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All I ask is that Vendors Use The same folder name for each catagory on their products.
Posted: 14 July 2012 05:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]
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Hokulea - 14 July 2012 01:01 AM

...I am so frustrated ... While I realize I can go into the Content Library and create categories and subcategories, it truly baffles me why it is necessary to do so. Nor does it make sense to me that I have to peruse the readme files for everything I install just to find out where in the hell it is.

Thank you Hokulea, you have summarized exactly what I have been trying to say very well.

Hokulea - 14 July 2012 01:01 AM

My biggest gripe is the lack of documentation

Here, I reiterate.. a well written product/interface should not need documentation for the basic functions. And though I love Blender, it definitely goes for that also. (Btw,.. this is the area Kia’s interfaces (Poser etc..) and products like Carrarra tried to address with things like tabbed areas. None quite got it right for various reasons imo, but they tried. Well done interface design is not easy but it is important. Apple does great interface designs, they just lock the internals away a little bit to securely imo.

Hokulea - 14 July 2012 01:01 AM

Though I have installed various versions of both DAZ Studio and Bryce, I never seem to get beyond first base as far as using them goes. .. quite discouraging.

And this is the problem. Lost business, lost opportunities, lost members of the community, and all of the ideas, products and beautiful artwork they would contribute.

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Posted: 14 July 2012 05:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]
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Kendall Sears - 13 July 2012 03:48 PM

... With respect to our purchased 3d content, we are most definitely ‘users.’  There’s no reason that we should be poking around in the internals of the content.  If one needs ‘inspiration’ on creating another model, then one can look at the wireframe from inside of DS or Carrara (which uses the CMS and Metadata, BTW).  If the content were in a DB and it was brought up from a consistent interface (consistent in that there were no errors in “finding pieces” from being deleted from the filesystem) that allowed for searching then there would be no reason to poke.  Storage in a DB with metadata would make the content infinitely more searchable and usable than any filesystem based methodologies.  Look at the CMS already, there is the info tab, and the Notes/Keywords tabs that allow much more information storage, and more fine grained searching than any filename/folder based method is ever going to allow.  And the CMS is pretty basic as far as Metadata systems go.

Kendall

 

Kendall, you seem to think that an excellent search function would be the equivalent. It’s not. To search you have to have some idea of what you’re searching FOR. I don’t want to have to be reduced to searching for SKIRT, BLUE, PLAID, SHORT, wearable by AIKO3 or CHAIR, SCI-FI, NO ARMS, SWIVEL. Nothing would kill this ‘industry’ faster..


———-Interesting technical stuff snipped————

Gedd - 13 July 2012 09:44 PM

As far as poking through it, I have to agree with Spit. Some people have to poke through the internals of something to really be able to interact with it on a certain level. That level is what helps those people create. While I agree that the internals shouldn’t be exposed in areas where new people who are just getting their feet on the ground will stumble into it and blow up their system, more advanced and/or adventurous people should have access to their system. This is an area both Microsoft and Apple have wrong in my opinion (although Apple less so.) Microsoft traditionally has exposed too much too soon so that the average user blows up their system unintentionally way too often, whereas apple seals much of it away behind a curtain which creates it’s own issues for people who need to be able to modify things but aren’t full time programmers etc..


Thanks for seeing my point, Gedd.

 

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Posted: 14 July 2012 06:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]
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I do agree with Kendell that a well done CMS could be valuable, like tags in Photoshop/Elements, etc.. Metadata is going to be key for most people finding what they want as we go forward and our data gets more numerous and complex. The underground structure will become something that the average user will more often then not ignore. But… that underground structure needs to be well maintained and accessible for those (users, creators, add-on developers, aspiring add-on developers and creators, etc…) that want access to it.

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Posted: 14 July 2012 08:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]
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Blogs and bookmarks use tags too and they’re not always useful. Sometimes a tag (or a new category) will come to mind long after everything you already have has been marked and you start marking new data with that tag. That gives you holes that are never filled in your searches. You need to know your data and to be able to access it from outside the metadata structure to fix problems such as those.


I think Gedd and I are basically saying the same thing here.

 

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Posted: 14 July 2012 02:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]
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Gedd - 13 July 2012 09:44 PM
Kendall Sears - 13 July 2012 03:48 PM

... With respect to our purchased 3d content, we are most definitely ‘users.’  There’s no reason that we should be poking around in the internals of the content.  If one needs ‘inspiration’ on creating another model, then one can look at the wireframe from inside of DS or Carrara (which uses the CMS and Metadata, BTW).  If the content were in a DB and it was brought up from a consistent interface (consistent in that there were no errors in “finding pieces” from being deleted from the filesystem) that allowed for searching then there would be no reason to poke.  Storage in a DB with metadata would make the content infinitely more searchable and usable than any filesystem based methodologies.  Look at the CMS already, there is the info tab, and the Notes/Keywords tabs that allow much more information storage, and more fine grained searching than any filename/folder based method is ever going to allow.  And the CMS is pretty basic as far as Metadata systems go.

