[PD-dev] pddp style guide

B. Bogart ben at ekran.org
Wed May 4 21:24:23 CEST 2005

Hi Krzysztof,

Indeed PDDP is a great resource, and I'm exited to contribute to it.

I also agree that we should discuss PDDP before jumping in with new
content, this means having templates and working on the style-guide.

I don't see why both html and ps/pdf were chosen here, since they are
both fairly equal when it comes to formatting text on a page. PDFs can
be generated from HTML as well PDFs could be generated from PD help
patches via the "print" feature and a little ghostscript (Mathieu
mentioned making a stand-alone script that generated PS files directly
from patches.)

I can't agree that having the bulk of PD content (documentation) in the
PD patch format is a bad idea. What are the limitations/problems with
the format that makes this a bad idea? I see two:

1. The inconsistant fonts over different platforms
2. limitations in controlling the look of "comments" or text in general
in a PD patch. If comments could justified, change fonts, and change the
wrapping width it would work pretty well for documentation. Or comment
could stay as-is and a new form of [text] could be created.

As for 1, I don't know how to fix this, but it makes consistant
documentation a real pain, this needs to be resolved. Once #1 is fixed I
don't think 2. is really needed, as PDDP templates would simply conform
to the width of comment boxes. #2 is probably much more work than #1.

As I have said above I don't think there are any real significant issues
with "printing" PD patches as PS and distributing as PDF.

 From a teaching point-of-view an interactive patch will get the idea
accross much faster than an html document explaining a certain concept
in words.

Personally I think time would be better spent making PD patches work as
good documentation (the patcher is just a vector layout anyway), than
embedding html/pdf reading facilities into PD. The benifits (to a person
learning PD) of a patch as documentation outweigh the benifits of having
the ability to load html files along-side patches in PD.

Thats my opinion anyhow.


Krzysztof Czaja wrote:
> hi Hans-Christoph,
> firstly -- I am very grateful for yours and Dave's work.
> Secondly, imho it is better to rethink pddp now, before adding
> new contents.  The original idea was that pddp should provide
> a consistent framework for at least three kinds of media:
> patches, html, and ps/pdf.  The choice then was to either
> base it on docbook, or to design a very simple custom format.
> The latter never materialized, and certainly never will.  Hardly
> being a docbook fan myself, I do not see any alternative...
> Anyway, the worst thing that could happen, would be having all
> the reference pages, and ``more info'' propaganda embedded in Pd
> comments.  There would be no other way of putting those on
> other media, than many days of hard manual work.  The likely
> result of which would be forking of the pddp source.
> Let us use patches as patches, and comments as comments.
> A tricky part, besides tailoring docbook styles, is deciding about
> a mechanism for opening patches in Pd by invoking links in a html
> browser.  The easiest way is including a simple httpd server in
> pd-gui.  There is a ready to use 250-liner at
> http://cvs.sourceforge.net/viewcvs.py/tclhttpd/tclhttpd/bin/mini/
> Krzysztof
> Hans-Christoph Steiner wrote:
> ...
>> If anyone is interested, it'd be great if we could work together to
>> create the style guides. The way I currently see it there are two
>> kinds of patches "all_about_" which has lots of text and examples, and
>> the basic help patch, which should be a reference with a link to the
>> relevant "all_about_" pages. float-help.pd from PDDP is a decent
>> example of a reference patch.
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