the damned GUI - was:[PD] Pd in white on black and OSC

ben at ben at
Fri Nov 21 15:31:26 CET 2003

I think this would be the only alternative other than tcl/tk myself.

I've been using tcl/tk for many many years now and It can be very very
fast. The bottom line is not just that the toolkit is slow, its the damn
fact that the PD patcher is a vector drawing. This stuff is just never all
that fast in a toolkit (not enough need for them to optimize for it is
there?) Illustrator is damn slow too (slower than pd actually) considering
the complexity (number of lines) in PD patches we should be happy it is
not even slower. MAX is fast (I think) due to a C GUI interface, I don't
think anyone here wants to maintain that unless it solves a huge GUI
difficiency. Unless there is a specific toolkit made for doing fast vector
drawing stuff, I don't see how switching to another toolkit is really
going to make a huge difference. An SDL/GL patcher would be very fast and
allow some very cool things.

Of course I would not want to loose any great features, like dynamic
patching, and dyanmic GUIS, I would like to keep all this (possible in

And for the record (for those not running on all platforms) windows takes
the prize for fastest GUI patching. My ol 800 is great for it, In fact so
much better I do most patching in (ick) windows. Linux is next, its pretty
good, ok for almost everything, but I'd guess about 30% behind windows.
OSX is almost useless for large copy-paste operations and GOPs on the g4
733, so slow I've been thinking about a performance environment where you
use a windows/linux machine to run the GUI, and the PD DSP on the mac.
Lots of extra effort, but perhaps worth it to get some nice gui feel...

Enough of me blabing.


> The main complaint is speed and looks right?  Well, how about pulling
> out all the stops and going full on 3D rendering using OpenGL via  GLUT
> or SDL?  That would shut people the hell up about both.  You  want to
> see that array update at hundreds of FPS?  Not a problem.  You want
> glowing, translucent baubles in your patch?  Sure go right  ahead.
> GLUT and SDL are highly portable, work on most platforms, and handle
> windowing, drawing, input devices and events.  What more could you
> want?  Oh yeah, you have a crappy video card... tough!!
> My 2 pesos of input of the discussion.
> cgc
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