What are points? And other assorted questions.

reinformit's picture

Hi everyone,

  1. I posted a comment to "Introduce Yourself" and it said I had earned one point. What are these for?

  2. I absolutely love the tools that Kineme has created and use the audio tools quite a bit but I was wondering how you know what version you are using.

  3. What is the "Spooky patch"?

    Thanks!

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cwright's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

reinformit wrote:
1. I posted a comment to "Introduce Yourself" and it said I had earned one point. What are these for?

Points are to help the commentators know when to shout "GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL!" ;) but in reality, they're not used for anything right now. Internally, we use them sometimes to track active users, and one user has been known to "win" a free t-shirt for having a huge number of points (sort of an inside joke), but in general, don't worry about them. In a future version of kineme.net, they might be used to indicate experience or something.

reinformit wrote:
2. I absolutely love the tools that Kineme has created and use the audio tools quite a bit but I was wondering how you know what version you are using.

In Finder, navigate to the plugin (~/Library/Graphics/Quartz Composer Patches/), and Get Info (cmd-i) -- it'll have the version number. We're working on providing this information in a more accessible form in a future update to KinemeCore (also handy to isolate conflicts when 2 different versions are installed, for example).

reinformit wrote:
3. What is the "Spooky patch"?

If you have to ask, don't use it.

Spooky Patch is used to get values outside of Red macros (because normally you can't publish outputs from inside Red macros/consumer patches). However, spooky is normally abused as a lazy way to connect lots of things without noodles everywhere. However, it has a slight performance penalty, some potential lag, and numerous bugs that we've never fixed... It can also leak memory, harming system performance over time. We really recommend not using it unless you're absolutely certain you need it, and even then, we really recommend finding an alternative way to solve the problem.

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

Quote:
However, it has a slight performance penalty, some potential lag, and numerous bugs that we've never fixed... It can also leak memory, harming system performance over time. We really recommend not using it unless you're absolutely certain you need it, and even then, we really recommend finding an alternative way to solve the problem.

So know you tell me!

Quote:
it'll have the version number

You know, the times you don't include a version number, it a real job checking build dates to find the version so please continue to include a version number every time! Are there sometimes more than one build with same version number. I spent 15 mins trying to work out GL Tools versions once and got in a muddle over the different dates.

cwright's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

usefuldesign.au wrote:
So [now] you tell me!

We've been pretty candid about the Spooky errors, and have discouraged their use for a while. :/ we should note the download page though, or something...

usefuldesign.au wrote:
You know, the times you don't include a version number, it a real job checking build dates to find the version so please continue to include a version number every time! Are there sometimes more than one build with same version number. I spent 15 mins trying to work out GL Tools versions once and got in a muddle over the different dates.

They'll all have date numbers (except for ancient stuff we haven't updated) -- 20090715, for example. Even production builds have a date (for the past few months, at least). I've only recently started marking betas with their "production" numbers (1.3, for example). I'm not sure if this is more clear, or less clear... Eventually, I'll just add sparkle stuff to all plugins, and have KinemeCore manage updates automatically or something. shrugs

reinformit's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

Thanks, cwright.

Oh boy! I can't wait to get that tee-shirt!!! Fooouuulll!!

I am using audio tools 0.4 but had seen a discussion on 0.8. Where do I find that or was that a typo or pre-release test?

Thanks for the heads up on spooky. mmmmm, noodles. Noodles are good. I like the noodles. Noodles are my favorite.

How to use the patch would have been a better question but I think I'll avoid the haunting and skip it. I had installed it a while ago thinking I could use a macro as a "render in image" type of thing.

Thanks again.

gtoledo3's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

I wonder what the sauce is with QC? Must be the rest of the aesthetics.

The idea is that if you find yourself somewhere that you can't publish an output outside of a macro, that you connect whatever it is into the "object". Then you go outside of the macro, and plugin the receive "object" output into wherever it needs to go. Channels have to be set to correspond.

I also can't stress enough that using this can almost always be avoided. I have never ever found a time that I couldn't take whatever is generating the value that I need that is "inside" of a macro, that I couldn't cut it out and put it on the top level, and then "publish" the input ports from inside the macro that I need up to the root level, and reconnect. The only reason I know how to use it is curiosity. If the person that made it isn't that into it, I take a queue :)

Performance can be an important concern for most scenarios (unless for some reason it truly doesn't matter). If things share a common value generator... that generator should usually be hanging out at the top level so that it can be piped to the insides of the macros that you wish most easily, and so that there aren't duplicate generators inside of macros, which do the same thing. I think the same is true of things like image loaders, etc. It's better to have one image/movie loader piping to two render destinations than two movie loaders running, if the source image is the same.

Anywhere that things can be "cut" it is usually best for performance. That said, sometimes I totally ignore that and get away with it, and when I do it the tidy way it totally makes no difference. QC can be a bit funny that way. Sometimes it's about the total mix of patches that are going on within the qtz, and that can lead to exceptions to the rules.

Also, following what QC "wants to do" is usually best as well, and anything that can possibly be done stock should be done stock. Though I am quite the fan of plugins, anytime that I can avoid using a plugin I will. It should just be considered very judiciously. The amount of testing time that has been put into various plugins available via net searches varies WIDELY.

