[PD] PD usability

Matthew Nish-Lapidus mattn-l at rogers.com
Thu Feb 13 14:01:54 CET 2003

on big issue i have with PD that i've never had with MAX or anything else is
audio drivers.  right now i'm using windows and getting PD working with me
emagic emi2|6 under ASIO is impossible.  i've tried many times and it just
doesn't seem to work.  this divice worked immediately with all my other
audio software, including MAX on a friend's mac.

it would be nice to have a configuration utility that would test the
audio/midi setups and let you choose the one you want to use.


----- Original Message -----
From: "oliver" <oliver at klingt.org>
To: "pd-liste" <pd-list at iem.kug.ac.at>
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2003 7:29 AM
Subject: Re: RE: [PD] PD usability

about the "easy to understand" Max/MSP - thing:

i have the impression that the vast majority of people using Max/Msp just
for the use of other people's patches. they would never
think of entering the "editing - modus" themselves. they would shit their
pants. so the argument about it's practical and market-
conform shape is not convincing

2nd, i made the experience that with a little effort in tidying your work up
and packing all the necessary stuff in, you can produce
"user-only"-works with PD as well, or even better. i gave some of mine to
friends who are strictly users, and all worked without any
problem, because (so much for "easier" installation"...) no installation
process is needed.

just my 2 cents


13.02.2003 12:56:41, "mark" <mark at junklight.com> wrote:

>Unix users don't mind 'apt-get install pd'. Windows users
>in general will get put out by anything other than setup.exe.
>Installing externals requires command lines or editing batch files
>- again unacceptable to a lot of users.
>I am not saying that PD is not useable to its current users - what it
>is not is a PRODUCT. which is what would be needed to broaden its
>user base...
>-----Original Message-----
>From: pd-list-admin at iem.kug.ac.at [mailto:pd-list-admin at iem.kug.ac.at]
>On Behalf Of delire
>Sent: 13 February 2003 21:51
>To: pd-list at iem.kug.ac.at
>Subject: Re: [PD] PD usability
>errm, i believe the last time i installed pd was with the gruellingly
>challenging command:
>'apt-get install pd'
>for the similarly terrifying, strategically impossible debian
>distribution ;)
>again, a progress bar does not make installation 'easier' only more
>comforting. this is the question here. anyway, i tend to distrust
>operating systems that allow me to install software with a double click.
>yesterday a friend couldn't stop telling me "just how easy" using the
>planetCCRMA system was [30 free applications fresh from the web, one
>command]. the time it took him to install these applications is about
>the same amount of time [i hear] it takes to install Logic.
>i understand however installing software under windows or macOSX is
>often more difficult.
>On Wed, 12 Feb 2003 22:59:41 -0000
>"mark" <mark at junklight.com> wrote:
>//If it where me that wanted to make PD more "producty" (technical
>//term that :-) - and its not -  I already have enough joy with this
>//at work with users/support/testing/load testing/a development //team/a
>dept. head/etc. - Then I would try to establish a small group //of
>volunteers to do the work. I am sure the rest of the community
>//would support such an effort if it didn't mean much work on their
>//The key areas I see as being vital are;
>//installer - not always an easy job 'cos of the platform thing (and the
>//quality of the tools). As a guide I have had a team member put in
>//about 6 man months over the last two years on our installer.
>//Config - midi/audio selection would have to be a preferences //dialog
>for the more casual user. I guess this would have implications //on how
>PD starts up too.
>//GUI - you can argue its fine until you are blue in the face - people
>//are used to and expect pretty interfaces - if you want
>//minimalist/functional //then it needs to be *designer* minimalist
>functional (think Peter //Saville/factory //records). Its just the way
>it goes. // //Docs - there needs to be a reference manual. Again you can
>//about it all you like - not having one means that the beginner has to
>//do a lot more work to get into the product.
>//Support - who is going to provide support to people. What happens when
>//the mailing list is full of people going - "it does't work on my
>//pc..why?" or //"I NEED feature X..why can't you make it do that" //
>//Don't get me wrong - PD is just great as it is as far as I am
>//- what
>//I am talking about is making it accessible to a wider audience. It
>//will grow larger as time goes by and by having a high level of
>knowledge //needed for entry we make life easier for ourselves. //
>//Again - not trying to pour water on ideas but if you want to make PD
>//accessible to a wider audience you need to consider what is involved
>// //cheers
>//> -----Original Message-----
>//> From: pd-list-admin at iem.kug.ac.at
>//> [mailto:pd-list-admin at iem.kug.ac.at] On Behalf Of Marc Lavallée //>
>Sent: 12 February 2003 22:37 //> To: 'pd-list' //> Subject: RE: [PD] PD
>usability //>
>//> Le mer 12/02/2003 à 16:59, mark a écrit :
>//> > Sorry to be blunt about this but I did say I had my day job hat
>//> > :-)
>//> I actually resigned from a well paid job in a university
>//> center because I was unable to bring artists to use free
>//> software and be more responsible. I had to manage a bunch of
>//> projects, buy computers and softwares, and program "art". It
>//> was a stupid and impossible mandate, because artists
>//> (especially students) must do their own stuff, not always
>//> rely on programmers to hold the mouse for them. Of course,
>//> most artists were asking for Macs/Max/MSP/Jitter, leaving
>//> little money for anything else, including humain brain juice. //>
>//> So for me, a "better" PD would have been cool. I won't accept
>//> such a job unless artists agrees to change their tools and
>//> their attitude toward technology. But we need to help them a
>//> little bit, or I might never work with them again.
>//> --
>//> Marc
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