[PD] what distinguishes a numeric symbol as an argument?

Matteo Sisti Sette matteo.sistisette at email.it
Thu May 31 21:19:33 CEST 2007

Thanks a lot Frank,

now I see it all quite clearly.

I always thought that the two following conjectures were true:

conjecture 1 - any given message output by any PD object can always be 
reproduced by writing it down literally in a message box

conjecture 2 - a PD message is simply a human-readable string that you can 
always "see" by for example [print]ing it, or prepending a "set" and viewing 
it in a message box, and two messages that "appear" identical are identical.

Now I see both conjectures are wrong (kinda disappointed since I loved them) 
but once I assume that, and thank to your explanation, everything is clear 
and coherent.

A desired message can always be generated using a makefilename or something, 
and the difference between different cases can be detected - though all this 
in a less immediate way than I thought.

Now that I think about it, a proper escaping mechanism for writing literals 
and spelling messages could allow both conjectures to become true without 
touching the message mechanism:
an escape character such as § or whatever may force a number to be 
interpreted as a numeric symbol (or numeric symbol-selector). For example:
[§123(     [list 1 3 §123 foo bar(      [symbol §123(

Also, the [print] object may print out numeric symbols with the escape 
Also, when dynamically setting (or updating) the content of a message box, 
the escape character may show up.

Wouldn't it be desirable?
What would the drawbacks be?

Thanks again

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