Kendall

Ok, I agree with a lot of what you’ve said before, but as far as databases go we have *vast* differences here. I won’t go into my background as it isn’t important here other then to say I’ve been playing with this long enough to be come a bit opinionated about it.

Databases blow up. It’s a fact. I don’t use iTunes or Microsoft’s media players because when they blow up they take all of the metadata with them and you are *sc*r*wed*


Firstly, those are not examples of databases, but of archive format app storage containers.  For the purposes of this discussion (CMS et al) we need to restrict the discussion to SQL databases (ValentinaDB, etc) not the poor excuses of databases that individual apps have foisted on people.  The CMS, which is the context here, uses a full on SQL database system, including the control services (hence the need for the TCP communication layer.)

Gedd - 13 July 2012 09:44 PM

Adobe learned this with Photoshop (along with other companies) and they like Mediamonkey with mp3’s write the metadata to the files. When the database blows up, it doesn’t take anything with it. One simply reloads the db and the db re-reads the folder/file structure and rebuilds itself in minutes. If a single or multiple atomic unit(s) re: file or folder structure is corrupt, it is much easier to have the db catch this after a clean reload and reread of the underlying file/folder structure, and warn/eliminate from import without it breaking the overall structure. A single damaged atomic unit can totally destroy the older format databases requiring an import of a huge db file which also may be damaged (rather than individual items indexed, which can be handled in a much more discrete manor.) If there is an individual item in a database structure that goes bad it can bring down the whole db. Modern dbs don’t fix this by making the db stronger because they’ve found out that is virtually impossible. They do this by making it easy to reread the underlying folder/file structure so one can do a wipe of the db and reload/reread and be back up and running in no time.


Again, you cite an application specific storage container, not a DBMS.  Two completely different worlds.

Gedd - 13 July 2012 09:44 PM

Databases which contain all of the data are a pain in the a** to backup. With the modern structure of separating the underlying data from the database and using the database data as an ‘index’ of the underlying information, one has total flexibility in backing up part or all, and much more flexibility in restoring same. Backing up is easy, you back up your files. One doesn’t even need to worry about backing up the database in these cases and don’t need to be a db administrator to back up or restore dbs that follow this protocol.

As far as poking through it, I have to agree with Spit. Some people have to poke through the internals of something to really be able to interact with it on a certain level. That level is what helps those people create. While I agree that the internals shouldn’t be exposed in areas where new people who are just getting their feet on the ground will stumble into it and blow up their system, more advanced and/or adventurous people should have access to their system. This is an area both Microsoft and Apple have wrong in my opinion (although Apple less so.) Microsoft traditionally has exposed too much too soon so that the average user blows up their system unintentionally way too often, whereas apple seals much of it away behind a curtain which creates it’s own issues for people who need to be able to modify things but aren’t full time programmers etc..

The metadata model follows a modern format in that it doesn’t import everything wholesale into itself but rather indexes the content and for this I am glad. Something that goes hand-in-hand with this though is an exernal file system for the metadata itself like individual xml files which store all of the metadata for a given collection of atomic units (a file for a vendor’s specific product, textures, cameras, poses, etc) which can be easily read, stored, backed up and… that other programs can be created to modify and manage. A good example of this is XBMC which stores all of the metadata of the media files in xml formats that other programs can ‘scrape and tag’ your media files, writing to the xml file XBMC reads. These programs are totally unconnected in any direct way but work together seamlessly. Expanding functionality requires no special programming knowledge of XBMC’s API but rather uses any programming the programmer is familiar with to read/write XML files. This is the future of databases.


While some of your points are valid as stated for their context, your thesis is contextually invalid at its foundation.  The CMS is not some MS-Access level “pray that it works” excuse for a database.  It is a full on SQL RDBMS in the same level of SQL-Server, Oracle, DB2, FirebirdSQL, MySQL, etc.  It has all of the facilities that those others do, however, DAZ doesn’t ship the real goodies with DS4.  The chances of the CMS underlying format exploding are small, as connecting software don’t touch the storage files; they only request the information from the SQL service.


