[PD] PDDP (was: Finding "$0" and dealing with it in messages)

Hans-Christoph Steiner hans at at.or.at
Sun Dec 6 19:54:52 CET 2009

On Dec 6, 2009, at 1:40 PM, Mathieu Bouchard wrote:

> On Sun, 6 Dec 2009, Frank Barknecht wrote:
>> I was involved in early PDDP discussions (around 2005) as well, so  
>> PDDP isn't new to me. I dropped out of PDDP for various reasons  
>> after a while. Besides the endless discussion about template layout  
>> etc. another reason for my retreat was, that the help system  
>> started to require certain externals (pddp_link).
> I was never really involved in PDDP discussions because it is  
> definitely not right that documentation writers would have to mess  
> endlessly with [cnv] sizes and pixel-precise positioning all of the  
> time. Standards that require more work aren't as good as standards  
> that require less work. Following the PDDP standard requires more  
> work than the traditional way of making help files. Following the  
> GFDP requires less work than the PDDP, but that's not all, it also  
> requires less work than making help patches the traditional way!  
> Especially for people who aren't quite happy with approximate layouts.

I think we had some useful discussions in PDDP, but not much work came  
out of it.  It got too bureaucratic.  I think the 'official' PDDP  
template is a place to start from.  I've used a simplified version for  
help patches in my 'apple' library, for example.

I think people should learn from PDDP, but not we just need more and  
better docs, so people should make them based on the knowledge from  
PDDP.  Then thru real world use, we can figure out what works best.


>> I can accept that, but obviously I had to stop contributing at that  
>> point. Some other early participants also dropped out, some for  
>> similar reasons IIRC.
> How many of those PDDP contributors would have dropped out at the  
> point that they would have had to use the template that they  
> designed? Obviously it's fun getting together on the chatline and  
> talk about each person's favourite colours and each person's  
> favourite help-patch width, but living with the consequences of  
> those decisions is something different. That's why in the end not  
> much was done after the decisions were made. (If there's any hidden  
> stash of PDDP docs that *do* follow the PDDP standard, I'd like to  
> know.)
>> While I'm surely guilty of some anti-Pd-extended puritanism, my  
>> retreat from
>> PDDP didn't have anything to do with it. It has a different story.
> Regardless of stated theoretical differences, there's not much that  
> separates anti-extended, pro-portability-across-distribs, and pro- 
> vanilla. Why would the distinction matter?
>> I believe, a general purpose help file template should not require  
>> objects not available in all major Pd distributions.
> This is a contorted way to say that you only want vanilla.
> In any case, GFDP uses a lot of abstractions, which use a lot of  
> externals, and those externals are required for automatic-layout.  
> (GFDP doesn't use [pddp-link] or any equivalent of it so far). If  
> you acknowledged automatic-layout to be an essential feature, then  
> you'd figure out a way to incorporate it that clashes as little as  
> possible with your beliefs. Whereas if you start from your existing  
> beliefs, then you don't even have to ask yourself whether automatic- 
> layout is a good idea.
> In October, I rewrote the GridFlow manual. That's 165 help files as  
> of now (actually it should be about 200 help files to be complete).  
> It was enjoyable. GFDP made it fun to write docs, and that's how I  
> got myself to do it the best I could. I wouldn't have had the same  
> level of fun have enjoyed it if I hadn't had the GFDP framework. If  
> I had had to "use" the PDDP template (that is, reimplement it by  
> hand in every !@#$ help file) it would have taken forever, and I  
> wouldn't have gone back nearly as often to add additional notes and  
> rephrase what I had written, thinking «I will have to readjust the  
> [cnv]s one more time if I change ANY text in here.»
> _ _ __ ___ _____ ________ _____________ _____________________ ...
> | Mathieu Bouchard, Montréal, Québec. téléphone:  
> +1.514.383.3801_______________________________________________
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Man has survived hitherto because he was too ignorant to know how to  
realize his wishes.  Now that he can realize them, he must either  
change them, or perish.    -William Carlos Williams

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