cleaner interfaces 4 newbies [WAS: Re: [PD] newbie - stutter]

derek holzer derek at
Sun Jul 18 15:16:52 CEST 2004

Thomas Sivertsen wrote:

> And on that note, as a beginner to PD, I was wondering whether there is 
> something that will enable me to make cleaner interfaces in PD. I mean, 
> something that hides my patch-cords and objects to reduce visual 
> clutter. And is there something like a layered approach in PD, so that I 
> can put something in front of other objects/cords?
> Suggestions for an approach to cleaner interfaces in PD are highly welcome!

Hidden patch cords: use [send]/[receive], [send~]/[receive~], 
[throw~]/[catch~] pairs. Also, exploit the send and receive functions of 
the GUI objects. This goes against the grain of readablity for some. The 
  "PD programming conventions" doc which got bounced around here a while 
back [] suggested that "hiding" 
connections with send/receive, etc made it more difficult for others to 
read your patches. This is, of course, partly true. It really depends on 
layout and how well your comment yor work.

Hidden objects: use subpatches or abstractions to hide the main "guts" 
of your patch--the stuff that is functional without an interface--out of 
sight. There is more on this in the html manual and also in the examples 
which come with PD. Once again, the PD programming doc I mentioned 
advised using subpatches over abstractions for readabilty. I advise 
using abstractions over subpatches for *reusability*! Whatever floats 
your boat...

Layered objects: here is where using canvases and Graph-on-Parent, such 
as Frank does in the RRADical patches he sent the screenshots of, would 
really apply. In general, PD shows you the objects in order of creation. 
So when you drag one GoP or GUI object over another one, you'll see the 
"youngest" one on top. To change the order, you'll have to cut n' paste 
the one you want to see first.


derek holzer :::
---Oblique Strategy # 1:
"(Organic) machinery"

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