bring back softimage.net

General discussion about 3D DCC and other topics
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rray
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Re: bring back softimage.net

Post by rray » 23 Aug 2012, 13:13

Tekano wrote: Ah I see. well isnt this just a matter of having an entry for the name of the compound uploader and also the author name if its different. If the original author wants to connect or to edit compound details that they have made but someone else has uploaded - once they have an account then the original uploader or moderator can redirect the author name to the proper account name or pass ownership of edits back to them or just delete their entry and allow the author to upload the compound again. if that makes sense. and not sure its going to be a problem, its such a small community in Softimage niche land that I really dont see this as being much of an issue.
Ah ok I was in the context of migrating rray.de to a db. Starting from an empty database this is not a big issue since it only happen as an exception.

I don't see yet why one "web compound manager" plugin wouldn't work for several versions of Softimage, but you're right - too much effort for what is rather a luxury item. More even considering there would have to be an offline version as well for HB ;)

(btw hacked some basic upload function to rray.de .. hope it works :-ss )
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Re: bring back softimage.net

Post by EricTRocks » 27 Aug 2012, 06:21

So chiming in here rather late as I've been on vacation for the last few weeks.

Some words of wisdom / warning. Creating a new site run by 1-2 people that doesn't return a significant monetry amount will surely lead to the sites failure. I'm talking from experience. That is mainly why XSIDatabase is more or less dead. I dont' have the time and don't have a good return for the work I put in to the site. Personally it was never utilized enough by the user base to justify putting more work into it. Whatever that reason was / is. My advice for anyone wanting to extend one of the community sites or create a new one is to not do it unless the above criteria is attained. Otherwise the work / reward will not suffice enough for a continued effort.

It's really sad that the AREA is in the state it is. Whether it is getting better or not is insignificant as it is unusable in its current state (see past comments, no need to rehash) and even if it is getting better it's moving at nearly a negative snails pace from the users perspective. AD is missing a huge opportunity to benefit ALL of the M&E customers by having a usable resource site for its products. Softimage, Maya, Max, etc. I'm talking for all.

If any effort is being made I'd hope that those who are moving forward with it also keep the system as SIMPLE as possible. Nothing fancy. Keep things simple so that it can be easily maintained. We have all seen what happens to resources that are customized immensely (XSIBase). They fall into ruin as the base software is upgraded and patched where the themes and customizations become too numerous to keep up.

If anyone is thinking of creating a custom login system to allow users to upload resources keep a few things in mind. You become responsible for keeping their data protected. You're also in a position where if there is anything that can cause damage (infected files uploaded to the site) you can become somewhat responsible.

A final issue of these sites that you'll have to battle is users uploading others files. I wouldn't want just anyone uploading my addons / plugins without my concent. Some have voiced their concerns over RRay.de/xsi over the years. I have no problem as most of my stuff is uploaded but also linked. Which brings up another issue where some users want to be able to enter a URL and NOT upload a file. Make sure to consider that.

Hopefully the above gives anyone wishing to enter these waters with something useful. I am not sure what the future of XSIDatabase will be but I may end up taking it down within the next year as I dont' believe its useful any more.
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Re: bring back softimage.net

Post by 3DTutorial » 27 Aug 2012, 15:50

EricTRocks wrote:So chiming in here rather late as I've been on vacation for the last few weeks.

Some words of wisdom / warning. Creating a new site run by 1-2 people that doesn't return a significant monetry amount will surely lead to the sites failure. I'm talking from experience. That is mainly why XSIDatabase is more or less dead. I dont' have the time and don't have a good return for the work I put in to the site. Personally it was never utilized enough by the user base to justify putting more work into it. Whatever that reason was / is. My advice for anyone wanting to extend one of the community sites or create a new one is to not do it unless the above criteria is attained. Otherwise the work / reward will not suffice enough for a continued effort.

It's really sad that the AREA is in the state it is. Whether it is getting better or not is insignificant as it is unusable in its current state (see past comments, no need to rehash) and even if it is getting better it's moving at nearly a negative snails pace from the users perspective. AD is missing a huge opportunity to benefit ALL of the M&E customers by having a usable resource site for its products. Softimage, Maya, Max, etc. I'm talking for all.

If any effort is being made I'd hope that those who are moving forward with it also keep the system as SIMPLE as possible. Nothing fancy. Keep things simple so that it can be easily maintained. We have all seen what happens to resources that are customized immensely (XSIBase). They fall into ruin as the base software is upgraded and patched where the themes and customizations become too numerous to keep up.