As for “poking around in the content”:  most of the content, as shipped, works.  There are notable issues as there will be with any manufactured product (defective cars, toasters, candles).  In most cases, it is the user screwing around with the environment that causes most problems.  Why do you think that Microsoft has put so many obstacles into the new versions of Windows?  The users are too prone to screwing with things they have no business being into in the first place.  The problem is that these same users are unwilling to admit that it is their own stupidity that caused the problems that they experience in the first place.  Too often, the user blames the software, developers, or the retailers for their own mistakes.


If the content were to move to a relational model inside of the database, then many of the issues that are currently faced by users would disappear.  There are many work-arounds in play that are accepted as “just the way it is done” that don’t need to be the way they are.  However, I’m not going to write a long dissertation on those as they’ve been hashed out before in more professional venues and require more background knowledge than can be assumed available in a public forum.


Part of DAZ’s problems have always been that they expose professional level tools to amateurs—partly thinking that the users will “poke around” at the advanced features.  They don’t.  We’ve had 3Delight forever, and few knew, or cared, that they had full Renderman at their disposal with SSS and all.  Yet, Poser finally gets partial SSS years later, and everybody is all abuzz.  There are features in 3Delight that are available to DS still to be touched.  Take a look at Maya, 3Delight is used from there as well.  DS has access to the SAME TECH that is available to Maya.  DAZ has given a RDBMS to the same crowd, and again, few understand, or care, the power they have been given.  There’s the Genesis system—same thing: professional level tool, amateur users.


We need to move beyond the “Poser” mindset.  DAZ has provided professional tools, not toys.  Maybe, just maybe, folks need to start thinking more like professionals—OK, maybe that’s too much to ask:  maybe “pro-sumers”  then?


Kendall

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Posted: 14 July 2012 03:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]
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Kendall Sears - 14 July 2012 02:49 PM

... Firstly, those are not examples of databases, but of archive format app storage containers.

Kendall

I respectfully disagree. I said I would not put up qualifications before because I think it only distracts from the point. However, I have done database design and taught it on multiple levels. I will not go further into posting my resume as I still think this simply distracts from the point but I would suggest that your version of the purpose of a database as container for all the data rather than as an indexing system (which uses relational and object oriented ‘databases’ to perform it’s task) is rather dated. What do you think any system that manages metadata is? It is a database. Just because it doesn’t contain the data that the metadata refers to internally has no bearing on it’s base or constituency. These ‘archive format app storage containers’ a totally invalid description btw, use um.. lets see, mysql, postgress, ruby, etc, etc, etc… This discussion reminds me of the discussions between hierarchical proponents and relational db proponents where the hierarchical proponents would argue that relational db’s were not *real* databases.

Btw Kendall, I do recognize you have a programming background also and am not discounting that, nor trying to compare backgrounds I only mention mine to say that I am not coming from a totally uneducated perspective. I also recognize your right to disagree with me.

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Posted: 14 July 2012 03:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]
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Gedd - 14 July 2012 03:01 PM
Kendall Sears - 14 July 2012 02:49 PM

... Firstly, those are not examples of databases, but of archive format app storage containers.

Kendall

I respectfully disagree. I said I would not put up qualifications before because I think it only distracts from the point. However, I have done database design and taught it on multiple levels. I will not go further into posting my resume as I still think this simply distracts from the point but I would suggest that your version of the purpose of a database as container for all the data rather than as an indexing system (which uses relational and object oriented ‘databases’ to perform it’s task) is rather dated. What do you think any system that manages metadata is? It is a database. Just because it doesn’t contain the data that the metadata refers to internally has no bearing on it’s base or constituency. These ‘archive format app storage containers’ a totally unvalid discription btw, use um.. lets see, mysql, postgress, ruby, etc, etc, etc… This discussion reminds me of the discussions between hierarchical proponents and relational db proponents where thehierarchical proponents would argue that relational db’s were not *real* databases.


The contextual difference is the access level:  “Direct Application Access” vs “Brokered Access”  It is a proven fact that access through a control interface that is dedicated to its task is inherently more stable and reliable than access directly through an application where data storage and integrity is inherently a secondary (or lower) concern.


The arguments about the strengths/weaknesses of Filesystem Based vs Database storage are as old as the RDBMS.  And are invalid here, as those arguments presume no user intervention in the data storage.  Here, that is EXACTLY what we’re talking about.  Users getting into and changing data outside of the system.


If we really wanted to get into it, I could advocate an Oracle, Informix, DB2 custom partition level paradigm that would completely isolate the data.  I’m not, as the users have enough of an issue with what they have.