The truth is that everytime someone clicks to add a point, a detonation goes off in a solar system about 20 light years away from here.

cwright's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

reinformit wrote:
I am using audio tools 0.4 but had seen a discussion on 0.8. Where do I find that or was that a typo or pre-release test?

If you're a beta tester (check the wiki/faq for instructions), you'll see beta release on the front page -- if not, you won't see them at all.

AudioTools 0.8 is a production release, so everyone sees them. It should be on the front page. (it might not be on the side menu yet -- I always forget to hook that up (argh, non-automatic web software!))

[edit: just linked in side menu - thanks for asking!]

cwright's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

gtoledo3 wrote:
The truth is that everytime someone clicks to add a point, a detonation goes off in a solar system about 20 light years away from here.

Ok, who gave you permission to use the EPR Paradox Communicator? Where's a moderator when you need one? ;)

leegrosbauer's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

cwright wrote:
If you have to ask, don't use it.
I didn't ask, I did use it ... and now I'm addicted.

It's not a pretty story; my compositions have become a hazy fog of swirling madness. I cling to strange passing patches in hopes of redemption. I hide my app crash reports. But I don't care. I love Spooky Send/Receive. I'll never quit.

bahahahahaaaaaa aa a a a

cwright's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

Are you serious Lee? (I'm asking because your composition are prolific enough that it might warrant me spending a couple hours cleaning spooky send/receive up so that least they don't crash so much....)

leegrosbauer's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

Ah. Well, I regularly use them between separate compositions for feedback observations, but in our discussions here nobody else seems to have ever tried it and I'm somewhat doubtful that the practice will catch on.

That said, I was indeed just yesterday promoting that inter-composition Spooky patch usage in another thread and I did indeed post two Spooky amended image filters, telling people to try them in VDMX. But to your point specifically; I haven't published any other compositions anywhere which contain Spooky patches. Until just this week I hadn't published any compositions at all, I don't think. All of my videos up until a few days ago have been of composition collages (layered chains of individual image filter compositions) running in a third party application. My Spooky patch usage has all been exclusively in the third party app, but not in published compositions.

So, it's your call Chris. For me they are handy. I can do far quicker observations of various feedback scenarios in adjustable layered chains of pre-existing image filter compositions than I could do by injecting the individual image filter components into a series of quartz compositions and then manipulating each comp for feedback.

But again, there doesn't seem to be anybody else amongst us approaching their QC studies from that particular vantage point. Your call. I'm fine with them as they are. I've learned to be somewhat careful, I think.

gtoledo3's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

That has to be one of the few things you could pull off with that that can't normally be done... I've always thought that it's wild when you talk about how you do that. Such a unique setup!

gtoledo3's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

I hacked into the mainframe. My computer screen had steel doors that opened, skull and cross bone signs, and I would have to click on my keys really quick every so often, and then I was in.

That's one of those subjects that's of particular interest to me, as a matter of fact, but from a totally concrete science standpoint. I've spent more time looking at natural phenomena than I have QC, that's for sure... a lifetime!

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

Yeah must have been GL beta patches i was lost with.

Some forum comment about a new release and then the file download had a much older date or something, have forgotten now. What's Sparkle? Ver x.x.x numbers are great for backwards installing if you thing you have an issue too. I have never really had major any issues with Kineme plugins though and going backwards certainly has never helped in regard to minor things.

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

I've been using spooky send receive in a set of utility type macros that only use the patches momentarily and intermittently rather than multi-frame. The project has stalled at moment but will definitely post when close to done. Just wondering if that kind of usage is more assepptable in terms of wise use/poor use co-efficient?

leegrosbauer's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

Well, while Spooky between comps isn't common usage, the utilization of quartz compositions in applications other than just Quartz Composer is extremely common. Many apps utilize quartz comps extensively. I think the only unusual thing is that, amongst the many non-programmers who use these other applications, I'm currently somewhat alone in vocalizing my usage in these forums. But that's merely circumstantial.

As for the Spooky feedback setup being unique? Yeah, apparently so. But if I had my druthers I'd opt for a stable patch and frequent usage amongst visualists. It's a slick trick. Folks would like it a lot.

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

I discovered the inter comp spookiness by accident when I had a controller type receiver in one comp grabbing a feed from another comp before I'd set it's own spooky send patch. Means I have to reconsider the send channel protocol I use for these utility1 macros but extends their reach at the same time.

Another [good/bad] use for spooky is if you are doing manual iterations by way of wiring 100 instances of a renderer inside say 10 macros. Problem with macros if you change the internals it can break all the noodles at the higher level and you have to go re-wire the whole shebang every time you so much as change a value key. And if its 1000 renderer-with-maths instances with lots of data to feed it, gets even worse.

