[PD-dev] stripping down Pd-extended's default libs

Roman Haefeli reduzierer at yahoo.de
Thu Feb 19 01:33:12 CET 2009

On Tue, 2009-02-17 at 23:30 +0100, marius schebella wrote:
> Roman Haefeli wrote:
> > On Tue, 2009-02-17 at 11:24 +0100, marius schebella wrote:
> >> hey hans,
> >>
> >> if it's called "extended" and you strip it down to the bare bones,
> >> then where's the extended part?
> > 
> > i think, noone wanted to strip down anything. this is only about not
> > loading the whole bunch of libs automatically anymore. how does that
> > make pd-extended less 'extended'?
> first, I think there is a difference between a "user" user (who 
> downloads a patch) and a "patching" user.

i think you cannot design a language based on the distinction between
several kinds of user groups. the overall goal should be consistency and
i think, what is consistent is the most easy to learn, for_ anyone_.
consistency makes it easy for the programmers to program patches and at
the same time 'patch musicians' can rely on those patches to work
 what consistency means in pd world does not seem to be so clear yet,
though, but that is why all this talk is necessary.

> I always saw pd-extended as a consensual (ok, proposed actually by only 
> one person) agreement on a set of object classes that are available in 
> addition to pd vanilla. It was a way to make sure that if a "patcher" 
> programs a patch for pd-extended that every other pd-extended "user" 
> will have the same setup and thus be able to open the patch without errors.
> if you leave the loading of external(librarie)s to the user user, that 
> means, if you allow/force the user to create his/her own order of 
> startup libs, you cannot count on this behaviour anymore.

right. however, in the ideal pd world (it's not there yet, but i guess
it is going there) the loading order wouldn't matter, because everything
would be loaded only canvas-locally. 

> >> eventually, I think users should not have to bother with namespaces at
> >> all. I still consider namespace declarations in a visual dataflow
> >> programming tool to be a hack.
> > 
> > can you elaborate that a bit?  to me it looks perfectly normal, that i
> > have to at least call the tools, that i am going to use. 
> ok.
> this is a problem of software architecture. where to draw the border 
> between what is "given" and what is open. to me object classes should be 
> part of the given world, because one, it makes coding, teaching, 
> deploying easier, if all patchers were using the same set of tools and 
> two, if you create your own screws, then you also have to ship the screw 
> drivers (not only declare them).
> I know the pd concept is, not to insist on a predefined set of object 
> classes, which of course makes pd more extendible, but with this huge 
> overhead of having to hassle with declarations, namespaces, which are ok 
> for written programming languages, but maybe not for a building block 
> programming tool like pd.
> especially if - like in the case of the pd externals - the libraries are 
> arbitrary. (like any categorization system). they are not sorted by 
> topics but rather by coders. just think, a new pd patcher has to learn 
> that an object was programmed by IOhannes, and therefor it is in the 
> zexy library. another one was programmed by someone at the IEM, 
> therefore it is part of the iemlib. furthermore the name of the 
> libraries can change, the same code can become part of two different 
> libraries and some objects do not even belong to a library.
> if you are consequent in providing your tools, it means that you have to 
> ship the particular pd externals together with your patch everytime you 
> want to share a patch. because then referring to zexy is not enough 
> either, someone else could create a concurring external library also 
> called zexy. then what...
> plus, not agreeing on the toolset (set of object names) will always 
> cause your own abstractions to be potentially overwritten by 
> internal/external object classes, which get loaded instead.
> plus, with some objects it is necessary to load them in advance, for 
> example all objects with abbreviations, or some objects that enable 
> special features (like the loader for luascripts).
> pd is *not* like c, c++, java, these languages create applications, but 
> the way I would like to see pd is, that pd programmers don't create 
> standalone pd versions, but only pd patches.
> plus, don't expect (pd-x) patchers ever to declare all objectclasses 
> that they're using.
> I hate to say this, but standards and specifications can really make 
> life easier. the habit to leave many things opens allows people to addon 
> a lot of crazy stuff, but it is counterproductive from the viewpoint of 
> patch sharing.

yo.. i think, you made your point very clear. and generally, i agree
very much with you. honestly, i would be very fine with everyone only
using pd-extended with the exact same path settings and library order.
if that would be, what everyone would agree on, i could perfectly live
without namespaces and without the need to declare classes. however,
people on this list seem to agree, that it is by design not the best way
to assume, what is best for the user, but let the users decide
themselves. it seems unlikely that everyone is going to switch to
pd-extended soon and quite some people only install what they think they
need. so after all, declaring classes seems the only way to handle those
cases and there seems to be a consensus about it. i even think, that
besides all conceptional reasons, the fact, that there seems to be a
consensus in the pd community is actually the strong point. i guess, it
is one of the few things, that so many people agree on. 


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