[PD] Question about object categorizing

Mathieu Bouchard matju at artengine.ca
Sat Sep 26 17:48:19 CEST 2009

On Sat, 26 Sep 2009, João Pais wrote:

>> Those features have to be easy to think about. Turns out that one of 
>> the easiest features to think about in this case, are things like: 
>> where you first learned the basic concept of each object class.
> yes, that's a very good example of category-building. if it's simple, 
> everyone is going to remember it.

What I mean is that using those categories does not much except 
reinforcing stereotypes that are just artefacts of how things were learned 
by certain groups of people, at the expense of not just everybody who 
didn't learn it like that, but also everybody who doesn't want it to be 
grouped like that.

> for what is [lop~] mostly used, for math or as a filter?

both... well, if I understand the question.

I definitely can't pick one OR the other.

but then I cannot tell the difference between something "used as math" and 
something "used as a filter".

> following your radical assumption, there would be only 3 categories, 
> math (because 50% of the externals involve some math), dataflow (because 
> the other 50% of externals route/handle messages),

I thought we were only talking about internal classes, not external (but a 
good categorisation would expand naturally to externals)

no, if there were a dataflow category, it'd cover about 100% of the 
classes, and then we'd need subcategories, and math could be a 
subcategory, and it'd cover perhaps 90% of the classes, and then we'd need 
a lot of subcategories because it's meaningless to have categories that 
contain nearly 100% of the items; so instead we'd start from scratch with 
other ideas.

i exposed some of those other ideas in the mail you replied to, but you 
skipped over it then told me I'd want only a 3-category system that I 
don't want either.

> do you think it would be easier for the "general user" (whatever that 
> is)

You're not a general user and neither I am. In a community as disparate as 
pd, there may not be any such thing. But no matter what, there are always 
people willing to claim themselves as more normal than others.

> look at max/msp.

how do I do that?

> did those categories (which are the same as here, but more detailed) 
> helped or prevented people from using it?

is that the only thing that matters?

> if we put a quizz on the list asking if [lop~] is a math of filter 
> object, what do you think most people will choose?

most people will choose to skip the question.

> you won't want to use [lop~] if someone thinks that it's more used as a 
> filter as a math object?

What's this kind of strawman...?

Stalin wore clothes, so, of course, decent people shouldn't. ;)

Really, I meant something more like: I could be removing category names 
from my copy of 00.INTRO.txt... but I don't think I'd even bother with it. 
In any case, category systems don't tend to affect my opinion of whatever 
is put in the category.

> I think a major overhaul of Pd's categories list (pd-van + pd-ext) is 
> necessary.


> but that will only happen if people really want to discuss it and get 
> organized. otherwise it will be only more characters traded around on 
> e-mails.



BTW: if you look up the definition of "Filter" in Signal Theory, you find 
out that "Filter" is a word used to refer to certain kind of Math 
functions, that may remove or leave alone any given frequency, but will 
never boost any frequency. This definition rules out [rpole~] from that 
category, because the output of [rpole~] can be a bunch of dB above the 
strength of the input signal.

  _ _ __ ___ _____ ________ _____________ _____________________ ...
| Mathieu Bouchard, Montréal, Québec. téléphone: +1.514.383.3801

More information about the Pd-list mailing list