The State of NodeBox - May 2016

john's Avatar


17 May, 2016 08:14 AM

Frederick, et. al.,

Could you give us a quick update on the current state of NodeBox? In particular, these two questions:

When will we get the next NodeBox 3 update? You've made a number of bug-fixes which have not yet been released.

Is NodeBox Live still alive? Every time I visit I see no change.

Hope your PhD is going well.



  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by lucasnijs on 17 May, 2016 03:39 PM

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    Hello John,

    Frederik has been very busy on finishing his PhD, and it is going very well! The public defense will happen on June 15th. NodeBox Live is very well too, very live and soon kicking, you will see more of it...uhm soon ;-)
    Thanks for your patience and for your active presence on the forum, it has been helpful for Frederik too.

  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by Frederik De Ble... on 19 May, 2016 07:10 AM

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    Hi John,

    • I will release a NodeBox 3 update this week. The problem is the Windows release, which requires a whole setup that occasionally gets wiped out (because I use a VM, not a real Windows box).
    • NodeBox Live is doing very well and I plan to open it up before June 15. The nodocs site is no longer updated, though.

    Overall I think we can we do a much better job at communicating our status, ideas and progress to the community. It's one of the things I will commit to once the PhD is finished.

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Frederik De Ble... on 31 May, 2016 09:29 AM

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    We've just released NodeBox 3.0.45 that includes the most recent bug-fixes.

  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by john on 31 May, 2016 10:08 AM

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    This is great news, Frederik.

    My bug testing network passed with flying colors. But when I opened one of my larger networks I got an error; it worked fine before. The network is very complex so I am still trying to track down the root cause.

    Do you have a list of what improvements you made and what nodes may have new behaviors under 3.45?

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by Frederik De Ble... on 31 May, 2016 10:19 AM

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    Yeah, those are in the release notes.

    And of course you can look at the Git commits to get a down-to-the-source level view of what has changed.

    Could you post the error (maybe in another thread?)

  6. Support Staff 6 Posted by john on 31 May, 2016 10:47 AM

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    I will post the error in a separate thread as soon as I can isolate and replicate it.

    My network has many hundreds of nodes, possibly over a hundred subnetworks, going up to seven levels deep. The error was a division by zero error in a "Divide1" node. I have scores of such nodes with identical names. I eventually found the culprit, buried six levels deep. Nothing wrong at that level. But the data coming into that subnetwork under 3.45 is different than the data coming in under 3.44. So now I have to work my way back up, comparing all the lists coming in and out of each node under both versions, till I can find the root cause.

    Aside: if you are thinking I am crazy for making such a complex network, you may be right. But it's a beautiful hi-res dashboard display (showing changes in an org chart over time and other related information) that has worked reliably for months now. Situations like this, however, do expose some of the limitations of a visual programming language. I've been meaning to start a thread on that topic.

    It's nearly 4 AM here and I have to go to work in the morning, so I may not be able to get back to you for another day. But I'll report in as soon as I can isolate the issue.

    I am very excited to finally have the nasty intermittent bug swatted, so thanks again for releasing this new version. I'm sure we'll get this new wrinkle straightened out soon.

  7. Support Staff 7 Posted by john on 31 May, 2016 11:35 AM

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    OK, I didn't go straight to bed. Instead I poked around in some other networks and soon found what I suspect is the problem.

    The problem in another one of my networks was the substring node. In v44 the index begins with 1. in v45 the index begins with 0. I use the substring node in one of my common subnetworks, which in turn affects strings used as IDs in filtering many other lists. As a result, chaos reigns and many errors occur, but they only appear far downstream of the substring node.

    I remember you asked me specifically about making this change, and I gallantly replied that I would bear the consequences in the name of zero-index purity. Tomorrow I will verify that the problem above is due to this change. If it not, and there is some other issue, I will start a new error thread. Otherwise, I think this is a feature, not a bug.

    I urge you to clarify your release notes, however. Currently all you say is "improve the string nodes". Pretty vague. It would be a big help if you would say something like "the substring node index now begins at 0 instead of 1 - any networks using this node will need to be updated." What other string nodes did you improve?

    I'm off to bed. Thanks!


  8. Support Staff 8 Posted by Frederik De Ble... on 31 May, 2016 01:20 PM

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    It would make sense if it is related to the substring node, since that's been changed.

    We'll make the update nodes a bit more clear, especially with potentially breaking changes.

  9. 9 Posted by rioch on 31 May, 2016 02:17 PM

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    thanks a lot for taking the time to make the update

    problem is it does not seem to run here -Win7 64-
    it fails to find jvm.dll, then to locate JNI_CreateJavaVM and to launch JVM

    EDIT: uninstalled and deleted folder, reinstalled and it works fine now

  10. Support Staff 10 Posted by john on 31 May, 2016 10:53 PM

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    Hi Frederik,

    Just confirming: the change to substring was indeed the cause of the errors I was experiencing. It turned out that I had 15 occurrences of substring buried at different places in my network. Fortunately, I was able to fix *all* of them with one click by opening the network in a text editor and doing a global search and replace.

    I did encounter one other problem (not an error, but an appearance change). This one was related to the change you made in the stack node. It was easily fixed.

    While fixing the substring problem I did a quick survey of my giant network. Here are the stats I came up with:

    Total Nodes: 1647
    Total Links: 2145
    Total Subnetworks: 129
    Total Lines in Text file: 6513
    Maximum Depth: 7 levels (including main)

    Do I win the prize for biggest network?


  11. Support Staff 11 Posted by Frederik De Ble... on 01 Jun, 2016 09:31 AM

    Frederik De Bleser's Avatar

    @john that is a huge network — I think you win!

    @rioch that's weird. Did you install it over an older version of NodeBox?

  12. 12 Posted by rioch on 01 Jun, 2016 01:37 PM

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    yes, installed it over previous version, but that was never a problem before... the same happened on a Win8 system, uninstalling first seems to do the trick
    btw I use the text editor like john says to move nodes between files: is there any other way, could it be possible to share clipboard between instances of the software..?

  13. Support Staff 13 Posted by Frederik De Ble... on 01 Jun, 2016 03:01 PM

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    @rioch for the clipboards, if you use File > Open (instead of double-clicking a file) NodeBox would normally create two documents in one app instead of two apps with each one document, and you should be able to copy/paste between those.

    This is a distinction between Windows / Mac that we haven't resolved yet. We could probably add something to the global clipboard in Windows in a text-only or JSON format...

  14. 14 Posted by rioch on 01 Jun, 2016 03:12 PM

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    thanks for the tip, very useful

    about the errors, simply uninstalling seemed to work in other system
    it even run fine on a third one but kept both versions installed -were different paths-
    got no more details as it was just a quick test

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