If anyone is thinking of creating a custom login system to allow users to upload resources keep a few things in mind. You become responsible for keeping their data protected. You're also in a position where if there is anything that can cause damage (infected files uploaded to the site) you can become somewhat responsible.

A final issue of these sites that you'll have to battle is users uploading others files. I wouldn't want just anyone uploading my addons / plugins without my concent. Some have voiced their concerns over RRay.de/xsi over the years. I have no problem as most of my stuff is uploaded but also linked. Which brings up another issue where some users want to be able to enter a URL and NOT upload a file. Make sure to consider that.

Hopefully the above gives anyone wishing to enter these waters with something useful. I am not sure what the future of XSIDatabase will be but I may end up taking it down within the next year as I dont' believe its useful any more.

I agree with this 100%.... very well said!

Cheers,

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Re: bring back softimage.net

Post by Letterbox » 27 Aug 2012, 17:27

While you both agree (Joe and Eric) on the Area being upgraded, from a users perspective it makes sense.

I post this so hopefully you'll understand some of the recent events and give you a unemotional business perspective on the issue.

I'd like to point out that from Autodesk's or any Business's perspective it does not make sense to upgrade it (even though they are looking for a web developer) or even have the Area at all.

Because it basically does not maximize business profits, simply put the Area costs money for it to exist. In business terms the Area is a cost center.

Clearly what Autodesk should be doing is externalizing the cost, by allowing and supporting (approved) 3rd parties to create a si/max/maya etc forums. Where they off load the costs and staffing and any negative consequences (as mentioned above post). This is a typical modern business practice. And given the current restructuring I see no good reason why it has not happened.

As well as externalizing the cost, the development, the maintenance, they also externalize the constant complaints that they cant even manage a web site, and the negative impact contained therein. Of course through advertising one can leverage and influence what moderators allow, in terms of users voicing their, lets say, 'unfettered opinions'.

You might not like this concept, its not mentioned for you to like or no, it's mentioned because its a proven way to realize profits, manage perception, and externalize costly responsibility. And given the route Autodesk is following it would only make sense to completely invest in externalization all aspects of it's business. It's surprising that Mr Bass has not extended his fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders by extending cost externalization of this clear and apparent cost center to its fullest and most logical extent.

I understand you might not agree with this, but that is irrelevant, this is business survival, and with all the new tools at siggraph the pressure is obviously increasing to maintain and grow profitability.

That’s important as one has to realize that the likes of Mr. Bass has a legal responsibility, not to the users, not to the staff, but is legally bound to solely be concerned for the shareholders above all else, which is reflected in the share dividend and stock price, you've just seen those forces in play.

As one someone nicely put, if you want loyalty get a dog, because its trench warfare out there, and the nice guy doesn't always win.

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Re: bring back softimage.net

Post by 3DTutorial » 27 Aug 2012, 17:32

Letterbox wrote:While you both agree (Joe and Eric) on the Area being upgraded, from a users perspective it makes sense.

I post this so hopefully you'll understand some of the recent events and give you a unemotional business perspective on the issue.

I'd like to point out that from Autodesk's or any Business's perspective it does not make sense to upgrade it (even though they are looking for a web developer) or even have the Area at all.

Because it basically does not maximize business profits, simply put the Area costs money for it to exist. In business terms the Area is a cost center.

Clearly what Autodesk should be doing is externalizing the cost, by allowing and supporting (approved) 3rd parties to create a si/max/maya etc forums. Where they off load the costs and staffing and any negative consequences (as mentioned above post). This is a typical modern business practice. And given the current restructuring I see no good reason why it has not happened.

As well as externalizing the cost, the development, the maintenance, they also externalize the constant complaints that they cant even manage a web site, and the negative impact contained therein. Of course through advertising one can leverage and influence what moderators allow, in terms of users voicing their, lets say, 'unfettered opinions'.

You might not like this concept, its not mentioned for you to like or no, it's mentioned because its a proven way to realize profits, manage perception, and externalize costly responsibility. And given the route Autodesk is following it would only make sense to completely invest in externalization all aspects of it's business. It's surprising that Mr Bass has not extended his fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders by extending cost externalization of this clear and apparent cost center to its fullest and most logical extent.

