[PD] new to the list + ideas

derek holzer derek at x-i.net
Thu Nov 18 21:22:08 CET 2004

Hi Clément,

and welcome aboard!

clemos wrote:

> i was dreaming of a kind of 'pure data player' that
> would be a kind of plugin only to execute pure data patches, gem or
> framestein graphics.
> the whole thing would be as interactive as pure data / gem /
> framestein patches can be, but there would be no possibility to modify
> the patch (the real pure data patch should be hidden, actually, and
> the actual pure data GUI would only be the GUI for programming, not
> for rendering).

In the past, these kinds of requests have often started friendly little 
flamewars on the PD list. The reason being that most people in the PD 
community hold very close to the free software/open source ideology, and 
the idea of a closed, non-modifiable patch runs against their ideas of 
open-ness. Generally, people expect from PD what MAX does--i.e. that you 
can compile a closed, self-sufficient executable app from it.

The usual response is that since PD is free, there is no need to make an 
executable out of it. Anyone who wants to play with your patch can 
simply install PD. In theory, this is fine. In practice, it can be 
difficult, espc when externals are involved accross multiple platforms.

Another response is to distribute a "live CD" with a Linux base and PD 
plus all needed externals added on top of it. This may also be fine for 
some situations [espc gallery installations, etc], but not if you want 
to share small things on the web.

> the point is that the player would make it possible to embed pure data
> patches or gem graphics into HTML pages.

A little bird whispered in my ear that someone is working on a PD 
browser plugin. I can neither confirm nor deny these rumors, but I'm 
curious how it would take externals into account.

I honestly think that the simplest way to get a web-active PD patch 
would be to make a front end in Proce55ing, Java, Flash or with some 
database function like PHP. The patch would run on the server, and the 
browser client coudl communicate with it and stream the results back as 
an ogg, mp3 or mpeg.

Have a look at Al-Jwarizmi/Gollum for an example of this kind of usage. 
It provides a web front end for a PDP/PiDiP video stream mixer:


[Used to run live here: http://gollum.artefacte.org/ Maybe it's down???]

> did you hear of other pd GUIs that don't use the default tcl/tk stuff
> at all but only the pd main engine.


Also, plenty of people are using Java or other interfaces to run 
SuperCollider because it has a client/server kind of model. So there is 
no reason you couldn't use Java, Flash, Proce55ing, etc locally in the 
same way I described above for the web model for PD as well. The key is 
OSC [Open Sound Control], which allows communication between the clients 
mentioned, and many others [incl. MAX/MSP, Reaktor...]


derek holzer ::: http://www.umatic.nl
---Oblique Strategy # 2:
"A line has two sides"

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