The Good Ol' Days

Hi kids. Here’s a big on-topic off-topic.

Myself and a close buddy (@gryff) recently bumped-onto the subject… of how neither of us understands the programming code or the “lingo” that is seen in BJS scenes/forum, lately. Both of us are somewhat storyteller and not so techno, but so what? Game-writers are often storytellers, so we fit right in… but we are both… not so deep tech… and more… “emotion”, perhaps.

Evolution is sure to happen, of course, but… we still have no/few girls working with BJS, and a seriously low amount of (any age) noobs.

Some folks have stated that “hey, all the old simple stuff STILL WORKS FINE”… but… that’s not really the point.

Bottom line is… we seem to have lost SOMETHING… some… beginner spirit… and we are certainly not any closer to having female BJS users. And where’s the kids? I mean REAL young kids. And the docs… 27 screens of text for Particles 101! (I mentioned this in another post, nearby). That’s not “101”… that’s a brain tumor. (no offense, docs-writers).

I have certainly ruffled some capitalist feathers among the Redmond crews in my time… but I could use a relocation rescue (no family), and I think BJS could use some “simplification”.

Ship me to Redmond, put me on payroll, and I’ll get BJS back into family-friendly mode in no time, and on-budget! :slight_smile:

If you remember the old days, I was Mister Handhold… and I always gave 150%… especially to kids and girls! I still have the same playful simpleton spirit, but I can’t find the old BJS. Where did it go? (Can ya tell I need a rescue from Wisconsin? hint-beg-etc)

@gryff… (hi) - get in here (if you wish) and maybe summarize what you told me recently in PM. Something is different? Is it because we are both “Old VRML Guys?”

@dad72 - (hi) have YOU seen something change/drift? What made you drift-away, if you can explain it. (thx) You did some HUGE projects in the early days. Was it a lack of public popularity for those? (they were nice/powerful, btw)

@jerome - hi - see anything you can put into words? What changed?

ANYONE… if you have seen a type of “good ol’ days” leave BabylonJS… and perhaps you are sad to see it go… TALK… here… in this thread.

Me, personally, I felt I lost a best friend… when I could no longer paste code into playgrounds… from BJS max JS source. All that “webpack module” crap in the JS source… made paste’n’hack quite impossible.

How about @davrous? Where the heck is he? And Temechon? I miss those guys.

Yeah, things evolve… but… some kind of trail-blazing frontier “spirit” got lost along the way. It’s not something I imagined… others have seen it go, too. The docs seem too large, the forum posts seem “alien”, the magic… waning or gone. Was it inevitable? What happened?

Did we lose some simple? Some fun? I don’t think it was I that changed… I’m not smart enough to do much changing. Something changed in BJS… and/or in its playful spirit. Can we get it back somehow? The girl programmers seem further away than ever before. Why? Where’s the kids? (7-14 yr olds). Did something scare them away?

At first, @PirateJC seemed like he had “the spirit”… you know… “peeing his pants”-excited about 2 spotlights and a physics-active box. But then he got all deep and NME, and although he still acted excited and enthused, he lost touch with the simpletons/noobs.

What happened? Why can’t we all still join in the excitement of a noob’s first green box and spotlight? Did we all get “so what, dude”? - too big for our britches? I know that I got MOST EXCITED over seeing others get excited over stuff… ESP when they had a scene of their own… in under 2 minutes.

They got “erect nipples” ! A powerful feeling of accomplishment. And I got erect nipples because of THEIR erect nipples. (nothing dirty here… nipples are a clean thing - doctor terminology).

Remember that https://forum.babylonjs.com/t/why-damagedhelmet-so-great/ thread? We talked about that, there. Perhaps too many killer demos on BJS main web site… and soon noobs thought that they could never “measure up”?

I think that is somehow involved. A noob was embarrassed and felt out-of-place… getting excited/enthused about their green box and spotlight.

I remember how I felt each time a new killer demo hit the BJS main site. “I can NEVER be THAT good”… and it was true. My little simpleton demos could never be as good as “the helmet”. Is THAT what helped kill the spirit and enthusiasm (“thooze”) of the simpleton scene?

