[PD] segmented patchcords (was Re: PD & MAX)
bbogart at goto10.org
Wed Dec 5 18:45:42 CET 2007
Ah segmented patch coords again.
How about a real solution to the problem of routing objects in diagrams?
In PD this could mean a few things:
1. Best patching practise!!! Often you can choose not to overlap objects
and connections just by arranging objects as the connections force you
to, which gives you the valuable side-effect of having the position of
object show the flow of the patch more clearly.
2. Empirical tests have shown that curved (spline) connections between
nodes are actually the best way to make them easier to follow, so yay
for spline/curved connections and nay for segments! (See p193, figure
6.8 in "Information Visualization: Perception for Design" by Colin Ware.)
3. I noticed the new inkscape has some very fancy graph drawing
features, one of which is the ability to tell connections to
automatically route around nodes. They are not curved, but the idea of a
PD where connections simply avoid objects themselves has a lot of
Of course I'm not saying adding the choice is necessarily a bad thing,
but the real question is what nurtures best practise? That remains to be
seen, but I'd be very surprised if segmented connections were it.
marius schebella wrote:
> segmented patchcords can make patches less readable, but most of the
> time they make patches more readable, and that is when you use so many
> unsegmented cords that they hide the objects. also when you want to
> connect an object at the bottom of the patch to an object at the top,
> then you can lay the cord at the outside of the patch to make the
> you don't want patchcords in situations where it is not clear anymore
> which cord is going where.
> a big problem in max is that there is no undo for segmented patchcords.
> once segmented, you can only delete them and redraw to make them not
> segmented. that might be one of the new features of max 5... as well as
> the infinite number of undos. (true?)
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