VIZZIE - an appreciation

    Nov 21 2010 | 6:14 pm
    first of all, i want to say: i applaud cycling 74 for VIZZIE. it is an absolutely fantastic idea that has been a long time coming. and the way it is implemented is perfect, as it is still max-centric and patching based, easily available but never getting in the way of users who do not want to utilise it. i can only hope you embrace the idea and expand vizzie further and extend it to simple msp modules, too. of course many long time max users such as myself (n.b. - 'long time' in no way means 'good'!) will already have implemented our own clippings and templates and prototypes etc folders. but mine at any rate are messy and inscrutable. to have cycling74 'modules' is fantastic. especially i imagine for new users and teachers. i feel like i could get many more friends / etc interested in max through ideas like VIZZIE, that i currently cannot convince to sit in front of a blank patcher window.
    so, noting that i love it, please accept the following ideas/points in good spirits:
    1 -- the FOGGR module has a bug - the 'Display bypassed' text that comes up in response to the VIEWR module is flipped. i have fixed mine but maybe it should be fixed for next release.
    2 -- the way the VIEWR modules are autonumbered is fantastic - could we not have the same system for PLAYR modules? i know there is a reason for the VIEWR modules to operate like that, but for me i'd like to see my PLAYRs numbered on screen too.
    3 -- in the VIEWR module, the bypass displays is great and working as expected. however, i think the actual bypassed toggle state should be updated across ALL VIEWR modules in the patch at once. at the moment you click one of them, and it bypasses displays as expected, but the other VIEWRS look like the bypass is off. I do not mind much, but it seems to me this sort of detail is REALLY important for new users coming to it all for the first time and not getting confused.
    4 -- when hovering over the 'video out' text on the green effects modules, the hint comes up which is great, but, move your mouse over the effects presets buttons (first one) and you still get the 'video out' text hint popup. presumably because the comment object is overlapping slightly in presentation mode there. i know it is a detail but again, will confuse new users i think. as an aside, personally i think ALL ACTUAL patching cord outputs should also be labled as one would in normal max. at the moment a lot of the outlet hints have been left blank, which is a shame.
    5 -- in a similar vein, in the TOGGLR module the button which displays the toggle state is clickable. this is confusing. it should be 'ignoreclick 1' in the inspector like the others.
    6 -- the whole VIZZIE package is a really interesting new direction, and it brings to the forefront two issues i have had a thing about for a long time. 1 -- the way Max handles pop-up hints. they have always been very slow to pop up. there should be a way of customising pop-up speed. also, i understand why the vizzie pop-ups are often very long, but pop-up time never lasts long enough to read all the text. we need to be able to customise this time-span too. also, we need GLOBAL on/off pop-up command per patcher. in performance with vizzie modules i imagine all those helpful pop-up hints could get really annoying. i have always wished for these pop-up customisation features for my own patches. 2 -- i know it is a dirty word but: MIDI-mapping. is it not about time Max had auto midi mapping like Ableton et al? it could be editable via a rows-window such as pattr windows and dependency and parameter windows in M4L. it sort of feels like elephant/room working with VIZZIE.
    7 -- every single time i have used the name of a VIZZIE module whilst writing this text i have had to go to Max and look it up. cycling i think your software is fantastic, but your names are completely awful! also, why is RANGER not called RANGR then?!?! unrelated but still my projecting: the use of exclamation marks in software should be BANNED!!!!! i do not want "Drop a movie here!", i want "Drop movie here". this annoyed me so much in the fantastic M4L "Looper" device i actually had to go and rename the drop zone text and save the actual device that way for me.
    8 -- a more serious point (i think?): SIZE. personally, i think ALL modules should strictly adhere to specific size constraints. for example, ALL green effects modules should be exactly the same size to the pixel. this would make patching to a grid for new users SO much more satisfying. also, most importantly, this would make easy to use presentation mode set-ups a lot easier. looking at them all, all effects could easily be the same, although i understand that the gen modules need to be different sizes. however, there could generally be more width/height standardisation, such as the ANALYZR module could be exactly the same width as the PLAYR module. presumably a quick javascript dropped in each module could fix this. or manually resaving all the patches of course. seems a no brainer to me, but perhaps i am embarrassingly projecting my ocd tendencies in public. not sure. but, if cycling ever did decide to make 'VIZZIE templates' for easy use, size standardisation would be good. you could even have templates with optional size blocks like we do in M4L patches now.
    but as i said at the top, generally i welcome the whole idea. in fact i think you could max-standardise even more parts of the software - the examples section springs to mind here; if they were ALL poletti-style i think that would be awesome.
    by the way, a question: so, we can use the " --- " feature in normal max patchers as well as M4L now then?
    anyway, just a few cents there. best.

    • Nov 22 2010 | 1:23 am
      Hey pid, skipping your *real* content to comment on the detail at the end of your post... Apparently the '---' feature has been around forever, hiding in documentation limbo (along with its buddy #0).
      Here's the thread where I found this nugget of truthiness:
    • Nov 22 2010 | 6:36 pm
      @pid #6, for hints, there's a bit more to the story (maybe you know already). you can use an actual [hint] object, whose delay time is settable in msec. The Inspector-based hint was added for convenience in Max 5 and doesn't appear to be customizable. The pop-up time is a bit strange: if you've just activated a pop-up, any other ones shown (within a short timeframe) will pop up right away, ignoring any msec delays. It's a little strange but helps if the user is looking to see all the hints in sequence.
      That said, a global command to [thispatcher] or somesuch to disable Inspector-based hints would be nice: it doesn't change the hint messages, just disables them. For now you have to send "hint 0" to disable them, which erases the original message. It's very handy to have them available in the Inspector, but these additions (delay and global enable/disable) would be great. I'd be happy enough with just "slow/medium/fast" for the delay rather than msec.
      example patch with both kinds:
      I know it's a tangent from VIZZIE, but I need to mess with that more before posting about it :) at the moment, though, a brilliant idea! get newcomers hooked quickly, then those who want to dig deeper will see that there's a TON more going on. Once they get a taste of making their own mini-modules, and they "get" the concept of a bpatcher, well, the rest is history...
    • Nov 22 2010 | 8:45 pm
      these new vizzie modules look great, I am psyched to play with them, but just wanted to put it out there that my nickname on the forums (and in real life) is also vizzie. I've been lurking on these forums, occasionally posting for I think four years now.
      I have nothing to do with the vizzie modules, it just appears to be a crazy coincidence that they chose that name for these new modules.
      It does confuse me a bit when I see all these vizzie's popping up on the C74 site and forum now LOL.
    • Nov 22 2010 | 9:42 pm
      I actually made a visualization app years ago, in Director, and called it "Visi". heh. that of course was before I discovered Max and realized that it blew everything away for that kind of stuff.
      why I didn't poke around more before that, learning what platforms are best for what I wanted, I truly regret...many hours spent trying to save patterns for a lame "beatbox" drum machine I also made in Director, gah. of course, they have their strengths and weaknesses, but Max is totally it for me...