The “thooze”. (enthusiasm). What happened? @Deltakosh, your comments certainly welcome, too. All you guys… comment if you would, but ESP those who remember “the good ol’ days”… the early pioneers… The Temechon Days. What happened? Can we get it back? Do we want it back? (thx).

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I hear your pain @Wingnut but as an “old VRML guy” myself, I don’t share it sorry.

You seem to be speculating and making a lot of assumptions about people - why people “left” or are no longer as active, where is the diversity, where has the community spirit gone etc. All sorts of people cycle through communities all the time for various reasons - career, family, changing priorities and interests. It’s usually not to do with a fundamental change in a project’s philosophy or direction or focus.

For me personally, I’m inspired by high quality, professional grade demos and projects showcased on the home page - that’s the very definition of “showcase”. This is me speculating here, but I imagine those showcases enthuse and attract more newbies than turn them off because it’s somehow “too high a bar” to reach.

Commercial usage and profitability of a technology (open source or otherwise) ensures continued interest, ongoing development, support and innovation. This benefits commercial, non-commercial and hobbyist users alike. It’s not a zero sum game. One group’s gain isn’t another group’s loss. With commercial support, great open-source projects like Linux, Blender and many other examples would not be where they are today. At its best, it’s a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship between open-source, artists, coders and companies out to make a buck.

As you said yourself, all the old stuff still works. You can choose to use pure JS over TypeScript, emacs over vscode, a simple static HTML file with linked BJS script rather a reactive framework, avoid git, build scripts, Node and NPM libraries etc.

I agree 100% that all the bleeding edge, best practice JS boilerplate, plethora of frameworks & libraries & devops stuff can be a headache, but no one is being forced to use any of it. This stuff is common to ALL modern web/JS development. Personally, for the sort of projects I’m working on, I could see the benefit, so I took the time to learn.

I agree there could be more beginner focused tutorials - physics, PBR, shaders and NME can be a bit impenetrable for newbies. You’ve helped greatly in that regard here in the forums by answering newbie questions. I’m a beneficiary of your tireless efforts and I appreciate all the support, as I’m sure do many others :slight_smile:

If you feel the feature set and documentation is getting too big and complicated, what are you suggesting is the alternative? In this day and age, no project can afford to stagnate and stop innovating. That’d be a death sentence.

As far as simplifying things, I think the core team is focused on that and continues to do so. Anyone can contribute ideas, code or documentation to make things easier. But as far as making web 3D easier in general in a way that I think you’re alluding to, you’d have to eliminate a lot of the cool, cutting edge features, go lowest common denominator and provide the ability to do 3D with markup like AFrame or VRML/X3D. There are some BJS projects out there that do this already.

Again, as an “old VRML guy” myself, I loved VRML/X3D but as an ISO standard it also moved at a glacial pace and never kept up with the latest graphics hardware & techniques. I worked for Bitmanagement for a time and was involved in Web 3D Consortium working groups. I found it excruciating trying to change or evolve anything and finally ditched it because it’d been left too far behind and the only people still involved were “old VRML guys”, mostly crusty old academics and scientists who’d never created art or worked a day in the real world. All the creative artists, innovators, pioneers and entrepreneurs had long since moved on. I think there’s lessons to learn from this. Great open source projects like Babylon need corporate interest, need to continue innovating, need to promote, need to foster talent, need to be constantly push the bounds of what’s possible. These are not signs of impending doom, these are signs of a thriving, dynamic project and community in my book. It’s all how you choose to look at it.

Anyway, that’s just my ranty 2c. Maybe we “old VRML guys” are prone to rants :wink:

Again, I love you dude and appreciate all that you do here and on the old forums. I’ve learnt a lot. Don’t despair. Perspective is everything, and from where I sit, the future of Babylon and its community is bright indeed.

