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

Mathieu Bouchard matju at artengine.ca
Sun Sep 11 04:44:06 CEST 2011

On Sat, 10 Sep 2011, Jonathan Wilkes wrote:

> Is there a limit on the size of a symbol?

The only thing that has traditionally limited the size of symbols used in 
practice, is the fact that they stay in RAM forever (for the lifetime of 
the process). Otherwise, people would have used them a lot more often and 
in big sizes, without much restraint.

Well, for a bunch of string operations, Pd has a limit of MAXPDSTRING, 
which is set to 1000 in <m_pd.h>. But inside of m_class.c, you can see 
that gensym (and dogensym) do not use that constant, no other size limit 
other than HASHSIZE.

So, as long as you don't use MAXPDSTRING-dependent operations, and as long 
as you don't expect to embed a null byte, a symbol can be many megabytes.

| Mathieu Bouchard ---- tél: +1.514.383.3801 ---- Villeray, Montréal, QC

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