[PD] segmented patchcords (was Re: PD & MAX)

Martin Peach martin.peach at sympatico.ca
Wed Dec 5 19:04:31 CET 2007

B. Bogart wrote:
>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.

And how about patch cords that start out one colour and end up another with 
a smooth blend all the way along? Then you could identify different cords as 
well as know which way they were going.
The ability to raise or lower objects as in Max ("bring to front", "send to 
back") and also to have the cords run behind them would be nice.
Not sure how much of this is feasible in tk though...also the pd file format 
would need to be modified to include patch cord colours and object drawing 


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