[PD] puredata evolution

Chris McCormick chris at mccormick.cx
Mon May 28 05:39:09 CEST 2007

On Sat, May 26, 2007 at 04:53:14PM +0200, Damian Stewart wrote:
> >summarizing: Which is the next future of PureData
> this is an interesting question. it seems from my understanding that Miller 
> has his own roadmap (hence pd 0.40 vs 0.39) and the development is not 
> particularly 'open' in this sense.
> i feel if there were some defined goals that everyone knew about then 
> someone like myself could jump in and start programming something. but 
> there doesn't seem to be such a roadmap, and so we put up with pd's 
> 'quirks' because there doesn't seem to be much point in fixing/changing 
> them if our fixes/changes aren't going to make it into the next version 
> anyway, since what is planned or desired for the next version is so closed.

In the Pd sources under "src/notes.txt" there is a list of all of the
things that Miller wants to add/change in Pd. For some reason it seems
like almost nobody who contributes to Pd actually looks at this file
(sorry if is remark is inflamatory!). Also, whenever somebody's patch
is not accepted by Miller they often decide to fork Pd. In other open
source projects it is very normal for the project maintainer to drop
patches with very little info, or even completely silently. When this
happens in Pd development, people sometimes get antagonistic and/or
frustrated (and occasionally claim that there is a grand conspiracy
against them). It's a great pity because some really great code has never
become useful to all of us because of this. In any case I think that Hans'
solution might be the best one; "more code, less talk".

If you're thinking of contributing code, one thing to notice is that
the patches that seem to get accepted are those that are conservative.
Patches that don't rock the Pd boat too much, change it too drastically,
or break backwards compatability. It seems like Miller favours incremental
change over drastic overhauls, which is probably a good thing for a
software project with so many active users.

If you want to influence the direction of Pd, then "slow and steady wins
the race" is the maxim of the day.




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