[PD] Py extern : WOW !!

Thomas Grill t.grill at gmx.net
Sun Sep 8 00:25:20 CEST 2002

Hi Joge,
many thanks for your mail!
I'm also a bit proud of the py/pyext objects but we have yet to see if they
are stable enough for daily work. I have already made some changes that will
soon be published concerning crashes with wrong parameters and non-optimal
thread behaviour.

A few things to add:

- Objects made from Python scripts are great for experiments, sketching
functionality or really quick-and-dirty stuff for instant use. If you want
to do serious work in a real-time domain it won't save you from coding your
externals in C, though. I didn't do any tests how the garbage collection
influences the response time of the pyext objects.
- Another advertisement: Coding C++ externals with flext is not really more
complicated than the Python scripts and you have comparable possibilites
(like transparent threading).
- What concerns tcl/tk: Using the Python Tkinter interface is comfortable
but it isn't the same approach PD uses, therefore there's no synergy with
PD. I'm not sure if it's possible but i'd like to use Tkinter with the PD
tcl/tk socket approach. In that case you could steer PD GUI objects on the
normal canvas with Python scripting. The next major release of flext comes
with a GUI part.... let's see what's in it.
- Concerning dynamic object creation: there are quite a few people on the
list who did great stuff with it (take a look at the nqpoly patch!) but the
scripting interface still sucks. You need a lot of bad tricks - i hope this
is enhanced soon. On the other hand, one could think of a respective Python
library that can cope with all those caveats and still expose a neat usable
- I'm still not too sure whether Python or Ruby is the better choice..... it
seems ruby is more dense and powerful but Python has the clearer syntax and
much much more libraries to use. Once, if a have too much time, i'll
probably do rb/rbext externals as well....

all the best,

----- Original Message -----
From: "joge ." <joge at goodship.net>
To: <pd-list at iem.kug.ac.at>
Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2002 9:04 PM
Subject: [PD] Py extern : WOW !!

> i wanted to take a moment and say that i am highly amazed by the work
> that can be done with the py extern by Thomas Grill.  i just went through
> the example files in pd and the related python files and i cant believe
> that the extern works so smoothly with pd.
> first off you can dynamically create objects on the pd canvas !  i have
> seen this before in pd , maybe i just wasnt looking hard enough ?
> secondly , you can create tcl/tk windows to do what ever you can do in
> tcl/tk , but have it controlled through a pd patch you have made.
> thirdly , it seems the py external can be used to create simple
> externals , and there for circumventing the whole C external paradigm.
> which to me seems easier for non-programmers to learn python then to learn
> [in the context of pd externals].
> and last but not least ,, you can create threads !!  i havent thought of
> something i would like to use them for . but i think thats because i never
> really played with threads in the past .  but i am sure some more seasoned
> programmers can think up thing .
> that was a nice advertisement :]
> but seriously .. thanks for all your work on this external Thomas!!
> joge .
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