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Previously on vvvv: vvvvhat happened in November 2019
still no bigfat vvvv gamma release but we're now really getting close. See what we've just released last month:
This means we're now basically feature complete and are planning for an initial release in Q1.2020! More tweaks and fixes will happen for the export and we'll do some more work on the help browser to make it even more useful. Meanwhile please keep reporting your buggers and help us make this a solid first release.
Documentation-wise there've been three updates: A new Section on IOBoxes in the gray book and two new how to videos:
And the biggest news of all: NODE20 is happening! Just in time so that we'll have 3d-support in vvvv gamma and hopefully finally match most features of vvvv beta. Ideally we'll have at least a first version of VL.Xenko out before, so that some of you can even already prepare workshops with it... Curious about our progress there? Expect a separate blogpost with a wrap-up of latest developments shortly.
A few updates:
woei opensourced two of his contributions:
And there's been some action in the work-in-progress section on the forum:
And some more fresh from the vimeo group:
That was it for December. Anything to add? Please do so in the comments!
A summary of the main changes in respect to the previous blog post:
1) Indie is now up to 50k€ revenue
2) We removed the idea of a product license, meaning you don't need to license devices that run an executable exported from vvvv!
3) There are now only 2 types of licenses that are needed to run vvvv itself: Developer and Device (See below for details)
4) We simplified monthly payment
We recently released a new preview of vvvv gamma, including executable export. This makes it feature-complete for our first official release in early 2020. We're now only ironing out bugs and tweaking the help/onboarding experience a bit further. So what you see now is what you'll get, when you buy a license to use it commercially. Therefore now is the time to inform you about the licensing options we have planned for it. Note: This does not mention any discounts that we're still planning to apply for early adopters.
Trust me, when I tell you that this is the most rewritten blog-post we ever published. Creating a suitable licensing model seems far more complex than creating the software itself.
Foremost it is important for us to keep our (pattern pending) T.R.U.S.T model, which means:
That's the world we want to live in and we hope you too! We don't believe in any form of copy-protection or artificial feature limitations that usually only restrict honest users. Others will always find a way around such restrictions and thus not be bothered anyway. We're all grown-ups here. If vvvv helps you make a living, then help us make a living by providing vvvv for you. How simple is that?!
Same as above, this is what we believe in. In the end, everything always comes down to education and equal access to it. We don't want to be responsible for anyone to not have the pleasure of learning vvvv.
There are commercial educational institutions that could make us a lot of money indeed. But also we're smart businessmen and know how to cash in on the free drugs we hand out now, later.
Further, it is in the interest of any professional user of vvvv to quasi support the free educational use as this keeps the flow of new talents steady. WinWinWin.
So why not simply keep the existing licensing model? Indeed, to make this clear: The licensing for vvvv beta will not change! As long as you're not interested in vvvv gamma, everything stays exactly the same for you (except you're missing out quite a bit! Just sayin...).
But then, regarding vvvv gamma, there are a couple of reasons to adapt the licensing model:
So bottom line up front: vvvv gamma is more and therefore requires a more defined licensing model.
We'll want you to declare your use of vvvv gamma using the following options:
Another thing we wanted to improve over the beta licensing model is the fact that we understand that vvvv is used in quite diverse scenarios regarding the financing that is behind them. To accommodate all of those on an individual basis is not really feasible. But at least we thought we can add an option on either end of the default "professional" user. So depending on who pays for a license, there will be different prices:
Subscriptions are optional and will be available for both yearly and monthly options. If you sign up for a yearly subscription, we thank you for that with a 30% discount from the second year on. Otherwise, subscriptions simply offer the convenience that you don't have to think about the validity of your license all the time.
Of course you can cancel a subscription at any time and if you had a yearly subscription (or a monthly subscription for more than 12 months) you then own the last version of vvvv that was available within your subscription period and you can keep using that version commercially indefinitely. A subscription that was canceled cannot be continued/updated at a later point. This means if you need an update to your license after you cancel the subscription you need to buy a full new license or start a new subscription.
Accommodating the various requirements of all types of users and use-cases is a tricky task. This paired with trying not to completely disregard the pricing politics of "the competition" but also adding our own ideas and still balancing an economically viable solution didn't make it any easier. We still hope that we found a way that can be sustainable for all of us.
