[Request for Feedback] Dynamo Node information

Hello Dynamo Community! :raised_hands:

The Dynamo team wants to find out which information is important to display on Dynamo Nodes. Please fill out this brief poll and survey to help us optimize our design efforts.

Also, apologies for the rather verbose polling below, but the forum polling options are limited :roll_eyes:

If the following elements were displayed on Dynamo nodes, please rank the information options below from most important to least important to you - There are 6 items and 6 individual polls where you get to vote once per poll:

Most Important

  • Node Name - The name of the node.
  • Error State - Where your graph has not loaded content and shows nodes in Red.
  • Warning State - Where some data passing through your graph may be incorrect and shows nodes in Yellow.
  • Renamed Tags - A tag showcasing if a user has renamed their node.
  • What host the node comes from (Revit node, Civil 3d node, FormIt node etc.)
  • IsInput / IsOutput - A property on the node that surfaces it inside of Generative Design in Revit / Refinery.

0 voters

Second Most Important

  • Node Name - The name of the node.
  • Error State - Where your graph has not loaded content and shows nodes in Red.
  • Warning State - Where some data passing through your graph may be incorrect and shows nodes in Yellow.
  • Renamed Tags - A tag showcasing if a user has renamed their node.
  • What host the node comes from (Revit node, Civil 3d node, FormIt node etc.)
  • IsInput / IsOutput - A property on the node that surfaces it inside of Generative Design in Revit / Refinery.

0 voters

Third Most Important

  • Node Name - The name of the node.
  • Error State - Where your graph has not loaded content and shows nodes in Red.
  • Warning State - Where some data passing through your graph may be incorrect and shows nodes in Yellow.
  • Renamed Tags - A tag showcasing if a user has renamed their node.
  • What host the node comes from (Revit node, Civil 3d node, FormIt node etc.)
  • IsInput / IsOutput - A property on the node that surfaces it inside of Generative Design in Revit / Refinery.

0 voters

Fourth Most Important

  • Node Name - The name of the node.
  • Error State - Where your graph has not loaded content and shows nodes in Red.
  • Warning State - Where some data passing through your graph may be incorrect and shows nodes in Yellow.
  • Renamed Tags - A tag showcasing if a user has renamed their node.
  • What host the node comes from (Revit node, Civil 3d node, FormIt node etc.)
  • IsInput / IsOutput - A property on the node that surfaces it inside of Generative Design in Revit / Refinery.

0 voters

Fifth Most Important

  • Node Name - The name of the node.
  • Error State - Where your graph has not loaded content and shows nodes in Red.
  • Warning State - Where some data passing through your graph may be incorrect and shows nodes in Yellow.
  • Renamed Tags - A tag showcasing if a user has renamed their node.
  • What host the node comes from (Revit node, Civil 3d node, FormIt node etc.)
  • IsInput / IsOutput - A property on the node that surfaces it inside of Generative Design in Revit / Refinery.

0 voters

Least Important

  • Node Name - The name of the node.
  • Error State - Where your graph has not loaded content and shows nodes in Red.
  • Warning State - Where some data passing through your graph may be incorrect and shows nodes in Yellow.
  • Renamed Tags - A tag showcasing if a user has renamed their node.
  • What host the node comes from (Revit node, Civil 3d node, FormIt node etc.)
  • IsInput / IsOutput - A property on the node that surfaces it inside of Generative Design in Revit / Refinery.

0 voters

Please also feel free to answer the following questions in a reply to this thread:

  1. Are there any options listed above that you would not want to see at all? Why or why not?
  2. Are there any options you would want to see that are not listed above? Why or why not?

We’re super excited to see what you, our awesome community think as we look to better explore how Nodes can look and feel!

The Dynamo Team

1 Like
  1. Remove the renamed tags. They look like an error message. The original node name is in the right click menu. :wink:

  2. Please don’t add more visual stuff to the nodes like input/output. This is very confusing for beginner users.

Often times it is easy to get caught up in items that support generative design, Dynamo player, and advanced users. Please don’t forget about the beginner user who needs to be able to grasp the basics first. Nodes coloring with renamed tags, and in/out indicator is alarming. I fear for a future where we all look back and go,

“Remember when the Dynamo UI was clean and made sense?”

And if you must clutter up the Node Views more, please please please give us an option to turn that junk off in the DynamoSettings.xml or similar. It is disappointing to have features that shove Generative Design down your throat when you might be using Dynamo for setting a parameter or something like that.

7 Likes

Hi John - Thanks for the feedback, as per usual! :blush:

We are indeed looking to add more customization to Dynamo and not focus on adding more node base clutter, but also want to hear from the community on this one rather than forge ahead :nerd_face: - Agree we could have done better with the renamed node tag and can look to improve that in this set of work (i.e adding in the ability to turn it off).

The intention very much is to make it easier for new users and this will be a big push in this set of work - the trick will be in how we surface the information clearly (Clean UI) versus having useful attributes show up if you want them to!

