[PD] Help Docs: element vs. item

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 12 23:40:50 CEST 2009

--- On Wed, 8/12/09, Mathieu Bouchard <matju at artengine.ca> wrote:

> From: Mathieu Bouchard <matju at artengine.ca>
> Subject: Re: [PD] Help Docs: element vs. item
> To: "Jonathan Wilkes" <jancsika at yahoo.com>
> Cc: "Hans-Christoph Steiner" <hans at at.or.at>, "puredata mailing list" <pd-list at iem.at>
> Date: Wednesday, August 12, 2009, 10:20 PM
> On Sun, 9 Aug 2009, Jonathan Wilkes
> wrote:
> > Other than the help patch for [list], the term
> "selector" hasn't come up much because each inlet/outlet
> just has a list of accepted messages and a description.
> Actually, "selector" would be the most sensible column name
> for the column that lists "the accepted messages"...

It would, but there currently aren't column names in the pddp template.  
Are you looking at a different template than the one for [float] in 

> > The word "selector" appears mainly where the presence
> or absence of a selector could easily lead to confusion- in
> a subpatch in print-help.pd, route-help.pd, and probably for
> [symbol] and [list]
> right.
> > Unlike the word "message" (or the word "word"), I
> think "selector" requires a definition when it is used, or
> at least a reference to the manual where it is explained in
> detail.
> "message" also "requires" a definition as much as anything
> else, but in the Pd world, there's a greater tendency to let
> the people just guess what something is and figure out just
> as much as they need to know... if they can figure it out
> (which may be somewhat more difficult to do than to believe
> to have figured it out).

Hmm...I don't think these more general terms require definitions, because 
they are superficially describing what one types to produce the desired 
behavior.  There's an implicit step when the term "message" is used (i.e., 
typing something in a message box and sending it to the object).  But 
if you look at the Max docs where they say, "the word 'set' followed by 
a number", there's not even that.

If "selector" is going to be used in all the help patches, it should also 
appear as common parlance in the tutorials (especially the first few 
where messages and message boxes are discussed).



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