[PD] (breaking symbols) was Re: find a list of numbers in a text file

Frank Barknecht fbar at footils.org
Tue Sep 6 09:44:33 CEST 2011

On Mon, Sep 05, 2011 at 11:41:53PM -0700, Jonathan Wilkes wrote:
> I think my proposal of having Pd automagically make floats out of 
> selectors that look like numbers solves half of the problem, as well as 
> being consistent with what's written in the last paragraph of 2.3.1.  The 
> other half is already solved by [makefilename %d], and could be made 
> more consistent by having message boxes automagically convert $1 
> in "symbol 15" to a symbol-atom.  Possibly the same for the arg 
> to [symbol].

While I tend to agree and think this sounds sensible, it could clash
with this part of the manual (first paragraph of 2.3.1) that hints at
problems with numerical symbols as selectors: 

"Messages contain a selector followed by any number of arguments. The
selector is a symbol, which appears in the patch as a non-numeric string
with no white space, semicolons, or commas."

I'm not sure what "appears in the patch" should mean. It definitly means
that numercial-symbol selectors don't get shown and cannot be written
into a patch, so you cannot use them in the editor where "real"
selectors should be written, like in [route]: There's no [route "15"] in
Pd, where "15" should mean a numerical symbol. And if you allow [s 15],
should [table 15] also be allowed? And would 15 be a symbol or a float

It seems to be fine if [symbol 15( would act like [15(->[makefilename %d], 
but who really needs the former when you already have the latter? And what
about symbols with whitespace, like [symbol My Documents/Drum Loop.wav]?

Additionally numbers inside messages or object boxes have so many
special meanings in Pd (i.e. they turn "1 two three" into a list
message, they change the mode of [select] or [route], they make [15] be
[f 15] etc.), that it seems to me that some small changes here could
open a Pandora's Box and the sole reason for this IMO is legalistic
pedantry. Numbers maybe already are overloaded with automagic.

However I would like to see some proper quoting mechanism in the editor.


More information about the Pd-list mailing list