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User avatar
By David Collins
#318351
I’ve been reasonably fluent in GDL scripting for years now but I haven’t had any experience with this kind of graphic node based interface. I see it used now in a lot of programs like the UnReal engine and Grasshopper, but I find the whole thing baffling. I can’t figure out where to begin or how to proceed. I don’t see how to impose any sort of visual order to the layout as it develops. It seems to me after a certain level of complexity you wind up with a rats’ nest of parameters and links that would be impossible to tweak or debug as problems arose. Can anyone suggest a basic introductory resource to help me get a handle on this?
User avatar
By Constantin Cozma
#319336
Your question is quite interesting for me as i come from exacty the opposite perspective and i see the visual programming tools such as Param-O and Grasshopper a real breakthrough. In the same time i recognize some of your worries are true because the more complicated a script becomes, the more difficult it is to manage and visually organize the whole thing, but again i still find it easier than with the standard text interface.
I havent tried PARAM-O myself yet but from what i have seen there are some tools for, grouping, organising and labeling nodes and group of nodes.
I guess for you should be even easier because you can always switch back and forth between the text editor and visual interface.
User avatar
By runxel
#320088
To be honest this is of the main drawbacks of node-based interfaces and an obstacle no one in the industry has solved as of today. And I doubt the "limitations" can ever be overcome.

So don't feel like you're the only one struggling and everyone else has figured it out, David! Debugging a visual script is still cumbersome.

Of course there are some kind of strategies to mitigate the effects of a node-based interface and David Rutten is working hard on making Grasshopper 2 better in every regard.
I still think the concept is wonderful and can be the gateway "drug" for novices into scripting.
But e.g. I dislike the heftiness and visual impact of having just a few math nodes in GH, so I tend to always just use a Python component for everything that's more than one math operation :D
By DGSketcher
#320093
I am still amongst many waiting for the Mac version BUT I have a feeling Param-O may not meet my expectations. Having played with GDL for many years I get a feeling that you would still need to resort to coding for anything other than creating simple models. I have used node based programming in other software and it is great for simple self contained projects but rapidly becomes a big bowl of spaghetti. If you are fluent in GDL I doubt Param-O offers much benefit. If you are new to the idea of creating simple objects it could prove a good starter to learn programming.