POV-Ray : Newsgroups : povray.object-collection : Suggestion : Re: Suggestion Server Time
27 May 2024 08:27:54 EDT (-0400)
  Re: Suggestion  
From: Chris B
Date: 27 Mar 2008 11:56:48
Message: <47ebd1d0$1@news.povray.org>
"Jim Charter" <jrc### [at] msncom> wrote in message 
> It seems to me that the 'object' collection really wants to be a 'macro' 
> collection. This would serve a somewhat divergent purpose from an 'object' 
> collection in my mind.

Hi Jim,
I think it can develop in either direction and I'm not convinced that one 
direction is necessarily better than any other. At the moment there's a 
mixture of both, with some pure objects (e.g. the Earth and the Sun) and 
some pure macros (e.g ScaleConvert).

Many are mixed within a single submission, for example,  the road signs 
'macro' incorporates about 40 prism object definitions that can be used 
independently or with the accompanying macros (that use them as pigments). 
The Chess board has a number of object definitions along with a macro for 
positioning them using a standard chess notation. I think the freedom to 
pick and mix is good.

> Strictly an 'object' collection, it seems to me, acts like a trove of 
> antiques in a shop.  You rummage there for oddities, particular things, to 
> be used more or less as found.  In that paradigm, the idea of 'thousands' 
> of items makes sense.

That's a good analogy, but it's like if you go rummaging for a particular 
historical jelly mould and you only find a mould-making press. So it might 
take a bit more study, work and time to make the mould, and it may not be 
suitable for everyone, but it may end up being the best and quickest way to 
get to what you want.

> But right now, it seems, submissions need to occupy a sort of intersection 
> set. They must be objects, but objects built procedurally from macros, and 
> ideally using csg techniques.

There are no such constraints. Individualy crafted objects are most welcome 
and they don't need to be CSG'able. In fact they don't even need to be 
objects. There are categories for textures and media definitions and there's 
the scaleconvert macro that doesn't have or generate any objects.

> This can put a submitter wanting to create interesting objects at 
> cross-purposes.  Such an intersection set of requirements can be 
> restrictive. Modularity does not usually lend itself to particularity.

Anyone wanting to submit an object should do so. Don't feel constrained. 
It's a hobby. Do what you enjoy doing and share the bits you think may help 

As mentioned above, there are no constraints to prevent anyone submitting 
any object. The only requirement is for naming standards, intended to enable 
people to use objects in combination within their scenes. Even with this 
there's an option on the web site to submit non-standard objects if your 
variable and macro names don't conform.

I don't really see that there's necessarily conflict between modularity and 
particularity though. The staircase macros are modular, but generate 
particular, clearly recognisable forms. Furthermore, all of the components 
can be readily switched to generate an individualised and unique staircases.

> It would be better to define and recognize the true nature of the effort. 
> This would be to build macros of all kinds, including csg-object macros, 
> and which serve manifold purposes. The classic example here, would be the 
> MakeTree macro. One little macro, trees, bushes, coral, blood 
> vessels,...lots of variety. The sense of variety, and more so, the sense 
> of usefullness of the collection, lies precisely in the level of 
> usefulness, the manifold scope, of the core macros in the collection. Then 
> requirements of modularity become the strength rather than a restriction.

I think the true nature is that it's open to people to take it in whatever 
direction pleases them. I would encourage anyone with a particular interest 
to use the site to pursue that interest. I certainly have a personal leaning 
towards building flexible macros, but I would equally encourage those 
interest in creating individual objects or groups/categories of objects to 
pursue that interest.

I think that different people enjoy creating different things and that this 
ties in very well with the diverse needs of people looking to use objects. 
There could be a time when I just want a bunch of different objects to line 
up on a shelf somewhere in the background of a scene. Other times I may want 
to be able to generate a very specific and individualy tailored object such 
as a tree that will be unique to my scene.

Sometimes individually crafted, non-changeable objects (even quite simple 
ones) can take on an almost iconic status and could prove enormously 
popular. For example, I think your seal punch and ink bottles look great and 
would be very popular in any form. Any configuration options, like being 
able to depress the handle of the punch or adjust the bitmapped image would 
add the ability for people to individualise scenes that use them, but would 
be icing on the cake from my point of view.

> This would also remove a taint of hegemony.  The hegemony that an 
> 'official POV object' must be a csg object, or at the outside, something 
> procedurally produced.  I admire a useful macro.  I resent having to 
> conform to a particular method of producing objects.  And I just can't 
> shake the feeling that such a hegemony of conformity is the true thrust 
> behind the 'object' collection as it is now defined.

This term had me looking for my dictionary and I'm still not quite sure how 
to interpret the paragraph. Are you saying that you think there's some sort 
of Mafioso power struggle or control thing going on somewhere?

Constraints on what can be added into the collection are very minimalistic 
and mostly consist of simple naming conventions intended to try and avoid 
conflicts when multiple objects are used in the same scene file. Anyone can 
register and submit stuff directly into the collection and is therefore free 
to steer the collection in more or less any direction they are motivated to 
follow. Anyone can download, tailor and upload or redistribute objects.

There isn't any requirement for anyone to conform to a particular method of 
producing objects and I'd argue that this is illustrated by the diversity of 
objects and macros that are already there.

My personal thrust is to try and build up the collection so that it moves up 
the list of places people look at when they want something and so that they 
feel proud to contribute. I'm hoping there's a sort of critical mass beyond 
which this takes care of itself. I'd like to think we're getting close to 
that now because, although it's only got 32 entries quite a few of those can 
generate multiple objects. I think the more people find that they can use 
the more they'll see value in contributing.

Forward thrust imparted by others, in whatever direction, has been most 
welcome and will ultimately be what makes this collection work. I haven't 
observed any thrust that seemed in any way surreptitious.

Chris B.

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