[PD] Pack problems

David Sabine dave at davesabine.com
Fri Dec 6 09:59:09 CET 2002

Hello Jordan,

Well, you understood correctly that "$0" is the best way to localize certain
variables in your patch.  But if you're looking for more info, check the
help documents in the /pd/doc/  folders called "dollarsigns" or "locality".

I think that what you might be MISunderstanding is the use of ATOMS.  For
example, your patch didn't work because:

1.  putting "$0sample" into a message box is very different than typing
"symbol $0sample" into an object box or message box.

2.  "Lists" come in two forms (sort of)...in one form, a list is really just
a group of messages or numbers...in another form, a list is created
'explicitly' by preceding a group of messages by the word "list".  However,
the strangest part is that most objects in PD will act differently depending
on which form of list you send to them.  I suggest you familiarize yourself
with the [float], [symbol], [int], and [route] objects and do some reading
about "atoms" in the pd/doc/  folders.

There's very good reason for all these little idiosyncrasies.  As in all
programming environments, it is very important to understand the usage of
"content types".  For example, a phone number like (555-1234) could be
considered type "text" or type "number".  If it is "number" then the program
will assume that your answer is -679!!  (a - b = c ...it's math)  But if you
want that phone number to remain a phone number, then you'd have to tell the
programming environment that it's actually TEXT to prevent the computer from
calculating it as a number.

Likewise, [soundfiler]  wants a COMMAND.  It wants to receive a sentence
which says "read this file and put it into this array".  It doesn't want to
receive a LIST which says "I am a list"

[pack] wants to receive specific types of atoms.  That's why we had to send
it a "symbol" called "$0sample" instead of sending it TEXT (via your message

[pack] outputs a "list" though...that's what confused you I think.

I hope I've helped instead of confusing you.

Dave S

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jordan J" <buck at defaced.net>
To: <dave at davesabine.com>
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2002 2:33 AM
Subject: Re: [PD] Pack problems

> That helps.  Okay, obviously I misunderstood something else.  I thought I
> had read somewhere in the docs that if named something with a $0 in front
> it will be unique to that patch.  Did I just partly misunderstand that?
> -Thanks for your help.
> > Take a look at this attachment.
> >
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Jordan J" <buck at defaced.net>
> > To: <pd-list at iem.kug.ac.at>
> > Sent: Friday, December 06, 2002 1:49 AM
> > Subject: [PD] Pack problems
> >
> >
> >> I have included an example patch to show my problem.
> >>
> >> http://defaced.net/buck/misc/test.pd
> >>
> >> I have an array named "$0sample".  I want to use "getpanel"
> >> and "soundfiler" to load a wav file into the array.
> >>
> >> As you can see, my current method doesn't work.
> >>
> >> Is there a proper way?  Did I miss something here?
> >>
> >> I hope someone can help and I thank you if you can.
> >>
> >> -Jordan
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> PD-list mailing list
> >> PD-list at iem.kug.ac.at
> >> http://iem.kug.ac.at/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/pd-list
> >>

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