[PD] help files

Daniel Heckenberg daniel at bogusfront.org
Tue Jul 23 08:39:10 CEST 2002

Firstly: 'tis grand that there's lots of work going into doco for PD.

There was a post on the jmax list recently that got me thinking.  It was
requesting automatic instantiation of parameter ui objects for an object -
to short cut the process of plonking a new object in, checking the doco for
its inputs, hacking together a quick rat's nest of its possible inputs and
then continuing.  I find myself doing this quite often, particularly when
getting to know how an object works... and testing its operating ranges.
It's only really an issue for objects that have/require lots of paramters...
but there seem to be quite a few of those. Anyway, the problem reminded me
of some help patches I've seen for nato (in max)....

Many pd doco (help files) present little sections of useful connections to
illustrate the working of the relevant object.  But why not have the object
with all (or almost all) of its useful inputs connected to relevant controls
in the help file, along with inlets and outlets to the help patch?  Then
instead of plonking a new object into your patch, you can insert the help
file abstraction into your graph and then open it to manipulate the
controls?  Someone did some help files for nato which work this way.  Very

As Dave is doing such a thorough job of documenting objects I thought I'd
throw in this idea as a suggestion for discussion.

I'm working on a release of some GEM externals and I think I'll try to
follow this approach with those.

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