I understand you might not agree with this, but that is irrelevant, this is business survival, and with all the new tools at siggraph the pressure is obviously increasing to maintain and grow profitability.

That’s important as one has to realize that the likes of Mr. Bass has a legal responsibility, not to the users, not to the staff, but is legally bound to solely be concerned for the shareholders above all else, which is reflected in the share dividend and stock price, you've just seen those forces in play.

As one someone nicely put, if you want loyalty get a dog, because its trench warfare out there, and the nice guy doesn't always win.

Regards
Steven

I fully understand the point you are making here.

That said, here is my opinion on the matter.

1. A 3rd party attempting to run such a site will almost certainly fail over the long-term.

2. While I agree it is a cost center... it's a drop in the bucket to AD bottom line and it's from my POV it's a worthwhile investment.

I don't expect anyone to agree with me... this is purely my opinion.

Cheers,

J
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Re: bring back softimage.net

Post by luceric » 27 Aug 2012, 18:11

Letterbox wrote:I'd like to point out that from Autodesk's or any Business's perspective it does not make sense to upgrade it (even though they are looking for a web developer) or even have the Area at all.

Because it basically does not maximize business profits, simply put the Area costs money for it to exist. In business terms the Area is a cost center.[...]
All this stuff and the "fiduciary responsibility" lecture is all b.s IMHO. M&E are the ones who created The Area in the first place. And they revised it already, what, three time? All the product launches are happening there, they want people subscribed and active there. It's all marketing, like 3December, user group and other things they don't "need" to do. Autodesk also doesn't need to spend millions sponsoring events like Siggraph. They recently created a mudbox web community. Autodesk is also launching App Store for various products and they have more in the pipeline.
Last edited by luceric on 27 Aug 2012, 18:21, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: bring back softimage.net

Post by Letterbox » 27 Aug 2012, 18:16

3DTutorial wrote:

I fully understand the point you are making here.

That said, here is my opinion on the matter.

1. A 3rd party attempting to run such a site will almost certainly fail over the long-term.

2. While I agree it is a cost center... it's a drop in the bucket to AD bottom line and it's from my POV it's a worthwhile investment.

I don't expect anyone to agree with me... this is purely my opinion.

Cheers,

J
I dont agree with you. (note I'm just talking about the Area specifically, not the whole domain.)

1) You'll agree that is proven that they cant manage the Area to user expectations, that creates user frustration, concordantly the title of this thread.
2) You'll agree, that over the long term cgsociety, xsibase, and here, and many more user created formus, have all over the long term have survived, and even prospered.
3) No Area, no negative pr, no staff, no costs, no salaries, no benefits conferred, and you know Joe thats where the hidden value is. So where's the down side?

a drop in the bucket, might well be Joe, but $ are $ in any language, and from 3, its all win, 1 & 2 prove the case.

Regards
Steven

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Re: bring back softimage.net

Post by Letterbox » 27 Aug 2012, 18:25

luceric wrote:
Letterbox wrote:I'd like to point out that from Autodesk's or any Business's perspective it does not make sense to upgrade it (even though they are looking for a web developer) or even have the Area at all.

Because it basically does not maximize business profits, simply put the Area costs money for it to exist. In business terms the Area is a cost center.[...]
All this stuff and the "fiduciary responsibility" lecture is all b.s. M&E are the ones who created The Area in the first place. And they revised it already, what, three time. It's all marketing, like 3December, user group and other things they don't "need" to do. Autodesk also doesn't need to spend millions sponsoring events like Siggraph. They recently created a mudbox web community. Autodesk is also launching App Store for various products and they have more in the pipeline.

BS. Talk to me when you've worked in corp, because I doubt you ever have.

So what that m&e created in the first place. What ACTUAL difference does that MAKE? Here's the answer for you, NONE. Read the title of the thread.

So you really think 3December and every thing else can be handled by cgsociety etc?? Siggraph has nothing to do with the Area, get your mind clear. Focus.



PS Read this, I think you need it.....(specifically Fiduciary Duties)... http://smallbusiness.chron.com/legal-relationship-between-shareholders-ceos-33637.html

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Re: bring back softimage.net

Post by luceric » 27 Aug 2012, 21:29

Your arguments can't explain why The Area exists in the first place, was revised over time, and why they made a Mudbox community just last year. This thread exist because some features of The Area aren't as good as they should be, not because Autodesk can't financially justify investing in communities.