Using spooky get's around the need to re-wire. I wrote a post with a jpg here on kineme a few months back but search is not revealing it. :{. It'll be cool when advanced search finds post author key not forum author key ;) For that matter I can't find the patch I used it in either despite my trust spotlight QC plugin that cwright authored. Before I started to use note tags I guess…

smokris's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

usefuldesign.au wrote:
It'll be cool when advanced search finds post author key not forum author key ;)

Could you elaborate on this? I'm not quite sure I understand (and want to make sure I get this right during the redesign).

dust's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

woot woot 188 points and counting.

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

I guess i use forum searches in to ways a) to query some topic I'm trying to find help with and b) to find a post made a while back which I wish to share with somebody in an active thread or just re-read.

About 80% of my searches are for the the later case. So if I search "wiring" I get seven posts and my above post is listed at the bottom, easy enough. When I search "macro" the above post is listed on page 2 of 14 pages of posts. I guess?? it is sorting by forum then by date (recent first). So I have to read through each extract until I find my post. The thread initiating author is listed with each extracted text but that's only useful if I can remember that info (lets face it that's getting harder by the day). If the thread is a few months old that could be pages of reading to get to the post (assuming I searched the correct word token).

If the author was listed at bottom of extract instead-of/as-well as thread initiator I could scan results instead of reading them too.

If I could search by post author I can search my posts ( >200 and no T-shirt :? ). I do this a lot in Apple Discussions where I help folks on Keynote stuff and questions are often repeated.

Say I remember cwright and gtoledo discussing a topic if I search their names alone I get all the posts where they have been quoted… too many.

If I can search by author I can find just Cwright quoting gtoledo or vice versa. Add word search token and I'm pretty close to a match out of thousands? of posts.

On the issue of Forums, IMHO if you really want to maximise the value of this organising device, you need to make the structure more explicit to users. I could almost never tell you which forum a thread is in unless I started it. There are a few ways to do it I guess, either in the sidebar have expanding/contracting nested "triangle folders" to indicate current forum (maybe too subtle on its own) and/or explicitly print the forum hierarchy at the top of the page. Apple discussions does it this way and I always recommend their site when queried about page design for forums (and search engine GUI design). List forum in search results too then.

Hope that helps. Kineme's a good site and I'm sure we're all happy to see it improving all the time.

gtoledo3's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

Where are points listed anyway?

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

One more thing :) It would aid navigation and user orientation if the side bar or page header (whichever has the current forum hierarchy values) is in a separate frame so it stays on viewable area of browser window when thread is scrolled down.

Lango's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

That would kinda be useful. But a frame would not be the way to do it. Frames are generally frowned upon nowadays.

cybero's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

Correct Lango,

Quote:

Frames are generally frowned upon nowadays.

As and when HTML 5 fully rolls out "frameset" will no longer be supported.

Of course that means that a whole lot of sites are going to have to be recoded, as framesets, whilst often criticized have been much employed too, see Apple's own Quartz Composer guide

Life is rich in unintended irony •~

[HTML 5 has the iframe tag for nesting content]

gtoledo3's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

That's too bad that support is getting dropped for that. Seems nonsensical.

cybero's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

It's basically a deprecation problem, as you probably know, that can mean next to nothing , for instance, Safari uses the Nitro JavaScript engine[the latest byte code accelerated and pretty much 110% up to date], which underpins Quartz Composer's JavaScript and yet will allow the use of deprecated JavaScript.

Simply means that [some] older scripts will be executed correctly in Safari.

Similarly, an HTML 5 conformant browser would not display frames content, whilst a backwards compatible mode browser would render that content.

In short the dropping of support for frames is something that will gradually impinge upon the web landscape and how we design and remodel its markup.

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

Yes, I knew I was gonna get pinged for that as soon as I posted it. CSS/

<

div> is preferred way to go — is that the replacement? As you can tell haven't coded a page since the dawn of it all. :)

Lango's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

Yeah, div's would be the way to go. Frames have serious accessibility issues (screen readers have a lot of trouble with them).

And to go even more off topic, hit the JQuery library for even more advanced animations and web 2.0-ness. JQuery UI can even make websites look like Flash but with smaller sizes and better accessibility (like this accordion).

Honestly though, don't let all that fool you. You are not missing much, in fact, front end dev drives me bonkers :)

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

Yeah that is pretty flash-y. Wouldn't want to be re-coding all that for each new site though but I'm a designer not a developer ;)

leegrosbauer's picture
Re: What are points? And other assorted questions.

gtoledo3 wrote:
That has to be one of the few things you could pull off with that that can't normally be done... I've always thought that it's wild when you talk about how you do that. Such a unique setup!

Hey George! I popped back into this old thread during my Spooky image filter search and I just have to say that now the setup definitely isn't unique because you now have the same tool as me. That being the case I would take this opportunity to reaffirm the significance of the adjustable chains of image filters that can be layered up in that tool.

This part of the discussion was about Spooky patches and their placement within those image filter chains but the versatility of the tool lies in the image filter chains themselves. What's so special? All of our compositions can be easily configured to layer up and to modify each other in the same manner as the default image filters (the effects) and in the same manner as the Spooky patches under consideration here. Large quantities of multiple composition configurations can be observed very very quickly! That's the significant observational opportunity that can't easily be achieved by working with single compositions, one at a time, in Quartz Composer alone.