-path vs. -open

Richard Dobson rwd at cableinet.co.uk
Mon Nov 15 22:12:03 CET 1999

I am fully sympathetic towards the cross-platform compatibility, and not
asking for anything to be put into the main sources which would threaten
that. However, some small refinements to the current system would I
think benefit all platforms. The .pdrc is an entirely acceptable
solution - though it will serve the cross-platform paradigm if accesses
to it are abstracted, as I suggested in an earler post, so that people
like me can implement Windows-specific patches (rather as happens in
Csound) without breaking the underlying code. My goal is as
user-friendly a Windows version as possible, so that composers who never
want even to see a compiler, much less use one, can use PD with as much
ease as possible. 

My only real ~problem~ was having to have dlls in the working directory
- this is not a Windows issue but a generic issue for all platforms.

Under Windows, basic code to access the .ini file to read/write user
settings is virtually identical to the Registry mode. I am not
proposing, or planning, the sort of intense Registry usage that leads to
the problems you describe. We still use the .ini file mechanism in
Windows Csound, as it happens, for compatibility with Windows 3.1. It is
not really a multi-user solution though. 

Richard Dobson

Karl MacMillan wrote:
> > Having to enter command-line arguments within the Windows file
> > association mechanism is not the idiomatic way of doing things anyway;
> > every time you want to load different libraries you have to rewrite the
> > command-line for the association. An environment variable or registry
> > entry for a 'LIB' directory would be much more flexible, as I have
> > suggested previously.
> >
> As PD is cross platform I would really hate to see any platform specific
> attributes added.  This would take away what I think is a strong point.
> In particular I think that any use of the registry should be avoided.
> As part of my job I help support several hundred windows desktop systems
> and I can't tell you how many problems are caused by this windows
> 'feature'.  It works so poorly many large software companies refuse to
> code for it.  I agree with Richard that environment variables are not an
> elegant solution under windows - I am not even a fan of application
> specific enviroment variables under unix.  Plain text file .pdrc (unix)
> or pd.ini (windows) seem like the best choice to me.  Many of us really
> dislike the windows way of doing things - probably as much as many
> people dislike the unix way of doing things.  Any solution that steers
> clear of either direction is probably good and I think that .rc and .ini
> files are pretty neutral.  Just my two cents.
> Karl

Test your DAW with my Soundcard Attrition Page!
http://wkweb5.cableinet.co.uk/rwd (LU: 23rd August 1999)
CDP: http://www.bath.ac.uk/~masjpf/CDP/CDP.htm (LU: 14th June 1999)

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