sabato, luglio 04, 2015

Dynamo 0.8.1 is out!

Finally this stable release is out for every Dynamo user, I've been waiting for such new feature for so long, and finally they are here!

Many thanks to the team for the amazing work once again.

Now I want to talk in particular about the grouping feature, this is the first step towards a robust, well organized, easy to read and edit Code/Graph.

A group is a collection of nodes, this is the closest thing that we have in standard coding with private functions or subroutines or whatever they are called in other coding languages.
To create a group is easy: select the nodes and CTRL+G (yes, I know... too bad that it is the same shortcut to toggle between the graph and the geometry view until 0.8.0, get over it!).
To be honset there are a couple of ways more  to do that via the menu, right clicking... so stop complaining, you have been given a LOT more than just that.

If you select the group with a right click you can assign the color, and make the title really, REALLY visible with a huge font size.

Now the user can better understand what a set of nodes is meant for, so it becomes easier to orient inside a graph saving a huge amount of time. Love it.

If you want to remove a node from a group, right click on it and remove it from group, viceversa if you want to add a node to a group you need to select the node AND the group at once, right click and Add to group, that easy.
Anyway I wish it were as simple as "drag-and-drop" items over a group but hey, Rome wasn't build in a day.

Nodes inside a group move all together, so it is fairly easy to organize nicely your graph in a few clicks. A couple of issues are still there though: if you try to align two groups, what you are really doing is aligning the nodes inside the groups all together... so for now you don't wanna do that, maybe in the next releases such behaviour will be improved.
A nice thing to have would be the ability to "lock" a group, so no user is allowed to mess with it

We have colors, let's use them to organize our graph! Yes but how? We have 16 colors for now, let's say we start distinguishing main functions in our graphs:

  • Input
  • Data manipluation
  • Output
  • Debugging
I know it is even too much simplified, but what can be wrong with simple?
So, please, let's keep it this way.

It would be AWESOME to standardize the color meanings inside a firm, to provide consistency, so one can pick four different colors from the bottom row and assign each one of them to functions above.
It would be nice to follow an order too... from left to right, like when you are reading a book, so for instance:

  • Purple -> Input
  • Orange -> Data manipulation
  • Green -> Output
  • Light Blue -> Debugging
I feel that this approach can be really useful if we want a serious Dynamo implementation in our everyday processes, plus this would increase the possibility to make circulate these graphs between firms and open up to a more productive environment with multiple benefits for every one involved.

Next step? Dynamo templates of course!

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