Good communities develop the brand and collect contacts, that's why they're doing it for mudbox and Autodesk 123D, why they're making non-profitable iOS apps, paying for banners at events, etc. Everything about marketing isn't a "cost center" that must produce its own profit.

Autodesk doesn't have a "fiduciary duty" to make every money spent in one place directly produce profit in that same place. Do you think SocialCam is producing 60$ mil in revenue? Do you think the educational programs produce any revenue? There are budgets for production, budgets for marketting, budgets for risk and investment. Communities come from the marketting budgets.
Letterbox wrote:So what that m&e created in the first place. What ACTUAL difference does that MAKE? Here's the answer for you, NONE. Read the title of the thread.
So you really think 3December and every thing else can be handled by cgsociety etc?? Siggraph has nothing to do with the Area, get your mind clear. Focus.
The Area, siggreaph, 3December, it all comes from the marketing budget. It's all about presence. It has everything to do with.

Now why is nothing for ICE compounds.. probably because sharing ICE compounds is only interesting to a few hundred clients. I also doubt we had a good person to defend Softimage at Autodesk; Ken Pimentel would have kicked The Area's ass if ICE had been a Max feature! It's not "feduciarily" impossible to see progress in the future. ;)

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Re: bring back softimage.net

Post by gfxman » 27 Aug 2012, 21:40

I'm sorry, i can't really understand what all of this has to do with the topic. Let's Get IT again.

The Problem: a lot of usefull ice compounds ( from simple to very complex) are burried under the old pages of this, and xsibase.com forum. Yes the search can be a good friend but.....

There is a number of same=equal compuounds re-made, from other people, beacause they can't find what they need, and so they produce it themselves.... or simply loose a lot of time of time searching and maybe not finding them.

A lot of incredibile usefull tools and compounds simply disappear in the fog of a missing "centralized" place to upload and store them. The only safe heaven in this caos is rray.de, that, let's face it, can't track everything.

So

1 - if we made something like an add-on to upload compounds, from within softimage ice-tree, it should be used just for compounds and maybe, shaders.

2 - addon, plugins or other complex tool should be added from the author or with the autor permission, and rray.de works very well the way it is.

3 - i think we just need a new "section" on rray.de, were uploaded compounds goes. rray.de should continue to be updated the way it is for addons, commercial tools, or more complex tool, like the old yahoo worked in the days before google. A human centralized repository and link.

I can offer space on one of my server, and a domain of second level. We have a 12.000.000 pages site per month, i don't have bandwith problems....

I can't program the add-on to upload the compounds, i can't force rray to add the section on his site, neither to move under my server.
But the idea behind the upload compunds from softimage was brilliant 5 years ago, and everyday seems to more usefull, in this caos we have in tools posted on xsibase, si-community, vimeo groups....

Just my idea.

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Re: bring back softimage.net

Post by Letterbox » 27 Aug 2012, 23:43

gfxman, it is on topic, hopefully let me make it clearer for you. "Externalizing" can be (AN EXAMPLE ONLY), if you want it to be, as simple as say to you, hey gfxman, what your doing is great, organize putting banners on that site and we'll support you give you some ad revenue. Now you handle everything, you keep the users happy, you have the admin issues, you deal with it all, you understand what the users want. Well done. Congratulations and thank you very much. Same applies to here.


Luceric, The reason for the Area community existing is that users of M&E products want / need a community, that's pretty clear. Other Autodesk products don't have communities. What's apparent is that Autodesk responded with the Area, and luceric, just because they did, does NOT mean its a success. The very fact that we are NOT having this conversation in the Area should be clear indication of just how badly it's performed. PROOF: How often do you Luceric, or any AD staff for that matter post on the Area VS elsewhere. :QED.

If Autodesk realize this understand and accept their limits, then partner with people that can and have done the job better, that specifically delivers on what users want, NOT Autodesk's perception of what users want, you'd find a lot of happier campers, something that has clearly eluded the Area all its life. You can rationalize it by saying isn't that the very same understanding that Mr. Bass is applying when AD acquiring products, such as SocialCam, Indestructibles etc etc

Isn't what gfxman saying above THIS is what I want, same for tekano et al, same for mailing list people, and this is what we can do !!! Why some AD staff feel so emotionally and permanently married to the Area and deaf to everyone and everything else is beyond reason and logic and what's best not only for the users but the company too.



