[PD] copy-paste vs. duplicate behavior (was Re: Pd-list Digest, Vol 46, Issue 108)

Mathieu Bouchard matju at artengine.ca
Mon Feb 2 03:57:21 CET 2009

On Sat, 31 Jan 2009, Ingo Scherzinger wrote:

> I'm implementing a LCD user interface that has many, many similar pages 
> but the content and also the number of parameters differs on every 
> single page. No way to do it with abstractions!!! So if anything in all 
> of the pages changes it h a s to be copied back to the same place in the 
> other pages!

If any single object or group of objects appears on all of the pages and 
may have to be changed in the future on all of the pages at once, then you 
may make an abstraction with it, so that in the future you will have only 
one file to change. If there are variable numbers of arguments to an 
object that have to be passed around, though, you might be hitting a 
limitation of pd.

> I totally agree that using abstractions is the more economical way. So
> actually I do use abstractions where it makes sense of course. However, this
> doesn't eliminate the need of making "similar" copies of sub patches and
> copying objects from one to the other.

Sure that the pd abstraction concept has lots of limitations, but also 
many limitations are in the way that we think about the usefulness of 
abstractions. It can even make sense to make an abstraction containing a 
single object, for example, though it is probably often taught that 
abstractions are meant to reduce the number of objects you have to look 
at. Or perhaps you've been taught that abstractions are meant for things 
that are not going to change in the future, whereas they can also be used 
for abstracting out things that *will* change in the future, or so that 
you can pass a patch as an argument to an instance of another 

There's always one more way to use abstractions that hasn't been thought 
about yet, and which will look weird once it's finally used, but which 
will survive because it's simply useful for some purpose... any purpose.

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| Mathieu Bouchard - tél:+1.514.383.3801, Montréal, Québec

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