But if the Redmond behemoth wants to hire you to be a Babylon community evangelist, and you’re willing to throw some cold water on your anti-capitalist, anti-corporate nuclear core :see_no_evil: :hear_no_evil: :speak_no_evil: then you have my vote for sure. Vote +1 for Wingy for M$ Babylon Evangelist and Newbie Welcome Wagon :sunglasses:

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FWIW one of the co-creators of VRML, Tony Parisi, founder of Intervista, Vivity, maker of WorldView VRML Browser etc is now Global Head of AR/VR Ad Innovation at Unity Technologies.

So there’s hope for we old VRML guys yet … :slight_smile:

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Yeah, good points. I did indeed do some assumptions… but I didn’t intend-to. I was actually trying to ASK how the changes happened. The changes definitely DID happen… but maybe it is a natural part of an evolution of a system.

Right… and I didn’t mean to imply that. Yet, the changes happened. THE spirit might not have gone, but A spirit… did… or evolved, or hid.

Good question. I once thought PBT’s… playground-based tutorials… and still do. Show them what each property/setting of a particleSystem does… right now, as they read about it. Either playgrounds with great text-handling, or docs with great animated diagrams/playground integration. A picture is worth… well, you know. The “eyeball” previews is a step in that direction, somewhat, I suppose.

Agree, but I still question where that noob spirit… went. I never meant to imply that advancement kills that childlike spirit. Still, it left.

haha. That sounds just terrible. Nope, I don’t want to get anywhere near the front grill of that machine. Still, if you ever felt what I felt… from “the kids”… their enthusiasm… their mile wide smiles… you’d know it is important in a way that has nothing to do with corporations whatsoever. It’s more like faerie dust… and has nothing to do with capitalism at all. It has to do with love.

Yep, I don’t want to interfere with advancement, nor blame advancement for that lost spirit. Nevertheless, that spirit… the one of which I speak… is gone or hidden. It can be easily seen when comparing old forum to new.

I don’t speak as well as you, and I think you give me too much credit. You always had your own spirit and enthusiasm without any help from me, but I really loved climbing aboard yours… and riding along. You’ve been completely a blast to hang around.

But the real fun… were the complete noobs and the fun of not only sending them down a trail, but trying to predict where they wanted to go… next. Often, I could feel them smiling from beyond the monitor glass. And sometimes, I accidentally stole some of the fun of letting them do the journey their self (a mistake I made often, and still do).

All that aside, THAT spirit… has diminished. Possibly, inevitable. That’s why I ask. I miss it, though. Maybe mostly gone forever… and possibly not desired. Thx for the great insights, Intega… you’re a great thinker/explainer… love it.

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Oh I do understand. I taught kids & young adults in VRML & web dev for a time.

I guess I haven’t been in the Babylon community since the beginning so I can’t see how it may have changed for you.

But I do see that enthusiasm and creativity alive and well still, for example in the works of @HiteshSahu which isn’t commercial but more artistic and experimental - I love it.

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You’ve been drinkin’ that “Code-Grepper” juice again, eh? nod :slight_smile:

Yuh, that sounds a whole lot like “Seth” talk. Have you read any of Jane Roberts’ stuff, Cippy? Sounds like you have. Tiz good, “now moment” point-of-power stuff.

I’m a Seth fan… but I don’t have real good control of my now-moment.

Still, you have hit on many interesting things. I am “Wing”-nut, and have posted a list of “flyers” in another thread in this group. I LOVE aircraft… LOVE them, and spent 9 years in the US Air Force. (though I get air sick very easily and that’s why I watch video of airplanes and fly sims, but don’t really like flying in real planes).

All in all, I fell head over heels in love with BJS… mostly the forum and its people… in 2013. I love BJS, but I hate covid/masks, and if I DID create the c19 reality… I suck… or blow… or something. :slight_smile:

According to my getBoundingInfo(), I’m not dimensionless, though. :slight_smile:

Now who are YOU, Necips? In 2013, you were still just a baby, right? :slight_smile:

You’ve been producing some darned fine BJS stuff, though… and you have the world’s CURRENT longest BJS thread, by far. (the old Wingnut Chronicles still had your thread topped, though, I think)

I like just about everything about you, as best I can tell. You’re somewhat a youngster in BJS history. Do you understand love, Necips?

