Reading the thread about the new DS beta…

…with one of the DAZ guys explaining that moving content around physically was an unfortunate leftover from the Poser days yadda yadda yadda.

I’m so tempted to post a lengthy diatribe that it physically hurts.

But there’s no point. Non-rich customers do not exist in the DAZ world.

So it will wind up here.

I never moved any frontend library files physically back in the “Poser leftover” days of DS2/DS3. I hardly ever opened a runtime unless I was doing ‘developer’ stuff. I used categories exclusively and loved it.

But then DS4 came around with the “folders” view being hardwired above the “categories”, with no way to change it. And there were other quirks to the DS idea of a Valentina DB, so that I had to routinely reset it for some reason or other… the Poser content was still being categorized in DS3, with that DB religiously backed up regularly and reimported into DS4 every time something went wrong. And DS4-specific categorization couldn’t be backed up… and I just gave up trying to.

Besides, I needed to justify the stupid eyesore of the “folders” view. I.e. I had to start using it.

So my DS4 content is installed in a separate folder and moved around physically – because, say, some wonderfully creative vendors out there put furniture into a folder called ‘architecture’ and all that is stuck into a folder named ‘environment’, to boot.

My mind has its own ideas of categorizing stuff; suggestions of other people simply don’t work (and I’m sure anyone else would get lost in my DB or DS4 folder). So all those ‘smart content’ things are simply disabled on my installation. Along with a lot of other plugins I don’t use – now, can Poser have its modules disabled to save system resources?

If the ‘folder’ view had not been made into a fixed eyesore, the DAZ guy would’ve had all the grounds for saying what he said. But…


18 thoughts on “Reading the thread about the new DS beta…

  1. I remember turning something off in the preferences menu, but that’s it. I download manually and install every time I buy something, and my buying is pretty light these days, so it’s never much of an issue for me to unzip into a temp folder move everything around, back up the files, and then install them.

    I’ve been doing it this way so long that I don’t have much motivation to change.

    The only drawback is not knowing when files are updated, because DAZ doesn’t bother to show this information in the Product Library. A lot of older stuff apparently is being updated for Iray compatibility, so there is that persuasive point for DIM, at least…

    1. It may be updated, but I wouldn’t trust those updates, to be honest. Non-Poser material presets have never been a strong point of DAZ or any vendor.
      Besides – given that DIM will install everything wherever the vendor wants and not you, it may take a long time to sort those updates where they belong.
      So I’d say it’s much less hassle to make your own Iray presets when you need them.

        1. The DIM like CMS is metadata driven…so it installs where the metadata tells it to. Unfortunately, it is using 3 or 4 ‘versions’ of the official locations…which have changed over the past 4 yrs. Not counting any metadata derived from DS3 install locations. So the vendors don’t actually have to do anything to end up with items going everywhere. My understanding of how they package the zips is that it is a scripted packing process, sort of like how an installer is made, but stops short of creating a self-extracting package…I’ve been told a couple of times, that it isn’t done manually but automatically, so I’m assuming it’s this way. For all I know, they could be using the BitRock software to create the zips.

          But buried in the long threads, I think it was Daz_Rawb, there is hope…they now have a single ‘beefy’ computer they call the Librarian. It’s only job is to deal with metadata. It’s currently fixing all the existing metadata and making it conform to the latest ‘official’ standard. Then it will be tasked to create metadata for everything else.

          This is all going to benefit the new Connect feature, first, but should eventually filter down to the DIM content.

          Another interesting thing that’s coming to light…the tools for creating/editing metadata are being expanded. Evidently they’ve had capabilities that have not been documented, like creating categories from entire folders…so if you have a bunch of user facing files you’ve reorganized, just right clicking on the top level folder would allow the creation of a new category. Then this can be added to the Smart Content…and exported as user metadata.

