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

Hans-Christoph Steiner hans at eds.org
Wed Dec 5 22:15:27 CET 2007

On Dec 5, 2007, at 1:04 PM, Martin Peach wrote:

> 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
>> potential.
>> 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.

Color really makes things stand out, especially in a black and white  
patch.  So my question is, what would this color fade be  
communicating?  A fade would stand out even more than a solid color,  
IMHO.  What is that fade communicating and is it more important that  
other elements, like the object box, the inlets/outlets, the text in  
the boxes, etc.

> 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
> order.

It's easy to do in Tk, the hard part would be to make Pd handle it,  
meaning save and restore that information.  That wouldn't be so hard  
to code, I suspect it would be harder to get it accepted into core.


> Martin
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hobbling away in three inch heels and panty hose to finish out  
another pink-collar temp pool day.  - “Hijab Scene #2", by Mohja Kahf

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