Kendall

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Posted: 14 July 2012 03:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]
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Well I would love to go into this more, but we already have gone off the deep end as far as most of the community here are concerned so… we just have differences of opinion. If we ever meet in a programming/db design convention type environment maybe we can pick this up again over a beer wink

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Posted: 14 July 2012 03:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]
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Gedd - 14 July 2012 03:16 PM

Well I would love to go into this more, but we already have gone off the deep end as far as most of the community here are concerned so… we just have differences of opinion. If we ever meet in a programming/db design convention type environment maybe we can pick this up again over a beer wink


Absolutely.  We could blame DAZ, as they’re the ones that gave us a RDBMS to play with in the first place grin


Kendall

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Posted: 14 July 2012 03:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]
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Deleted because it was boring ;p

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Posted: 14 July 2012 03:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]
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You know, with all that we kind of got off track. The real issue is people having problems finding stuff, things that a given individual might find redundant or usless being thrown into the mix, etc…

All of this is not a software problem. The software is fine. It is an organizational problem of data that is managed by the software. The solution seems to lie in trying to produce standards, come up with some form of encouragement for PA’s to follow that standard, and automating tasks related to sorting and organizing the underlying data, since not all will follow said standard. These are pertinent to what people have been discussing here I think.

The nice thing about the current setup is that a lot of organizing of the data can be done by programs/scripts outside of and separate from DAZ.

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Posted: 14 July 2012 03:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]
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Gedd - 14 July 2012 03:23 PM

Deleted because it was boring ;p


No it wasn’t boring.  That story isn’t quite the whole thing… the idea was dropped due to the Anti-trust suit.  It was deemed BIG TIME in violation.


Very interesting time that was.  BTW, “Be” did that and it was AWESOME!


Kendall

PS
  Vague on purpose grin

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Posted: 14 July 2012 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]
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I loved Be smile

I think I have a copy of it kicking around still. Also, I believe there is an open source followup to it but forget what it’s called. Don’t have time to play with that and everything else I want to though.

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Posted: 14 July 2012 03:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]
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Gedd - 14 July 2012 03:50 PM

You know, with all that we kind of got off track. The real issue is people having problems finding stuff, things that a given individual might find redundant or usless being thrown into the mix, etc…

All of this is not a software problem. The software is fine. It is an organizational problem of data that is managed by the software. The solution seems to lie in trying to produce standards, come up with some form of encouragement for PA’s to follow that standard, and automating tasks related to sorting and organizing the underlying data, since not all will follow said standard. These are pertinent to what people have been discussing here I think.

The nice thing about the current setup is that a lot of organizing of the data can be done by programs/scripts outside of and separate from DAZ.


Or changing the paradigm. grin


OK, so that’s not likely to happen in this demographic…  One can still hope.  grin


Kendall

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Posted: 14 July 2012 04:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]
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Kendall Sears - 14 July 2012 02:49 PM

 
Part of DAZ’s problems have always been that they expose professional level tools to amateurs—partly thinking that the users will “poke around” at the advanced features.  They don’t.  We’ve had 3Delight forever, and few knew, or cared, that they had full Renderman at their disposal with SSS and all.  Yet, Poser finally gets partial SSS years later, and everybody is all abuzz.  There are features in 3Delight that are available to DS still to be touched.  Take a look at Maya, 3Delight is used from there as well.  DS has access to the SAME TECH that is available to Maya.  DAZ has given a RDBMS to the same crowd, and again, few understand, or care, the power they have been given.  There’s the Genesis system—same thing: professional level tool, amateur users.


We need to move beyond the “Poser” mindset.  DAZ has provided professional tools, not toys.  Maybe, just maybe, folks need to start thinking more like professionals—OK, maybe that’s too much to ask:  maybe “pro-sumers”  then?


Kendall

Great discussion guys…some parts of it are over my head but interesting to read none the less.

Since DAZ has included Shadermixer as part of pro more people are aware and have shown an interest in the ability to use shaders in DS. Up to that point many knew that the capability was there but didn’t have the knowledge to access it easily. With Shadermixer that has made things easy enough that even someone like myself(no maths background to understand the math behind it) can access parts of it through experimentation. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t like to see more documentation, but I do think that it has opened up shaders in DS to more people by giving them a visual interface in the form of the bricks.

We are gradually seeing more shaders emerge from Shadermixer as people have time to experiment with it. To be honest I think that when DAZ added it they were thinking that people would experiment and discover ways to do things that they hadn’t even thought of yet…

I think that without the UI in the form of Shadermixer this wouldn’t be happening. Isn’t this evidence of what you have both been talking about earlier in the thread about the importance of a good user interface?

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