Shebang / xUI

This is a work in progress that’s part of a larger work in progress. I ranted to several poor souls at NODE about it.

Presented above in GIF form is xUI. It will be a DX11 user interface pack hopefully available in the next month or so.
It’s my first major VL project, a good reason to try (and fail) with some of the more exciting VL patterns like delegates and (hopefully) async.

In xUI panels and controls are defined in JSON files. However you won’t need any VL or JSON knowledge to use xUI. It will will ship with a bunch of vvvv nodes that can easily define a panel. Down the track some specialised S/R type nodes will allow you to set and get data wherever you please in your vvvv patches. Perhaps in the future even a WYSIWYG editor.

Why all this complication with JSON though? And if you could mouse over the pins you would see talk of a mysterious gridspace? What’s that about?

I’m glad you asked. xUI is part of a larger project I’m calling ‘The whole shebang’ for now (or ‘Shebang’ for short, inspired by girlpower). The dream is that you could plug and play devices that get and set parameters (think midi-controllers with motorised faders) onto the network and then their panels pop up in vvvv. For this to work I’ve written a simplified panel description language in JSON that talks about controls on a grid rather than in world space.

The dream requires an entire network protocol of course, in fact multiple protocols once you start considering discovery, handshake, data exchange, UI rendering and memory recall as separate parts of the process. Hence why the big project is called ‘the whole shebang’, you need a lot of bits to work together to actually achieve plug and play functionality.

Powerful and shadowy figures are already working on related UI protocol projects that potentially will ship with a web based renderer. The hope is to make these projects compatible so you can publish the same control panel to a DX11 renderer AND web… it’s a big dream.

If I talked to you at NODE it hasn’t come much further then demos I showed there. I learnt a new thing or two about VL and I’ve spent all my spare time since then refactoring xUI internally.

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