[PD] Max/MSP vs. Pd [was: shadow patch bug]

Thomas Grill t.grill at gmx.net
Sun Oct 6 13:50:33 CEST 2002

> They were talking about Pd like I would talk
> about Csound: not user-friendly, needs to much knowledge,...

Most max users that i know don't want to waste their time with a long
learning phase. They are musicians, not programmers.
Max is delivered with a large number of working examples to be modified for
one's perform patches.

> OTOH, Kim had very bad luck with his Powerbook on the night's
> performace because his whole machine crashed three times... That about
> MacOS 9.

Yes, OS9 is the worst OS i've ever had to work with. OSX is much better in
many respects and i'm eagerly waiting for max being available for it.
Yet, this won't prevent max from crashing... it's just that one is faster
back to continue performing....

> Max has some very cool usability enhancements compared to Pd. Some are
> directly visible, for example the greater count of GUI objects. I want
> multisliders, too. How's GUI-flext going, so that I can start
> programming this?

Well, i think that for complicated performance patches, the elaborated gui
objects of Max make the difference why Max is favorable compared to pd.
They are much smoother (faster) than the pd ones (have a look at the
waveform~ object), and of course there are more of them which lets one
create really intuitive interfaces. I have seen a number of max interfaces
that are real instruments (have a look when Boris Hegenbart or pure are in
concert), every square millimeter of the screen optimized for optimal
workflow and no unneeded objects in the way... at the currect stage this
refinement is simply impossible with pd. It seems that there is still a
_long_ way to go.

Concerning flext_gui: i'm busy performing and composing these days, so i
can't say when it will be releasable. The main problem is to make the system
portable. The tcl/tk style of programming (object based) and the quickdraw
style of the mac (pixel based) have no similarities which means that i had
to write a complete graphical abstraction layer. It is somehow working - but
still very experimental - for pd, but largely incomplete for max. Anyway,
i'll try to package an alpha version in the next days for anyone interested
in this stuff.

> I think, a lot of 'normal' (laptop) musicians would also prefer
> another font. I wouldn't prefer it, but making it possibe to configure
> the font would also make Pd more Max-like.

Yes, with my Max patches i normally use a number of different font sizes and
colors to guide the eye.
That should also be possible with pd, isn't t?

best greetings,

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