Gimmie a drink off that Grepper… that looks good. hehe. Examples from the playground 707 posts? That’s also a Boeing aircraft, right? hmm. :slight_smile: Boy, have I gone off-topic here, huh? YOU started it, cippy. :smiley: (hug)

Now WHERE are the female BJS users? hmm.

I need to edit my late night prattle. Damn, I get aimlessly talkative sometimes. :slight_smile:

Not gonna argue the previous points, although ‘erect nipples’ and kids should NEVER be appear in the same post :grin:

Another possible reason for the kids drop-off could be the pandemic, and all the changes being made. Using a computer all of a sudden became “work” with distance learning. When class was done, doing something on the computer may seem less attractive,

I have also been changing a lot this year, mostly due to other things. Some things have stuck.

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I’ve seen more than a few frameworks come and go. I’m just glad BJS is still here and going strong. Thanks to all the developers.

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Hi @Wingnut,

Babylon has evolved a lot, some things may have become more complex, more advanced, for more informed, more competent users. Babylon think to attract great developers and less beginners in questing to create a game with little knowledge.
But that does not prevent me from doing things or giving up this engine which remains formidable if we compare to other game engines.

Currently I am working when I can on a new editor (Link: Realm Designer), but I don’t talk about it too much. I don’t talk too much here anymore, because I can no longer follow all the posts, there are too many people, too many subjects per day. But I come here every day.
My priorities are indeed evolving, I am in the process of creating a (modest) company as a general man in my region and I have less time to spend developing my editor. It happens that for a week, I do not touch the programming, then come back to it for 1 week.
As for the lack of popularity, yes indeed, it made me think about moving on and devoting less my time to development. Everyone here is a developer, wants to create their own games or publishers, so they are less attracted to use other people’s games or editors. Most take other people’s ideas or get inspired, but I don’t think advertising here to have a community around your project is viable. We can collect the opinions of other developers. That’s what I concluded.

To answer the overall question, yes Babylon has evolved a lot, with more advanced things that I would not venture to, but there have also been good developments which are addressed to everyone.
I think Babylon has attracted a bigger developers, not a beginners, and the forum questions are getting more technical, which is why I don’t talk too much here anymore. Maybe a special beginner’s forum would be more appropriate and a more seasoned user forum like here would be good. I do not know. But the world of Babylon has indeed changed.

PS davrous seems to have stopped Babylon. Temechon would have started his business it seems to me.

I hope I have answered your questions.

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@Wingnut, really sorry you feel this way. I can assure you that Babylon.js beginners have a very special place in my heart and always will. Forgive me for teasing something and not giving tons of insight into it just yet, but we are overhauling our documentation and @JohnK is doing some incredible work in making an amazing new evolution of Babylon101…one that caters to those who are brand new to Babylon. You’ll see more of that in the coming weeks as we approach the 4.2 release.

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Mister @Wingnut, what you should be talking is about this:

“…purpose that connect us…” maybe you feel like lost sense of purpose about the project, I’m can be wrong, but, that can be a simple “variable” in the project but it has a lot of impact on humans. Purpose, I believe, it’s what keep the people working on opensource projects. I think that almost nobody gains money from opensoucre (me for example), but the question is: what keep us/me contributing with openproject for any penny?

The answer is just what is talk in the video above. Without purpose, we gonna to fall at depression, or even in some kind of lost of sense to work. So, what’s your purpose with this project? is it equals from beginning until now? For this last question, I suppose that you found some differences and feel like the project lost some “essences” of the start. You has all the rights to think in that sense, only works with cation to not let the “negative” feedback defines what kind of action you will take.

Then, I’m new to babylon (even using sometimes since 2017) and I don’t know about the subject fo “old VRML guy” you are talking. But, from my experiences, I already see this kind of words from many people and in general, the purpose was the main reason of their “problems”.

