[PD] no licensing, no money?

David Powers cyborgk at nocturnalnoize.com
Wed May 18 21:36:28 CEST 2005


I think there is a definite distinction between PD user and developer.  
In fact, I would love to be a developer but I don't think I have the 
knowledge I would need (though I do know some python and C++).  For now 
I am a mere user.  Let me explain why I see a distinction between 
developer and user (though I agree, developers are also users). 

Honestly, as a new PD user, I'm a little disappointed at this list - and 
please don't take this the wrong way.  I know the hardcore PD people are 
doing awesome work creating tools for the PD community.  The problem is 
that I have NO IDEA what people are talking about 90% of the time on 
this list.  I was hoping to gain much more practical knowledge on how to 
use PD.  Instead, here I feel very intimidated by the high level of 
technical expertise.

I think it would be good if, along with developing new features and 
externals, some community members would devote more time to explaining 
more general information on possible ways to use PD, approaches to 
building patches, and descriptions of live performance patches.  A great 
example of what I am talking about is the "Building Drums in PD" 
tutorial by Frank Barknecht available here: 
http://footils.org/tut/pddrums/pddrums.html .  There is a really strong 
need for this type of tutorial!  Also, I know people are doing 
workshops, it would also be helpful if people would post more of the 
information given at these workshops online.  Finally, many of the 
externals seem almost undocumented.  Sometimes ordinary "users" are 
going to need a lot more explanation/documentation of things - 
documentation that may seem redundant to the developers, because it is 
easy to forget that many of us have never worked with anything like this 
in our lives, and are learning computers also as we go.

Remember, all such documentation is going to make it easier for people 
to learn PD, which will then result in a bigger and stronger community.  
As a new user, I'd love to contribute, but the technical aspect of what 
people discuss on this list seems way beyond me.  However, if anyone 
knows ways even a newer user can help, let me know!

~David Powers

B. Bogart wrote:

> heya,
> I agree with Gerard here. The thing that would isolate "developers" from
> "users" is largely due to some kind of techno-elitism.
> I think all developers are users, but not all users are developers. Mind
> you since "abstractions" can be considered programs just as entire
> patches can be, clearly all users of PD are programmers in some sense.
> Being a user who pretends to be a developers (or is it the other way
> around?) I think its pointless to draw lines between groups, when energy
> is better spent in dialog and building bridges.
> As for bounties I don't know what to say, I've been supported for GPL
> projects though artist and government grants for a couple years now. I
> do think that a PD NGO that has a specific mandate (like PD education
> and advocacy, organizing and overseeing workshops and conferences, and
> indeed supplying funding for specific development projects.) A PD NGO
> could get "donations" and even apply for funding. It would be hard to do
> though, as anyone working in artist-run-centres knows.
> B>
> gerard van dongen wrote:
>> On Wed, 18 May 2005 15:09:55 +0200, Thoralf Schulze
>> <thoralf_schulze at yahoo.de> wrote:
>>> hi everyone,
>>> it's good to see that this issue is being discussed
>>> here ...
>>>> what i don't like about the bounty system, is the
>>>> idea of "competition"
>>>> or "hunt" which is not really compatible with
>>>> "community" to my mind.
>>> I agree. Then again, the pd community (like any other
>>> open source community) is probably not as coherent as
>>> it seems to be at a first glance: there are the
>>> developers working on the software package and the
>>> users that use it for whatever their purposes are.
>>> There is a fundamental difference between developers
>>> and users:
>> <rant>
>> No there isn't, especially for something like pd which is a programming
>> language as much as a program. There is a sliding scale between users
>> and  programmers.
>> this whole difference between devs and users is artificial and a
>> product  of the closed source software industry. </rant>
>> Not that everybody needs to code, but the idea that coding is a
>> fundamentally different activity from using is wrong. Part of the magic
>> computer mystique.
>>> From this point of
>>> view, bounties might be a good instrument to bring
>>> developers and users closer together - after all, the
>>> things that the average Joe User is missing in pd are
>>> not necessarily less important than the new and nifty
>>> things the average developer is implementing at the
>>> same time.
>> The problem is the price tag. How much does it cost to implement
>> feature  z, who determines who gets the job. Can I put up bounties for
>> features and  then code them myself if some institution gives money? Can
>> I code features  first but keep them to myself untill somebody coughs up
>> some dough?
>> Bounties might work for something where there are only two or three
>> developers and the program has a more strict licence than pd.
>> Use the money to pay some developers to come install and lecture on the
>> stuff. Start a pd development group locally. Or commision somebody for
>> a  piece of music or an installation or a piece of software. Or get
>> some  funky hardware for the money. Sensors and stuff like that.
>> The pd community is too loose for something really official. And I
>> personally like that.
>> another 2 c
>> Gerard
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