[PD-dev] External Manager - Load my Externals

Frank Barknecht fbar at footils.org
Sun Jun 1 10:49:40 CEST 2003

bbogart at ryerson.ca hat gesagt: // bbogart at ryerson.ca wrote:

> I entirely disagree,
> I'm failing to see a strong counter argument to having it a separate
> program. perhaps I'm missing a point, I really want the software to
> be as clean to the user as possible, restarting PD to change
> settings is simply a pain. 

My main point is, that users of graphical software simply *expect* a
menu entry "Preferences" or "Options". I agree, that currently Pd
doesn't provide all the hooks that make such an entry comfortable so
there's work to do inside Pd. 

But maybe we're talking about different things. An external LME can
only set things up for Pd startup. So in the end it is just a simplyfied
text editor, not a launcher in the first place - like most developers'
editors also are launchers and can for example start "make", but in
general they are editors.

What I'd envision is a real preferences system that in the end can
also change things at runtime and where only some changes require a
restart. Like for example in Mozilla: setting another proxy doesn't
require a restart, but changing the GUI-theme does. And yes,
restarting Mozilla is a pain.

For some of the Pd options I could think of internal solutions.

> * Turn on and off flags
> * Add flag options

As these are mostly *startup* flags, several of the options actually
don't make sense inside Pd, for example "-nogui". These would only be
useful in an external config- or script-file editor. But others would
make sense at runtime. Setting the path for example should be possible
at runtime by calling "sys_addpath(new_path)" without requiring a

> * Add Lib(s)

Also possible at runtime, just like creating an object named as the
lib loads the lib.

> * Remove Lib(s)

Don't know if this could work at runtime...

> * Configure (edit conf file) [ where is PD, where to scan for libs, etc.. ]
> * Load Config Set [ Config sets will be executable without the manager! sh scripts in Linux,
> .commands in OSX, and shortcuts in Windows ]
> * Save Config Set

Loading and saving configs really should be made possible from inside
Pd, I strongly believe. For different configs ("-nogui") I'm not sure,
but e.g. nogui is an advanced option, that IMO can be left a command
line option.

> * Launch PD with Open Set

Of course launching Pd from inside Pd isn't feasible. This would be a
case for another config option: the already mentioned "-loadconfig
(-rc) <conffile>" But Pd could be changed to startup like Mozilla
(again) and present a list of profiles, from which to choose. I don't
know if that would be so useful, because I believe, that different
config sets are actually more useful for "advanced" users, who might
not fear editing config files directly. I think, the "normal" user
most of the time uses a highly personalized, but seldom changing

> * Quit
We have that ;)

Please don't misunderstand me: I'm not at all against the idea of an
external config editor like your proposed LME. I just hope, that in
the end most of this can be incorporated into Pd itself, the way most
other software handles it. But changing Pd is more difficult.

 Frank Barknecht                               _ ______footils.org__

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