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?
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.
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
Lucas Becker | Mostly AC 26 on Mac | Author of SelfGDL | Developer of the GDL plugin for Sublime Text | «Furthermore, I consider that Carth... yearly releases must be destroyed»
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.
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