We are aware that the above may leave some questions open and we are ready to further refine the fine print and add examples to make it easier for everyone to declare their licenses. Please help us do so by asking your questions in the comments below, so we can understand where we need to get more specific.
If my installation/show is running from an executable, do I need a Device License in addition to my Developer License?
Can I use my Developer license to run vvvv on a device in a museum?
No, the two Device licenses your Developer license covers can only be used during development. Device licenses for deployment need to be acquired separately.
My project (a server and 5 clients) is running at a trade show for one week. I don't want to run them as executables because I need to be able to change things on the fly during the week. I am one developer and it takes me 2 months to develop the project. What licensing applies?
For deployment you'll need 6 monthly device licenses to cover the 6 devices running vvvv for one week. For the 2 month development time you have 2 PCs covered by your developer license. Assuming you're only using exactly the 6 PCs during development that means you'll need 4 additional device licenses for the 2 months of development.
We're two developers working on an installation distributed over 10 machines that will eventually only run an executable. But for development, we have vvvv running on our laptops and all 10 machines for convenient debugging.
You need two developer licenses, which cover 4 running instances of vvvv. You therefore need 6 additional device licenses for the time of development.
My commercial installation is running with a Device License. Does the maintainer of the installation need a Developer License?
Yes, to keep things unambiguous, every developer needs to be covered by a development license when working on or maintaining a commercial vvvv project.
Can a single Developer License be shared by multiple developers?
Yes, but only as long as they are not working at the same time. Even though a single developer license covers two Device licenses it only covers one developer at a time!
I am a freelancer with less than 50k € gross annual revenue. Do I still have to buy a Professional license?
The key to your decision here is whether you consider yourself a professional freelancer. If you are working mostly for professional companies who clearly have to buy professional licenses, then you also buy a professional license or make sure the company covers you. You don't want to be just a cheaper option for those companies by buying an indy license and then working professionally for them.
Aren't software subscriptions a bad thing?
Not if done right, meaning that you can keep the last version once you stop paying if paid for some time (see above). And remember: they are optional.
With vvvv beta we clearly missed quite some opportunities by not providing a clear getting started path for newcomers. Only 15(!) years after launch we added a Getting Started page. Around the same time we added some built-in tutorials you'd see on startup plus some links to documentation, forum and chat. But those would be gone forever once you decided to hide the welcome-patch on startup.
So this time around, we wanna try something different...
The screenshot shows the current status of the helpbrowser as it comes with the latest previews of vvvv gamma 2019.2. It will open by default for every new user and offer a series of tutorials and example patches and encourage to explore the documentation. Obviously we now need to provide many more tutorials, examples and add more documentation, but this provides a structure to fill.
For now, the most useful pages of the documentation are HowTo and Shortcuts which are both searchable. And note that the content of the HowTo tab is dynamically sourced from all packages you have installed! Most other links in the browser go to external sources (youtube, graybook) but we're planning to someday include more content in the browser directly.
The second tab is still rather dry for now but at least is supposed to give new users an overview of the most important entrypoints that are available to our univvvverse. Later we'll want to make this tab a bit more lively by e.g. showing some of the latest live content of those entrypoints. Think latest forum topics, news, screenshots of the day...
Once again later than we hoped for, but here it is: vvvv beta 39 in all its glory! Many thanks go to everyone who reported issues with the release-candidates! Here are the highlights:
If you're also using VL already, good for you, because here you'll find even more goodies you will benefit from:
Besides those, it is important to understand that with VL you also have access to numerous more libraries that have been released recently. A lot of new packs these days come as nugets. For an overview, see VL packs on nuget.org and you can use them all in vvvv beta, via VL...
This is a good moment to get started with VL. Note that everything you learn and do with VL can later be applied to the upcoming vvvv gamma since VL is what both vvvv beta and gamma share. If you haven't already, check out these Tutorials and HowTos!
Have a good patch,
PS: People who liked this release also liked The vvvv Show-Off-Reel
Previously on vvvv: vvvvhat happened in October 2019
as promised for some years now, we have shipped Executable Export with vvvv gamma 2019.2. Try it, it is just a click and you get a standalone program out of your patch, which you can run on any Windows 10 PC.
Wanna know how we do it? Read all about it in the article with the poetic title: New Roslyn based backend. And while we're techical, if you're so inclined you may also be interested in our talk at DotNextConf in which we presented vvvv to an audience of .NET developers who had never heard of us before.
