[PD] software license for pd general patch?

Mathieu Bouchard matju at artengine.ca
Tue Jun 29 18:20:28 CEST 2010

On Tue, 29 Jun 2010, João Pais wrote:

>>> Curious. I make complex patches and I prefer that people would edit them.
>> What's surprising? That different people have different wishes about how 
>> their own work gets used?

Nah, I expect that people have different wishes. It's not really 
surprising, I was kidding in some way, but I thought that the opposition 
was worth making, that's all, especially as there was no explanation about 
how complexity ties into the rest of the argument. One can guess, but 
there's value in hearing in explicitly from the original speaker.

> I think you got my intentions/feelings the best. It's not a "complex" 
> patch because I'm such a crafty guy and want to show off, it's a complex 
> patch because it's a mature tool with many features (in it's own small 
> field).

Ah, I wouldn't automatically know that. It tends to be more subtle than 
that. The patches I use to show off, can also be patches that I use for 
teaching, or as starting points for making more complex patches, or as 
many-featured tools, ... sometimes all four in the same day. I also feel 
that the strongest incentives are when there are multiple goals that can 
be achieved with one piece of work. The meaning of "complex" is quite 
complex by itself.

> About the "generous sharing spirit", as I said, the patch is (for almost a 
> year now) free to download in my Pd page for everyone. The patch has already 
> reached a mature state, maybe a 0.9 version,

What I found out about version numbers is that 0.9 is as meaningful as 
9.0. That is, expectations about version numbers are so radically 
different from context to context. If you think Pd 0.43 is going to be 
quite more featureful than Pd 0.42, you can't apply that to your general 
impression of a 0.9 version or vice-versa. I mean, one think I learned 
about computers, is that out-of-context version numbers are a LOT LESS 
informative than they look like and than what people think they are.

> [a small parenthesis: when I present this patch to musicians, they find 
> it excellent, and they ask why don't I commercialise it and make profit. 
> since it was Pd in the first place who let me write the patch, I prefer 
> to make it available for free]

Tcl/Tk is also free software, since its very beginnings, and has been used 
for writing plenty of proprietary code from the very beginning. There are 
subcultures in which people more readily think like what you're saying 
now, and there are some for which the openness of the language tools is 
unrelated to people's license decisions.

> with a nice interface (which Tcl/Tk can't do),

Tcl/Tk has been used for making nice interfaces of commercial apps 
throughout the nineties. You didn't see them because most of them were 
industrial. But nowadays, there are people who are using cool apps and 
have no idea that there's Tcl/Tk inside, and often it's because when it 
looks cool, it doesn't look like it's really Tcl/Tk anymore.

And finally, Pd-vanilla insists on supporting Tcl/Tk versions of ten years 
ago, and on not supporting Tcl/Tk versions of now, and only uses them with 
the default look, and the default look doesn't look like 2010.

So, I say, though there are lots of wrong things about Tcl/Tk, there are 
also lots of things said about Tcl/Tk that are wrong.

(the rest of the reply will come later. gotta go to work now.)

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| Mathieu Bouchard, Montréal, Québec. téléphone: +1.514.383.3801

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