[PD] GUI and such

Josh Steiner josh at vitriolix.com
Sun Nov 23 20:18:18 CET 2003

exactly.  switching to gtk+/fltk/wx/qt isnt a magic bullet that will 
suddenly provide better usability, in fact, it will greatly slow down 
getting pd to a more usable state since it will require 1) a massive 
overhaul of pd itself, which will slow down work on the real issues you 
mention, and 2) the rewriting of every single gui external.   so far i 
have yet to hear of any real significant gain from doing this either... 
why does it matter what toolkit is drawing the menu's?  some may say 
"performance" or "better looking gui" but really the look of pd isnt 
determined by the toolkit, but the design of the gui objects and object 
boxes themselves, changing to another toolkit wont change the look much 
at all.  as for performance, i think there is much profiling and 
optimization yet to be done with the current gui.  as for prrtty 
menu/pref panel widgets: tcl/tk supports native os look on mac os X + 
windows, i've seen some mention of some people making it able to adapt 
to the look of gtk+ on linux too.  

the widget set used is really not a big factor in the usability of the 
end result.

of course, all in my humble opinion :)


Matthew Nish-Lapidus wrote:

> Here's my couple thoughts on this popular subject:
> I think that before we try to put lots of effort into making PD look 
> nicer we should be trying to improve functionality.  There are still a 
> couple issues that keep PD from reaching its full potential, and IMO 
> these are way more important than bitmap sliders or fancy fonts.  I 
> originally asked about the font changing just as a point of interest 
> so that I could do something fast and simple to improve pd for my use, 
> obviously there are other people thinking about PD's looks too.
> The way I see it there are a few things that keep PD back (in no 
> particular order):
> 1.  GUI interfering with audio -- I know this is one of the reasons 
> that this discussion started, but I think we've lost track of that a 
> little.
> 2.  Audio dropouts when loading sound files -- In my opinion this is 
> one of the largest issues in terms of using PD as a performance 
> instrument, which I think it is otherwise ideally suited for.
> 3.  Audio latency (i've only tested this on os x) -- can't get 
> anything under 13ms with any hardware.
> So, I know I'm repeating myself a little here.. but I think that these 
> are the top priorities for developing the audio side of PD... If any 
> of these can be solved by changing the GUI around than that's great, 
> but I feel like the discussion has become more about aesthetics than 
> function.  The way PD looks is important, but only after the major 
> functional issues have been resolved.
> /*
> Matt Nish-Lapidus
> www.ekran.org/mn-l
> matt at ekran.org // mattn-l at rogers.com
> "What's this fish doing in my ear?"
> */
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independent u.s. drum'n'bass -- http://vitriolix.com

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