[PD] report: pd meeting @ lac2

Tim Blechmann TimBlechmann at gmx.net
Mon May 31 20:15:50 CEST 2004

Hi pd-list, hi pd-dev-list, hi Miller,

during the Linux Audio Conference 2 at the ZKM in Karlsruhe, we
organized a small Pd meeting to informally discuss several topics
concerning the developement of Pd and surrounding projects. 

External Development

First of all, there was the suggestion to create sets of externals, that
are used to destinguish between kinds of externals, and to provide some
kind of quality control for externals. This is supposed to make life
easier for users to figure out, what the externals are doing, if they
can rely on them (rock-solid vs. experimental externals) and also could
make package releases easier, because not every external collection
might stable or new at the same time. Further it might then be useful to
get into concrete release cycles for such sets of externals (maybe
including "deadlines", hoho!).

It was also suggested to introduce a namespace for externals and/or
abstractions to prevent the problem caused by objects with the same name
(e.g. different "counter"s are provided in several libraries, but a
package can hold only one). We also discussed moving the CVS to another
server to improve the CVS access.  IWRC, the IEM and Mathieu offered to
set up a server, or maybe Miller can offer one at the UCSD. A
reorganisation of the externals could be done when moving to another CVS
server. A switch from CVS to subversion should be considered.

Pd Development

A second thing we discussed was the actual Pd development. The possible
branching between Pd and IMPd and the differences between Miller's Pd
and the devel branch on CVS might lead to problems for example for
developers of externals but also for users ("What Pd will I need to
achieve this task/run that external?"). We should discuss consequences
of this openly with everyone involved.

What definitely should improve, is the coordination of the development.
This could improve by more actively using the pd-dev list to discuss
further development, to maybe set up some kind of roadmap that we divide
into tasks assigned to certain people etc.

Concerning the CVS, we suggested that the MAIN branch could be a stable
branch that could form a base for packages (similar to devel_0_37 is
now). The actual development branch should be the unstable/experimental
branch. Patches to the development branch can be merged to the MAIN
branch when they are reported to be stable on all supported platforms. 

The main CVS branch already follows the upstream MSP version: it's not
as experimental as IMPd, and regularily merges Miller's changes back in.
This is a tedious work, that could be made much easier, if Miller's
version and all changes there would be done directly in the CVS.
Question to Miller: Would it be possible that you use the CVS for
developments, too? This would improve the communication and coordination
with the other developers.

Pd is a pretty good piece of software, but it still has a way to go to
1.0. We should all try to combine our efforts to improve the

Sitting at the dinner table were:
  Frank Barknecht
  Tim Blechmann
  Thomas Charbonnel
  Guenter Geiger
  Thomas Grill
  Kjetil Matheussen

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