[PD] Hello!

Josh Steiner joschi at eds.org
Sun May 6 23:49:40 CEST 2001

Hello everyone, 

I've been using PD a little bit for a couple months now and wanted to
introduce myself.  I write many different flavours of music, from
Drum'n'bass, to "IDM" to house music.  I've used mostly sequencers like
Cakewalk, logic and fruity loops and now am starting to learn to use PD.  
My buddy showed me what he could do on his mac laptop with MAX, Reaktor
and supercollider and i got so jealous :)

I am also a programmer and I would really like to start contributing
heavily to the development of PD, mostly in helping to bring its GUI up to
par with Reaktor and Max.  Currently I'm doing some work on the GUI of
terminatorx.cx, which is a really cool project too.  I've looked a little
bit at jMax, and was trying to decide weather or not i should put my
efforts there or PD, but I pretty much decided that PD was the better
choice as it currently runs on multiple platforms, something that i find
very important.  

What I'd like to do right now is outline some of my thoughts on PD and my
plans on helping out with the hopes that some of you will give me some
reaction.  I'd like to know mostly if I am stepping on anyones toes or
duplicating effort.  

First off, I have to say that PD is wonderful and so much fun to
use.  It's really opened up my eyes to tons of new possibilties.

Now how does PD differ from its cousines (Max, jMax, Reaktor...)?  My
broad impression is that it has just as much potential, and with a little
love it will easily meet that potential.  In my opinion it needs some love
in its UI and it's "packaging" mostly.  There are some great sub projects
going on that I've looked into a little bit, like IEMLib, GGEE, and PD-Lib
that I think are the most crucial right now to make PD more friendly to
new users wanting to migrate from the commercial cousines.  

I think that probably one of the most valuable things I could contribute
to right now is the pd-lib project, as there is a huge community of
sharing Max patches out there.  Is anyone here a participant in that
project?  I think that one valuable contribution to that by someone who is
not a coder and who has access to Max/MSP is for them to spec the
unimplemented Max externals functionality to make it easier for people
like me (ie, with no mac) to add them to PD-Lib.  Is there something like
this going on already?

The next thing that I think needs done is an updated GUI.  Silly as it is
to me, the fact is that lots and lots of musicians get instantly turned
off by the "old-skool" nature of PD's gui.  It's kind of sad, but many
people can't get beyond that to see that, though a little uglier, PD is
easily functionally competitive, and that is the real important fact.  I
heard a little bit about a project to make a new GTK+ gui, but it seems to
me that it is a dead project.  I could not find the authors email address
to ask him about it.  I persoanally think that this is a great idea, as
the GTK toolkit is a very user friendly, slick and actively
developed.  It's also rapidly getting to be quite cross-platform.  The
next version 2.0 will come with automatic win32 and unix support.  That is
in good fitting with the rest of the PD core.  Other alternative as
wxWindows and VDK which both adopt the native widgets of the platform they
run on, which makes it feel very natural for the user, which might give
them an edge over raw gtk.  AbiWord uses wxWindows, which leads me to
think that it is a good choice as AbiWord runs very well on linux as well
as windows.


Please give me some feedback, I'd really like to devote a lot of my time
into advancing PD and would like to figure out how to best spend my time.  



PS.  If any of you are intersted in my music, I always loev feedback
:)  MY two projects right now are:


Josh "Yoshi" Steiner - josh at xiphoidprocess.com - http://eds.org/~joschi 

Xiphoid Process Records - http://xiphoidprocess.com
San Francisco based electronic music.

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