[PD] "Structured" dataflow?

Jamie Bullock jamie at postlude.co.uk
Sat Jan 12 14:41:29 CET 2008

On Fri, 2008-01-11 at 11:29 -0800, Dudley Brooks wrote:
> Can anyone direct me to articles on constructing clear, modular, 
> non-spaghetti patches in pd or other visual dataflow languages? 
> Especially if the articles derive their recommendations from theoretical 
> analysis (as with the investigations that led to structured programming 
> in imperative languages), rather than just rules-of-thumb -- although 
> the latter are useful also.

You might find this document interesting if not helpful:


> Or is some amount of spaghetti unavoidable in dataflow languages, 
> perhaps because it is inherent in the situation being modeled, rather 
> than being an artifact of the language?

Personally, I find that there is an idiomatic way to use most languages,
which is congruous with the way the language is designed. Of course,
people may want to deliberately subvert this relationship, but I guess
that's different from using something in an unidiomatic way and not
being aware of the fact.

Although, I think Frank wrote these in a non-didactic spirit, I find
Franks 'dogmas' very helpful for clear and idiomatic Pd patching:


I have also found Frank's 'footils' collection of abstractions to be an
excellent source of idioms and examples of how to make clear and
coherent patches.

I must stress that I'm not suggesting that this is the 'correct' way to
patch, I just personally find it to be clear, elegant and spaghetti




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