[PD] Good PD programming practice?

Larry Troxler lt at westnet.com
Sun Mar 21 23:08:55 CET 2004

On Sunday 21 March 2004 16:35, Frank Barknecht wrote:
> Hallo,
> Mathieu Bouchard hat gesagt: // Mathieu Bouchard wrote:
> > On Wed, 10 Mar 2004, Hans-Christoph Steiner wrote:
> > > There are a massive amount of books about programming techniques for
> > > procedural and object oriented languages, but there is basically
> > > nothing about programming techniques for patcher languages, even
> > > though they have been around for 20+ years and are decently widespread
> > > in use.
> >

Guys, I've been following this interesting discussion off and on, and forgive 
me if this point has already been brought up or you disagree: Graphical  
programing languages don't scale well to large projects.  They're strength is 
in getting highly customized things done quickly and interactively. From what 
I've seen however, they are generally not the right tool for creating large, 
general purpose, modularized applications.

Years ago, my company needed to develop an PC spectrum analyzer application 
for the cable extrusion industry (if their are preriodic dimensional 
fluctuations in coax cable, the reinforced reflections will create a marked 
attenuation at a certain frequency). Rather than doing this in C, we 
contracted a  Labview consultant to do the whole thing in Labview. Now, this 
was a small to medium size general purpose application for which we provided 
a set of detailed specifcations. 

The result, although it worked great, was a big mess, and hard to maintain and 
modify. Looking at the Labview "patches", it became clear to us that we were 
trying to stretch a graphical language far beyond its purpose. The next 
iteration of the product used Labview's C library instead, and was by far 
easier to maintain.

I think that graphical "programming languages" are great tools for the end 
user, and not the general purpose application developer. 

Well, I just wanted to share that story, and I do realize that it is somewhat 

Larry Troxler

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