[PD] declare [was: Re: Idiomatic Pd]

Frank Barknecht fbar at footils.org
Wed Jul 30 10:01:52 CEST 2008

Matt Barber hat gesagt: // Matt Barber wrote:

> >
> >> When 0.39 begins to wane (so [declare] can be used),  ...
> >
> > Careful here: [declare -path ...] is disabled inside of abstractions
> > in Pd-0.41.
> Right -- but [declare -path ...] is terribly useful for not having a
> patch's main directory cluttered with 100 abstractions, which was the
> main point... but since 0.39 is still widely in use I tend to avoid it
> unless it's for patches I know only I am going to be running.  I guess
> it's okay to be conservative in some parts of life.  =o)
> OT -- out of curiosity, if it were to be enabled within an
> abstraction, would the -path be relative to the abstraction file or to
> the patch in which it's instantiated?

Relative paths are important if you use declare in the way you
described here: to make shipping "bundles" easier by putting all used
abstractions into a subdirectory and adding that subdir to the
searchpath of the MAIN.pd. As you don't know where a user puts your
project, you cannot use absolute paths. 

Now inside of an abstraction I would discern two use cases: One is
using declare just as in the MAIN patch to add further subdirectories
for other helper abstractions. Here the only thing that makes sense
IMO when using relative paths is to have them relative to the
abstraction itself. 

Another use case is the path for "resources" like soundfiles or
sequencer patterns. The example Miller once mentioned on pd-dev was
having a [soundfiler] in a sample player abstraction. Usually this
abstraction would live somewhere far away from your soundfiles or your

[soundfiler] also looks for soundfiles in the pd search path, so users
may feel inclined to manipulate the path to make the sampler
abstraction find wav-files in a "snd"-directory somewhere without
giving the full absolute path. Here it probably is more common to use
paths relative to MAIN.pd instead of sampleplayer.pd so the
MAIN-file's -path setting would reach into the child patch as well.

A drum synth abstraction may be different again: Maybe it has some
default samples for kick and hihat in a subdirectory next to itself.
Now you could manipulate the path to make it find these samples first.
Again absolute paths don't work here, as your synth.pd may be
installed anywhere. 

As there is no consensus which of the two path alternatives should be
used inside an abstraction, -path currently is disabled completely in
an abstraction. (Btw. I don't know how an abstraction knows that it's
used as an abstraction, not as MAIN.pd.) 

 Frank Barknecht                                     _ ______footils.org__

More information about the Pd-list mailing list