I think the focus on NODE NAMING should be on the actual functionality of said node (what it does), and encourage standardized naming to help find a node in a long list of (mostly irrelevant) search results.

Can the node naming start with a category or type of data it processes?
How about coloring the nodes according the type of data they take in? Blue for lists and red for string?

I voted but I think that is a minor topic. I would like to see the nodes being named or colored (or whatever graphic means) to make a beginner’s life easier - which is MOST Dynamo users, because only a tiny minority uses Dynamo full time, and most are beginners because they don’t put together scripts that often and need extreme simplicity and all the help they can get.

3 Likes

I think execution time is something I’d like, I know there is an extension for this, but it’s useful for debugging bottlenecking/computationally slow nodes in graphs.

Also, right click copy data in node context menu would be awesome too.

14 Likes

I would like to see :
1.) error warnings that I don’t need to google.
2.) more information about what a node does.
3.) more information about what that node needs to work.
4.) ability to have more than one graph open at a time as well as run each graph if needed.

5 Likes

Can add a button to stop the process if the user feels the wait is too long? I have no other way but to force close the revit application via task manager.I hope the development team is interested in this.

10 Likes

I’m OK with somehow indicating that a Node has been renamed, but the current implementation is FAR too intrusive. The large RENAMED text takes up too much space, and is too “in your face”. Something more subtle like changing the background color, or italicizing the name, or a small icon would provide the same information but more subtly.

3 Likes

General Note: Text can always be reduced by introduction of graphic language. (think Magritte)

-More compact @Level indication–perhaps more graphic to eliminate buttons.
-More compact Lacing indication (graphic between inputs? (Currently gets its own row!-- and is rarely used)
-Node icons as alternate to node names (for us visual folk). Many icons are already made!
-Differentiation between Inputs with Default Values and inputs that require a value.
-find a way to abbreviate input/output text for standard data types, either through letters or icons.

See attached PDF.
Dynamo_Nodes-Noted.pdf (566.1 KB)

2 Likes

We have done an investigation into this (What we call Spikes). The short answer is we can enable it to work inside of multi-threaded environments such as Dynamo Sandbox, FormIt or Alias, but cannot currently do so inside of single-threaded applications such as Revit or Civil 3d. So, we are looking into how to properly de-couple Dynamo from this constraint :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Hello Tony,

  1. Out of curiosity, have you used the Documentation Broswer yet as it surfaces warnings in a human readable way? So far we’ve added in the 30 most common error messages. An example of Null value cannot be cast to type is below:

  1. Good shout! We’re looking to bring the Dynamo Dictionary into product also, you can read more about it here: https://github.com/DynamoDS/Dynamo/wiki/Dynamo-Public-Roadmap#when-knowledge-is-not-necessarily-power

  2. We also have plans for this with both the Dynamo Dictionary work as above, and a new Node Autocomplete feature we are starting work on a proof of concept in the next few weeks.

  3. This would require major structural changes to Dynamo, but is still on our radar. Simply won’t be fast I’m afraid.

Great suggestions @Nick_Curtis!

We have already introduced Differentiation between Inputs with Default Values and inputs that require a value - default ports are now italicized, as below:

image

1 Like

An option to reorganize all nodes in the left pane by input /output
(eg. give me all the nodes that take points as input)

5 Likes

Interesting idea Marcel… What if right clicking (say) on the node output gave a list of possible nodes… You click one… It then appears with its wire connected at a reasonable distance? Then you could just right click your way across the screen…

3 Likes

Hello solamour, thanks for the reply. Where does documentation browser live in Dynamo, a setting to activate? I am mostly using RVT2019 Dynamo 2.04 so i am guessing it is maybe in RVT2020 Dynamo? Unfortunately we are driven by what RVT an Architect is using and they are generally 2 years behind. I have seen the above mentioned before as i am keenly interested in the advancements that it can achieve however it is always difficult when the build of Dynamo RVT is not backwards compatible.

The other future developments look awesome as well. While i dont believe making something so dumb down that anyone can use it is the way forward, the users approach to finding solutions should be considered.

1 Like

@Mark.Ackerley
What i was thinking, is that it would flatten the learning curve a bit and unlock creativity.
Now you need to know the nodes first (hundreds) and have a goal for the graph.
In the reorganized left pane option as mentioned above, you could go ahead and play a bit more.

2 Likes

I had a very simple suggestion a while back - add a bool flag that gets checked before the start of each individual node’s execution. That means that if a node is in execution (or stuck in an infinite loop) we can’t stop it and have to wait for it to finish processing (or kill revit/civil). However since we have clicked the the cancel button, prior to processing the next node we check the flag and if it’s true, stop the overall graph execution.

9 Likes

Read the Dynamo Public Roadmap :wink: In particular the bit about Node Autocomplete.

2 Likes

Hi Marcel! Great suggestion. Just for clarity, do you mean the Library and an ability to reorganize based on input or output ports there?

1 Like