          The thing that really gets me…and ‘management’ won’t own up to…yes, a large part of the mess is because of trying to maintain Poser compatibility, but an equally, if not larger part, is due to the lack of coherent, comprehensive, current documentation. And another part is the semi-regular changes in the ‘official’ structure without repacking all the content that was made before that change into that new format. Not enforcing uniform file naming is the fourth source of the mess. A fifth source is not removing the ability to save files with absolute paths…it’s actually pretty hard to code, but doable…or even better, have the save dialog come up with a ‘absolute/relative’ path checkbox, with relative being the default option.

          1. Mike, in all honesty, someone would have to come up first with the “architecture” folder as a viable destination to which items of _furniture_ get unzipped by default. Be it a vendor or a DAZ developer, the train of thought is kinda… incompatible with my li’l private understanding of things =D

            I like the idea of one-click super-categories from nested folders.

            And, if there were any meaningful documentation on what the heck “smart content” is and how exactly it could help me, I might even re-enable it one day.

            Absolute paths are bad. I would rather be forced by Studio to keep every test texture and obj file of mine in a runtime-like structure than deal with the inevitable (if more rare these days) absolute path cropping up in others’ products (I think it happened to some paid-for stuff even).

          2. Thanks for that detailed explanation; it makes the database clearer to me.

            If I could just use it for DS4 content, I might be willing to give it a try. I don’t have that much DS4 content at the moment. But I have no interest in using it for all my older content.

  2. Since I’ve never used DIM or the Smart Content feature in DAZ, I don’t have a clear understanding of categorizing content and why it’s supposedly useful.

    A huge amount of my older content is in the Poser directory simply because I’m too lazy to hop back and forth between Content and Runtime. I even moved .daz files there, once DS3 was able to read those files as long as there was a dummy pz2 file with it.

    I hate subfolders, too, so I get rid of as many of them as I can. If an outfit comes with props, extra material files, and poses — like some of Orion1167’s outfits — they all got dumped into the same folder as the cr2 outfit.

    It means I rename a lot of files, but the extra work was worth it to me. I rarely have to hunt for anything because it’s right there.

    Free props still trip me up from time to time, but that’s mostly because I forget how I categorized them, i.e., did I put it in the folder for household furniture and decoration? Or the folder for tech stuff like phones and and toasters?

    Ha! The trials and tribulations of just having too damn much stuff…

    1. DIM is just a downloader app that keeps track of versions for you. Other than that, it downloads the same zip files. It is fairly convenient, but if you move stuff physically after installation, you need to remember to repeat it after you use DIM to update it (because it just unzips the file with the default paths).
      Smart Content is supposed to ‘help’ the user – say, you have a figure selected in the scene and it shows you clothing that is meta-data’ed to match the figure… but why would anyone want it, I have no idea. If you don’t use it either, I suggest you disable it in the DS plugin manager (I think it’s called ‘about installed plugins’ and is found in the ‘help’ menu).

      Manual categorizing had been there since the DS2 days, and it took a lot of hassle out of managing the idiocy that a Poser runtime is – basically you can dump all the mats into the outfit folder, but without moving the files physically (so if the product is updated, nothing is affected); the database is what stores your preference (and you can also put stuff into several categories – like, if an outfit comes with earrings, in your categories DB they can be in the outfit folder and in a folder like ‘accessories’->’ears’ at the same time, without duplication of the actual file).

      1. But don’t disable the CMS/Postgre server…categories need that now, they use the same database, these days.

        Some of the good stuff that’s actually been clarified in those long threads:

        Major updates to the content management…much easier to edit/create ‘Smart Content’ now.
        Overhaul to Script Editor within Studio.

        There’s more but the chocolate cake and wine are taking their toll (daughter’s birthday…the cake I made is sin on a plate…dense chocolate cake, layer of ganache, layer of chocolate mousse, layer of cake, topped with more ganache and whipped cream).

        1. Yup, the CMS should be running.
          I should check out the script IDE changes. I keep hoping it turns into a VisualStudio LOL
          And have fun with the cake =) Hope your daughter liked it =)

              1. Ahh….but my dream is really a nightmare…

                They publish the 4.8/4.9 full documentation on a Monday at 11:59 PM, local Utah time…and release 5.0 Tuesday.

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