Luceric, the other questions you have, they all have very specific rationale, some future looking value, all a monetary value, all of them have to, because by definition it's a public company, and any ceo has to be able to justify each and every position, if not to the board, but to the shareholders directly. I dont want to dilute the above comments by entering into it here and now. But look at budgets etc not from the bottom up, but from the top down. Paraphrasing Kennedy, "ask not how much your marketing budget is, but where is it going to come from."

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Re: bring back softimage.net

Post by EricTRocks » 28 Aug 2012, 12:27

gfxman wrote:I'm sorry, i can't really understand what all of this has to do with the topic. Let's Get IT again.
I can offer space on one of my server, and a domain of second level. We have a 12.000.000 pages site per month, i don't have bandwith problems....
Purely speaking from experience here, what happens when you get busy / dissappear for months on end / the server goes down / a virus is injected into your server and propagates out to all the sub-levels and things need fixing? It's a very nice offer and should be appreciated. Though segmenting the new system isn't going to end up well.

If someone is going to make a site and take the reigns, they need to have Uber control over all aspects of it and stay super involved with the community for years and years to come. Also they should be willing to give up all that control at some point and let others take over who have proven to be responsible and active.
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Re: bring back softimage.net

Post by rray » 28 Aug 2012, 13:06

Sorry for being brief, am in a rush
Generally I like the upload-from-app idea, but an issue I see with a compound-only site is that it's difficult to draw a line. First there's compounds, then there's groups of compounds that belong together, then there's compounds packaged with scripts which apply them, then there's whole addons where compounds are only a little part...

(btw rray.de can't be added to dynamically, right now the only tech that's behind it is javascript in 1 big html file +1 delayed loading text file)
Softimage Resources section (formerly known as rray.de/xsi) updated Oct 01 2017

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Re: bring back softimage.net

Post by EricTRocks » 28 Aug 2012, 13:17

I think we first need to standardize the way we categorize compounds and distribute sets of them as well. Good luck getting all of us to agree on something. :D
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Re: bring back softimage.net

Post by Tekano » 28 Aug 2012, 13:51

Any Cat herders out there? :-c
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Re: bring back softimage.net

Post by Bellsey » 28 Aug 2012, 13:55

Letterbox - you make some fine points, but also assumptions combined with adding two and two together and making five. And I don't mean that in a derogative way, more by that alot goes that you're simply not aware of from an ADSK point of view. Which again, I know probably sounds insulting, but I don't mean it to be.

I don't really see the point in debating what ADSK should/could of done, or should/could do. The AREA is what it is and whilst its easy to simply point the finger and say its crap and always has been, our data metrics would appear to suggest otherwise. It's not that the site is no good, or that no one goes there, but more the user experience. And that (as I have said many times) has been down to legacy.
The AREA was created some time ago now, before social media (for want of a better word) and all its mechanisms were anything like they are now. And it's probable, that ADSK (like many others) didn't even have any kind of deep social media policy at that time. And whilst the AREA was plodding along, everything around was moving alot faster. You could also say the same for other sites mentioned on this thread - xsibase, xsifiles, edharris, etc. Highend3d is another example, at one point probably one of the main 'goto' sites, but now??

In recent years though, that has changed and ADSK (like many other big corps) have spend alot of time and effort improving their overall online presense. As for other ADSK products not having communities, that's simply not true, perhaps in the past but not now. Rather then being product focused, there are industry focused communities for Manufacturing, Infrastructure, AEC, and Industrial Design, with various websites, facebook/twitter and blogs all coming off that. I haven't counted but we must have over 100 separate blogs now.

The AREA kinda paved the way for the other ADSK sites, but in many ways they've kinda overtaken it now and are actually better in some areas. However I still think the AREA is big asset and I'm not being "emotionally and permanently married to the Area and deaf to everyone and everything else is beyond reason and logic and what's best not only for the users but the company too". I still think the AREA plays an important part for us and it frustrates me as much as anyone for the need of improvements, but I'm prepared to cut the guys some slack as I know that they are trying hard to address things.

As for "Externalizing", that's a very good point and I can see how that would/could actually work, however companies such as ADSK like to control over their sites, and not have them 'offsite' as it gives them more visibility on the types of data metrics they want and need to capture, whilst allowing them to perhaps incorporate things into their own infrastructure.
Besides, a form of 'externalizing' was tried in the past and it didn't work so well and was probably more trouble than it was worth.

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