[PD] datastruct newbie mistake

Mathieu Bouchard matju at artengine.ca
Mon Sep 18 08:32:49 CEST 2006

On Mon, 18 Sep 2006, Chris McCormick wrote:

> On Wed, Sep 13, 2006 at 04:58:06PM -0400, Mathieu Bouchard wrote:
>> Well, I'm sort of learning them now, though not at all the way most would
>> learn about them. By reading and rewriting the source I get to know a
>> bunch of functions with 11 or 14 or 19 arguments to them.
> That's cool, but it's a little bit like learning to drive by reading a
> book about the combustion engine.

Fortunately I've already learned to drive elsewhere and so I can apply 
knowledge of how to use some other language's datastructures.

>> Part of the problem with that is that a rewrite of the IEMGUI classes
>> was one of the earliest things done in DesireData. I don't recall many
>> suggesting back then that IEMGUI could be rewritten in structs. If anyone
>> wants to attempt to do it, it would be cool.
> I guess those work already, so what's the point in re-writing them?

You know, it's rarely ever just a matter of whether the code does what it 
should do; it's also a matter of what else can we make it do. Let's call 
this the "beyondability factor". In this case this means, how easy it is 
to add new features to the code. If you want IEMGUI to stay the same 
forever, it doesn't matter; but if you want to make it do things that it 
can't do now, you don't want to have to learn C for that, and maybe you 
don't want to learn Tcl either.

> Which might apply to your situation too; you started DesireData some 
> time ago so maybe lots of DD was implemented before datastructures 
> became useful.

I don't know when they became useful. I heard that 0.39 was a big boost; I 
rewrote IEMGUI in the middle of the 0.37 era; however, I believe that they 
were already useful back then, as Frank Barknecht taught them at 

> In general I would say that it takes a little while before drastically
> different new features start being used in software.

Depends on how much "marketing" is put behind the features. Pd doesn't 
have enough marketing, the most it knows is people who say sorry for the 
spam when they announce their wonderful software. Then for some software 
the problems start before that. (e.g.: try to find any executables on 

> I didn't use GEM for a number of years after learning Pd,

me neither, even though all I've been doing is video. now I'm teaching 
GEM, but it feels weird because I rarely ever use it.

> and that isn't even new, just different.

uh, what do you mean?

> I would be interested to know where you get your data on the number of 
> people using datastructures.

By having attended PdConvention04 and Piksel05, by reading pd-list and 
pd-dev for four years, by founding the #dataflow channel and sitting in it 
for five years, and then, by organising twenty-two usergroup meetings that 
consist of 2-6 talks each.

  _ _ __ ___ _____ ________ _____________ _____________________ ...
| Mathieu Bouchard - tél:+1.514.383.3801 - http://artengine.ca/matju
| Freelance Digital Arts Engineer, Montréal QC Canada

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