To give them an easy way to explore vvvv we also created this preliminary new website with a focus on vvvv gamma: visualprogramming.net
But just before that we've also released the latest and greatest of the beta series: vvvv beta 39 which now comes with goodies like a WebSocket client node and PBR (physically based rendering) shaders and of course an up-to-date version of VL.
Aaaand if you're interested in our progress with Xenko (3d rendering for vvvv gamma), make sure to watch the live-stream of our last berlin meetup where tonfilm and everyoneishappy demonstrate the status of VL.Xenko ShaderFX.
We're closing 2019 with the following events:
Two new things:
In addition there've been a few new projects reported:
That was it for November. Anything to add? Please do so in the comments!
With the release of vvvv gamma 2019.2 preview it's now finally possible to create standalone applications out of any vvvv patch.
The steps to create an application are as simple as this:
To learn how to deal with referenced assets, read Exporting Applications in the gray book.
So please try it out with your projects and report any findings in the forums or the chat.
With the release of vvvv gamma 2019.2 we introduced a new backend compiling patches in real time using Roslyn. This blog post is primarily intended for a technical audience, if you're solely interested what new features it brings to the table have a look at the before mentioned blog post.
In the past VL (the language behind vvvv gamma) compiled in-memory directly to CIL using CCI. With the recent changes in the .NET ecosystem and CCI being superseded by Roslyn it became more and more apparent that at some point we'd also have to make the switch to keep up with the latest developments happening at Microsoft.
What finally pushed us into making the switch was two-folded:
Until this year in march @sebl came to the rescue by randomly dropping us a link in the chat pointing to a neat little "trick" which suddenly made it possible to translate our adaptive nodes feature directly.
After initial tests in March and April and having the patched tooltip feature still pending for the final release, we decided to let myself jump into the rabbit hole which I've finally crawled out of after more than half a year ;)
Let's go back to the example of the LERP node and let's further try to write it down in C#:
Looks neat but sadly won't work, C# will tell us that the operators +, - and * and the constant 1 are not available on T.
The trick to make it work is to outsource those operators to a so-called "witness" which in turn will provide the implementation when the LERP gets instantiated with say a vector. So let's see how the actual needed C# code is gonna look like:
and when applying it with say float we need to define a witness implementing the needed interfaces
which finally allows us to call
Fancy, no? The beauty is that when the JIT compiler hits such a code path it will be smart enough to inline all calls so in the end for the CPU the code to execute is the same as the initial naive attempt. But don't worry, this is all happening behind the scenes. In the patching world, it is as simple as it was before to patch generic numeric algorithms.
So now that we're able to translate patches directly to C# what are the implications apart from being able to export an application?
Well for us as developers it will be much easier to bring in new language features, because the code we generate will be be checked by the C# compiler and more important, we can fully debug the generated code with Visual Studio. That by the way is not only restricted to us, anyone can now attach a debugger to vvvv (or the exported app) and debug the patches.
The generated C# code will make full use of .NET generics. So when building a generic patch the generated class will also be generic in the pure .NET world. As an example let's consider the Changed node, while in the CCI based backend a Changed class was emitted for each instantiation (Changed_Float, Changed_Vector, etc.), the new Roslyn based backend will only emit one Changed<T> class and it is left to the JIT compiler of .NET to create the different versions of the needed target code. This should lead to much less code the CPU needs to execute as the JIT compiler is much smarter on when to generate new code and when not.
But what's even more important is the fact that it opens up the world of compiling VL patches as pure .NET libraries. So we can finally pre-compile our libraries (like VL.CoreLib, VL.Skia, etc.) which in turn reduces the general overhead and leads to much quicker loading times and less memory usage. As an example loading the Elementa "All At Once" help patch takes ~15 seconds the first time (compared to ~33 seconds in the old backend) and thanks to caching to disk only ~8 seconds when opening at a later time.
Apart from better loading times, it also gives the patcher the ability to instantiate any VL patch during runtime. In the previous backend, one had to use a hack and put all possible instantiations into a non-executing if-region. This is not necessary anymore as all the patches get compiled. However, I should mention here that this is only true for non-generic patches. Generic patches usually require a witness which is not so straight forward to provide.
