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

marius schebella marius.schebella at gmail.com
Wed Dec 5 22:34:59 CET 2007

I am trying to subsume what I read so far.

readability means that when you look at a patch, you understand its 
logic and dataflow. readability is important for programmers, when 
looking at their own patches, but also when looking at other peoples 
patches. readability is a quality assurance for well written code.
it is closely related to documentation and saves time during coding.
how do segmented patchcords affect readability?

pro: "makes patches more readable"
con: "makes patches less readable"

so what exactly makes a patch less readable?
1) lines on top of objects: bad
2) overlapping cords from various inlets to various outlets: bad
3) overlap cords to save screen real estate: good
4) segmented patchcords make you lazy and the general layout of your 
patch will suffer. (is that really true?): if yes, then bad
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denotes the ease with which people can employ a particular tool.
in some cases the user is a programmer, but I am talking about 
useability of the patch itself, for example during performance or 
maintanece (exhibitions, installations...)
good user interface is flexible to deal with all kinds of users that may 
use the program, maybe it allows adoption to certain needs, in general 
it hides unrelevant information and leads the user to a smooth 
interaction with the program.
how do segmented patchcords affect useability?

if you decide to use cords at all in the UI, then you want to give the 
user an overall feeling of what parts of the user interface belong 
together and how the general workflow goes. every additional feature to 
emphasize that is a plus here. so if you want to do that with colors, 
then colored cords are a plus, if you want to do that with thickness, 
then this is a plus, if you want to do it with segmented patchcords, 
then the availability of them is a plus.

pro: segmented patchcords are a useful feature.

this is about graphical style and interface style. about taste and good 

pro: "looks better"

1) diagonal lines: look messy (if you are against uniformism that might 
be a plus, but then, nature is never uniform... not even with segmented 

one guideline I hold to in my work is "the user is always right"
I think the advantage of segmented patchcords is bigger than the 
downsides(A2,A4?). This does not solve the problem of how to implement them.
feel free to add to this pro/con list...

Mathieu Bouchard wrote:
> On Wed, 5 Dec 2007, vade wrote:
>> On Dec 5, 2007, at 2:07 PM, Mathieu Bouchard wrote:
>>>> If the people want it, why not give it to them?
>>> Because it's easier to write a condescending justification for the 
>>> lack of segmented patchcords than to write the code for segmented 
>>> patchcords.
>> Yeah, giving people a CHOICE is certainly condescending, what the f*!@?
> Why don't you READ the damn mail before replying to it? If you weren't 
> trying to skip over half of the words you wouldn't confuse a statement 
> and the exact opposite of it.
> Fuddle duddle.
>  _ _ __ ___ _____ ________ _____________ _____________________ ...
> | Mathieu Bouchard - tél:+1.514.383.3801, Montréal QC Canada
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