[PD] a general discussion about which software to learn: pd, max, both... or else?

Frank Barknecht fbar at footils.org
Tue Oct 16 03:10:03 CEST 2007

Mathieu Bouchard hat gesagt: // Mathieu Bouchard wrote:

> On Mon, 15 Oct 2007, Frank Barknecht wrote:
> >I believe, the choice between a 1-dimensional language like SC and a 
> >2-dimensional one like Pd is a state of mind thing. I do my fair share 
> >of 1-dim programming,
> Non-graphical languages are still 2-dimensional as they are written, 
> because people use lines (rows) as logical units of code. The compiler 
> makes a largely 1-dimensional interpretation of it, but this is not how 
> people write and read code. Similarly, Pd almost completely ignores the 
> actual position of the objects (except [inlet] and [outlet]) when 
> interpreting a patch.

In usual text based languages like C, Lisp, Forth, Python, Java, ...
the second dimension is largely irrelevant, because every identifier
only is concerned with what's left or right of it, not what's on top
or below. Line breaks or indentation have some meaning in some of
these languages, but I wouldn't really take this as a new dimension.
It's maybe 1.25-dimensional. ;) 

Even traditional math notation has more dimentions than these
languages, if you think of the symbols for sums or integrals. In
Max/Pd this is the rule, e.g. objects have arguments (left/right) and
in/outlets (top/bottom). A very interesting document in this regard is
Bert Sutherland's thesis "The On-line Graphical Specification of
Computer Procedures" from 1966(!): http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/13474

 Frank Barknecht                                     _ ______footils.org__

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