is really a disaster in terms of usage!
there is so much knowledge in the forum or even contributions section that is lost if you don’t remember that “there was a topic some years ago”… the search function is a mess, too.

so what i think regarding the original discussion: we need a better structured page (perhaps with a “paying $ for this tool/helper” section in addition to the contributions page - this could work like kickstarter to collect money before anyone/trusted members start to develop it) where KNOWLEDGE can be found easily.

Before this thread derails too much, please let me intervene.

This thread is addressing the sharing culture on a “professional” level, its motivation and consequences, as its title “Pro VVVV Economics” states.

What you are discussing is important, too, and it might even touch upon similar topics (the identity and user reach of vvvv) but it is not directly part of this thread.

Please open your own thread, if you want to discuss the steep learning curve of vvvv and/or the ways to help you along it. Same holds true, if you want to discuss a broader wishlist for a vvvvuture website in depth.

If you want to say why or why not you contribute something or what you are expecting of a contribution and when, why or what you’d give back when a contribution is useful, then this thread is for you.

ok, so i re-read the last 4 posts again. a lot of it was de-railing, but some of it actually touched down, which I missed last time, sorry for that. nonetheless, try to keep on topic, or consider opening a new thread next time, even if it is in response to somebody else!

thanks for opening up like that. you deserve some kudos for buying a german book and attempting to translate it manually. I can hardly believe you did such a thing, but it is wonderful. English was my first foreign language, Latin my second and I am pretty sure I would have never started with German. My Spanish is lousy, and please excuse my French.
If I read you correctly you want to make a leap towards the professional side of vvvv, but because the website is too chaotic, because you are not benefitting from freenode’s irc ##vvvv or because you don’t know German, it seems to be a frustratingly impossible barrier. This is something that is in the context of this thread: could there be something “professional” that is still missing, that would allow you the leap to contribute as well? your answer of a lack of english books is definitely in the scope of this thread.

Thanks for being the first devvvv in this thread, and special thanks for defending @robotanton. He is one of the power players in making vvvv more accessible for new talent, but it seems to me, his shoulders are not the only ones a further professionalization should stand on. Devvvvs will play a role no matter what, but this is something we as a community should figure out as well.

you post anonymously, and I respect that you want to post anonymously. I hope there will be more “guests” rather than keeping silent. restructuring the website might be a solution to the problem, but this thread has not even found a common definition of the problem. It is much broader in spectrum, so this thread is still simply collecting opinions and asking for debate. One thing I can gather from your response is your notion of “anyone/trusted members” (some meritocratic thingy, I assume) which is an important aspect of a lot of open source projects, which could be a lead.
Another thing that went through my mind: this very website could be considered half a contribution of @david)) (or is it ((user:David Scharf?) How do we as a community appreciate that work? Could it get better, if we’d care more? Can we actually care more, if the source code is not available?

keep on track, stay true to the message: vvvv is more than LOC.
(and stop talking to yourself)