Hello World of Dynamo!
Today marks the release of Dynamo Core 2.1 and a changing of the landscape around how Core is both delivered and used.
Library search improvements (accuracy and speed), IronPython install changes and Dictionary interoperability, package node migration for Dynamo 2.0+ graphs, bug fix to library UI start-up crash and Dynamo for Revit installations are more tightly integrated and will no longer interfere with previous installations.
Advanced Steel 2020 – Advanced Steel contains Dynamo version 2.1
Alias 2019 – Alias contains Dynamo version 2.0 and will integrate version 2.1 in a future release
Civil3d 2020 – Download Dynamo 2.1 from your desktop app after you install Civil3D 2020
FormIt 17.1 – Dynamo 2.1 is bundled with FormIt
Revit 2020 – Dynamo 2.1 ships with Revit 2020 in a unified experience that is now integrated as a feature
Sandbox 2.1 – Standalone Dynamo Core environment is available to download
What’s new with Dynamo 2.1?
- Improved the Search feature for faster, more accurate results – Library search performance has been improved, leading to faster search and more accurate keyword matching (You asked – we listened!).
- Updated IronPython to version 2.7.8 and the install location now sits inside the DynamoCore folder instead of being a system-wide install. This will keep Dynamo’s version of Python from interfering with other tools on your system that also rely on IronPython.
- Improved interoperability between Dynamo dictionaries and Python dictionaries. You can now pass Dynamo dictionaries into Python and return them back out without any additional effort (Less work to do!)
- Updated the Dynamo CLI (Command Line Interface) to make it more useful for automating Dynamo runs (Allows you to run graphs in the background without the UI!).
- Added package node migration for Dynamo JSON 2.0+ graphs (Hurrah – Less overhead for package authors!)
- Fixed a crash in the new library UI that could crash Dynamo and Revit on start-up (Oops – sorry for this one. More stable Dynamo!).
- Fixed a range of bugs focused upon reliability, stability and performance enhancements and collated Dynamo 2.1 Known Issues.
Dynamo 2.1 is a significant release for our team as we have decoupled the Dynamo Core installer from Dynamo for Revit. This means that Revit will release new versions with Dynamo installed as a standard component without a separate installer and without affecting previous Revit installations. This decision has been made to bring more predictability and stability to the Dynamo for Revit experience as well as allowing Dynamo to more seamlessly exist in other host applications such as Alias and Civil3D.
Finally, the Search Experience has been dramatically improved! Search has been optimized and is now more accurate, faster at returning results and should now bring the most relevant nodes to the top of the search results. This should mean a decrease in the time spent browsing for the correct node for all users of Dynamo – from Beginner to Dynalegend!
Today the landscape of installed Dynamo Core versions, Dynamo Revit versions and Revit versions is confusing and hard to maintain for users while it’s also difficult for us to add new functionality and support all the various Dynamo/Host versions at the same time. Often, bespoke host application requirements are simply not compatible, and that means that some users are stuck on old versions of Dynamo or can’t use it at all. We want to change that!
We want to simplify the relationship between Dynamo and Revit: Applications like Revit will start to more tightly integrate and test specific builds of Dynamo as a feature instead of a plugin. As Dynamo is now a feature of Revit, you will not be able to remove, uninstall or downgrade your Dynamo version but will also no longer have to support multiple versions of Dynamo with each install of Revit nor update Dynamo versions in Revit.
This also means that the Dynamo team will no longer deliver installers for Dynamo Revit and Revit will instead start shipping newer versions of Dynamo on a regular basis. This means you will get an updated Dynamo version when Revit releases a new version meaning more stability and performance with less overhead requirements. Hurrah!
This means we will also no longer support multiple versions of Dynamo inside a single version of Revit. Users will have “Dynamo” running in Revit and we can eliminate the confusion of “what 2 versions of Dynamo are you running with what 3 versions of Revit” In an Impossible 6 block matrix.
This new approach has a lot of benefits:
- Dynamo and Revit will update together. Installing or updating Revit in one version will no longer affect Dynamo in another Revit version.
- Dynamo Core will be isolated from other applications on your machine, so Revit and other Autodesk products can easily have different Dynamo versions that work for that product.
- These versions of Dynamo are highly tested with Revit and Dynamo Player. Because the team is generating more frequent Core releases, Revit will update its Dynamo version more frequently. You’ll get a more stable Dynamo in Revit, out of the box, and more frequently!
What is the state of Dynamo Core?
Dynamo 2.1 release establishes a more clean separation of Dynamo Core technology (basic library, search, node ui, DesignScript, etc.) from host integrations and delivery (e.g., Revit libraries and Installers).
The second big change we’re making is to increase the frequency of Dynamo stable releases. They will be smaller and more frequent with less breaking changes and a recommitment to keeping our APIs and files compatible between releases. This allows Dynamo to integrate into more tools and make multi-application workflows possible. In other words, you will see Dynamo 2.2 and subsequent releases coming more frequently.
In the near Future
With the caveat that our current expectations are based on what we know today, here are the strategic investments and divestments we are working on. Of course these plans are not intended to be a promise or guarantee of future delivery of products, services or features and purchasing decisions should not be made based upon these statements..
- Improving/Modernizing our ability to deliver Dynamo. We want to deliver new Dynamo Core faster. To do this, we need to invest in our technical processes so that we can get new Dynamo builds out in a diligent manner and at speed. This will enable us to provide Dynamo to new hosts and will also help us integrate new work from the community into Dynamo Core.
- Increasing our ability to automatically test Dynamo. In order to deliver a stable, reliable and fast Dynamo we need to test all of our new features. To do this at speed we need to automate these tests and, while many exist, there are still large areas where more automated testing will help us deliver a more robust Dynamo.
- Building a new system to measure performance. It’s important to us to provide a stable platform for you to build and share tools and workflows. Improving the ability to measure performance will allow us to make Dynamo faster and more stable. This will benefit not only workflows, but the entire platform and existing packages. This performance tool also allows us to target the most impactful changes and spend our time developing strategically.
On the Horizon
Other teams within Autodesk are now looking at how they could use Dynamo Core inside their own host applications. The Dynamo team’s commitment and focus is to build a a better, faster, more stable compute application, and to make Dynamo compute integrations easier and more maintainably integrated into other applications.
In order to keep a semblance of propriety to this blog post we’ve skipped a few things! For more information on other minor features, bug fixes, and known issues in Dynamo 2.1, go check out our release notes.
A big shout-out to everyone who contributed to the release and the entire Dynamo community for continuing to support our work. As always, please let us know if you have any feedback or suggestions.
So please download the new Sandbox or Revit 2020, have a play and let us know what you think!
The Dynamo Team