Sadly the new backend also required some major internal changes in the frontend so it wasn't possible to guarantee existing patches would work the same way as they did before. Here follows a list of potential breaking changes:
as mentioned previously, elias and me were at DotNextConf in early November where we talked vvvv to a whole different audience than you are. We titled our presentation "vvvv - Visualprogramming for .NET" hoping to get the benefits of what you all take for granted (that is "live, visual programming") across to people who are still stuck with an EDIT/COMPILE/RUN mode of development. And to hear if they could see some application of it in their fields.
The general feedback can be summed up as "Huh, this looks interesting, but I don't know what to do with it". Clearly our demonstrated use-cases didn't resonate with them. A few people came up to us after the talk and were interested in details about the state hot-reload and one guy told us he is working in aero-space engineering and he believes they could very well use it: When working together with physicists they often need to exchange code with them but they always deliver very bad code, he claimed. He saw vvvv as a perfect fit of a tool they could prepare some high-level nodes in, so that the physicists have a tool to experiment with, where they cannot make too many mistakes... Interesting take and in a sense exactly what we were hoping for. So let's see where this goes...
Now grab a drink and some snacks, this goes for 50 minutes:Watch on Youtube
...since we're terribly behind schedule regarding the release of a new website for vvvv.org (and we know that it will still take a while), we've created a preliminary site at:
This is mostly so that we can provide people who are new to the world of vvvv with a simpler entry point to our universe. You'll see that the site focuses mostly on vvvv gamma, which makes most sense for new people to explore. Obviously the existing vvvv.org remains our main portal to share news and updates with everyone. We consider visualprogramming.net a temporary landing page for vvvv gamma.
If you're old enough to remember, there is this thing called electronic mail (short: e-mail). In a classic retro-move we've also recently started an e-mail newsletter which you can sign up to from that page. Scroll to the bottom and find it in the left corner. Signing up will give you peace of mind to not miss any happenings around vvvv. Typically one mail per month.
Just in time!
Only a whopping 6 years and one and an half months after its first mention during Keynode 13 and to the day exactly 5 years after the release of the The Humble Quad Bundle, you can finally hold it in your own hands. Not exactly as the full release we had planned but as a preview:
To our own surpise we couldn't finish all the things we had planned to release today. Most notably the "windows executable export" didn't make it. We know this is a bummer, but we want to get this right and it just needs some more time.
Apart from that we figured there is no more need at this point, to keep it to ourselves. It is definitely good enough for a preview, definitely good enough to gather some feedback to incorporate into the final 1.0 release for which we take some more time to finish our plans. So let's have a look at what we got:
Besides staying true to its nature of being a an easy to use and quick prototyping environment, vvvv is also a proper programming language with modern features, combining concepts of dataflow and object oriented programming:
While for now the number of libraries we ship is limited, the fact that you can essentially use any .NET libary directly mitigates this problem at least a bit. Besides there is already quite some user contributions available in the wip forum and here is what we ship:
To accommodate for the fact that from now on we essentially have 2 products, we added two main categories to the forum:
The existing question, feature, bug, general sections were moved into vvvv beta, and the vvvv gamma section got its own question, feature, bug and general sub-sections. Note that by default the search is constrained to the category you're currently viewing. When you're using vl in beta, still feel free to ask questions in the beta forum. We'll handle that.
Head over to this forum section to watch some video tutorials:https://discourse.vvvv.org/c/tutorials
We've previously announced the upcoming pricing model for vvvv gamma, which we're currently refining and we'll update you on changes to it soon.
Until further notice, the previews of vvvv gamma are free of charge but due to its preview-nature we don't recommend using it in commercial scenarios yet.
Here you go: vvvv gamma 2019.1 preview 975
975 26 11 19
959 19 11 19
930 02 11 19
923: 31 10 19
827: 09 10 19
703: 16 09 19
667: 03 09 19
618: 22 08 19
615: 21 08 19
573: 08 08 19
552: 01 08 19
411: 12 06 19
406: 10 06 19
398: 05 06 19
380: 01 06 19
369: 27 05 19
344: 14 05 19
318: 09 05 19
303: 08 05 19
301: 07 05 19
287: 06 05 19
273: 02 05 19
252: 27 04 19
230: 24 04 19
222: 18 04 19
200: 15 04 19
191: 13 04 19
180: 11 04 19
177: 10 04 19
Apart from the promised and still missing parts, we're aware of quite some little glitches still and will update the download link above periodically. So please check back often and report your findings!
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