[PD] symbol anxiety

Mathieu Bouchard matju at artengine.ca
Tue Feb 24 07:29:42 CET 2009

On Mon, 23 Feb 2009, Roman Haefeli wrote:
> for instance, when using OSC, probably every message is a new symbol. so 
> i guess, it cannot be avoided, even if text processing is done outside 
> of pd, unless a string type is introduced (is that correct?).

Every OSC target is a symbol, just like every receive-symbol is a symbol; 
but furthermore, even hierarchical names like /foo/bar are recorded as a 
single name that doesn't use "foo" and "bar", instead of using a list. 
Similarly, abstraction instances are _the_ way to flood the table, as all 
the local receive-symbols and other local symbols get multiplied by the 
number of instances.

I proposed several solutions to this. Having deallocatable symbols only is 
useful if you deallocate abstractions and reallocate them... usually has 
to do with dynamic patching. The other solution would be to make the 
symbol-table only a table of symbols, and have a separate receiver-table, 
which would get accessed by ($0,symbol) pairs so that the $0 doesn't get 
pasted inside of the symbol so that no more symbols need be generated. 
That would be quite a major overhaul, but it's pretty much the only real 

I don't think that there's anything else in OSC that could be wasting 
symbols. However, if you have a system where you use 1000000 OSC-paths to 
represent an array of 1000000 numbers, you may be looking for trouble.

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

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