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My comments about you… were not meant to be derogatory, PJC. Actually, I wish we had 20 helpers just like you… and with your spirit/thooze. You have done nothing bad/wrong at all. If we had 5 of you… working ONLY in noob-launching… maybe the kids and ladies would still be here.

It’s certainly not your duty to do hand-holding all the time… and you are much too advanced and creative to be imprisoned in ONLY that.

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Remember how I bitched about lack of diagrams, once upon a time? And how diagrams nicely crossed language barriers that sometimes words… couldn’t? Playground-based tutorials… was something I fell in love-with… because it allowed better diagrams. Unfortunately, it had its own hassles and tribulations.

I fought with GUI 2d diagrams… https://www.babylonjs-playground.com/#AMYR5C#17 + and IT stepped on its own feet, too. I pushed for i18n (translation) of the docs… always trying to reduce the words and increase the ease. Our recent particle trails question… is from Nairobi. To send that question into “Particles 101” docs… just felt wrong… speak nothing of trying to explain direction1/2.

Things just felt handcuffed. Everyone saw this young man’s simple Particle Trails question… sit there for 2 days… while webXR and PBR questions got answered in MINUTES. What did we all “feel”? Did we want to say “dude, go read about basic particle systems at particles 101 doc?”

You bet we did. But particles 101 is overwhelming… esp for a possible language barrier chap who REALLY just wanted to see some simple particle demos done with BJS. Two types… one with moving emitter (bullet) and one with stationary emitter/receiver (electric arc).

I searched my brains out for… oh … light sabers playground… remember that? Then for a playground with a bullet leaving a smoke trail. PG search-in-code for “smoke trail”… ran into the old Babylon.js Documentation problem of no quotes allowed.

Tick tock, 2 days… simple question… and then we come up with sub-emitters as the first answer… with no demo PG’s. The kid doesn’t want to know about sub-emitters… and we all knew it. He might barely read English docs at all… and certainly learning about sub-emitters was not the place/way to test that.

Yeah, I got other problems in my life right now… that affect my attitude… we all do, I suspect. I guess I got brutally reminded of something… a gap in something. Not much can be done about it. I can’t really figure out WHAT to blame… because… as many of you mentioned… what’s the alternative? Sad, though. Vapor trail/con trail… day 4 particles use-case? yep. Yet there we sat for 2 days… wanting to say “dude, read the book”… and yet NOT wanting to say that. heh.

Don’t be offended, PJC… not personal. A frustration in “the system” that has no alternative… but I sure wish it DID… somehow.

Too kind my friend, but I appreciate your opinion and feedback on the subject in general. I’m also passionate about “noobs” and want to make sure this “family” of ours is as inviting to them as it is the seasoned pros. Appreciate your spirit and thoughts!

yes I want to. This is a good learning. Understanding how it works, what can be done. The ask is about trailing which is not trivial. It is not a good advice to recommend to go all in directly. The OP must understand how it works. He will learn something, feel empowered and come better that before.

So yeah, I say it twice: we need to ask them to read doc and try by experimenting. Most of the time this is how I answer questions (from noobs or pros): this is the best tool in our armada that could help you. try it, figure out if you like it and come back with your next question. The thing is that we will always be here to hold your hand but we won’t do your work

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I wish I could say that it IS me that changed… and I’m sure to some degree, that is true.

But really, the youngsters are gone. Something pushed them away, or sent them into hiding.

Sorry for the wandering topics, here. I’m all over the place, eh? :slight_smile:

Just look at the lack of girls… for the entire life of BJS. THAT, alone… says SOMETHING, but I sure can’t put my finger on it.

I disagree. I answer a lot of questions coming from really new users every day. I just did before this post with someone really new to the 3d topic (question about pivot and vertices)

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Good to hear, thx. Sorry gang, I’m being foolish and talking crap, apparently. Not unusual for Wingy. I hope ya’ll don’t hate me.

Itsa me. A female BJS user.

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I’m a big fan of your artstation. Your art is beautiful

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