20130425

Dynamo: free like beer, free like speech


Buildz has gone dark for a while, which is ironic, as I have less to hide than usual.  I'm helping on the open source project Dynamo, a visual programming language for Revit and Vasari.  Dynamo allows users with or without programming knowledge to create graphical "scripts" to drive BIM in complex and beautiful ways.

Usually working for Autodesk can feel like being a secret agent . . . I could tell you what I'm working on, but then I'd have to kill you. But Dynamo is a very different creature than the proprietary software that we all know and love/hate:  it's free!

Reader:  Free you say? No way, nothing is free.
Z:  Way.  Gratis+Libre. It's free like beer, free like speech.

Proof:  fire up your free SharpDevelop or other development environment and go build the code yourself RIGHT NOW.  Explore the latest submissions, make your own, report bugs, all that good stuff.



Of course, you will be living on the edge, building software that is piping hot out of the oven can burn your mouth.  If you want to take a safer route, you can download the installer from here. Keep an eye on this site, as we are going to roll out a new installer presently, but you can get started with this "last stable" release.

Yes, I know, free is trendy.  All the cool kids are doing it.  But we of course have our own sinister purposes.  

  1. Staffing:  There are a few geniuses working on it full time, but we need more user feedback, testing, and feature development.
  2. Brains:  You are more interesting than us, and we want your brains.  You are also making stuff in this thing people call the "real world" and have the needed insight to create appropriate content RIGHT NOW. Therefore, we are hoping/relying/begging for your feedback
  3. RIGHT NOW:  we have noticed that people like to have new features, bug fixes, etc now, not later. Open development allows for faster delivery.
  4. Community:  we like people, we like to work with them.  We also think that a healthy community can support itself. We believe that a community that builds and can contribute into a project can create tools that are uniquely appropriate for what they need to do.

So now, reporting to you from deep inside the belly of the beast, I can tell you it is a rich and soupy broth down here.  We have some truly lovely stuff in the new code, lots more nodes, way better stability, more samples, better search and browsing, more and more.  We are sewing up a couple lingering bugs, but I wanted to let you know what was in the works.

Stay tuned!

8 comments:

  1. Hey Zach,

    I'm having a few issues with the installer, for some reason it is not installing the Python script editor/node. This is the error I'm getting upon opening the dynamic python editing sample file:

    Thanks in advance,
    Jonathan Sandoval

    Error loading "Python Script
    System.IO.FileNotFoundException:
    Could not load file or assembly 'IronPython, Version=2.7.0.40, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=7f709c5b713576e1' or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.
    at Dynamo.Elements.DynPythonEngine..ctor()
    at Dynamo.Elements.dynPython..ctor()
    Error loading "Python Script From String
    System.IO.FileNotFoundException:
    Could not load file or assembly 'IronPython, Version=2.7.0.40, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=7f709c5b713576e1' or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.
    at Dynamo.Elements.DynPythonEngine..ctor()
    at Dynamo.Elements.dynPythonString..ctor()
    Autoloading definitions...

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  2. Hi John,
    If you are going to do any work with Python nodes, you will need to install IronPython. Just takes a couple minutes:
    http://ironpython.net/

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  3. Hi Zach,

    The strange thing is I do have IronPython installed. I'll try and re-install. Not sure what is going wrong.

    Thanks,
    Jon

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hmm, what version are you using?

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  5. Sorry for all the fuss Zach its working now downloaded the latest build and now I'm up and running.

    Thanks,

    Jon

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jon,
    Awesome! Keep the questions coming.

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  7. Zach Kron, you were already awesome with awesome on top.
    You, throwing your sticks into the dynamo fire, gives me great hope for intuitive programming and parametríc design in Revit. Keep it up, looking forward to hear more about this.
    Links to good Dynamo tutorials, anyone?

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  8. Awww, thanks Tue, you're making me blush. Current set of tutorials walking through the samples can be found here: http://wikihelp.autodesk.com/Vasari/enu/Community/Works_In_Progress/Dynamo_for_Vasari/Example_01%3a__Create_Point

    ReplyDelete