[PD] "get" method for Pd

Hans-Christoph Steiner hans at at.or.at
Fri Nov 18 21:34:55 CET 2011

On Nov 18, 2011, at 2:58 PM, Jonathan Wilkes wrote:

> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Hans-Christoph Steiner <hans at at.or.at>
>> To: Jonathan Wilkes <jancsika at yahoo.com>
>> Cc: Thomas Grill <gr at grrrr.org>; "pd-list at iem.at" <pd-list at iem.at>; Miller Puckette <msp at ucsd.edu>; IOhannes m zmoelnig <zmoelnig at iem.at>
>> Sent: Friday, November 18, 2011 1:33 PM
>> Subject: Re: [PD] "get" method for Pd
>> On Nov 18, 2011, at 11:53 AM, Jonathan Wilkes wrote:
>>>> This is more like iemguts: properties of abstractions.  Jonathan's 
>> proposal 
>>>> includes that, but also global things.  IMHO, iemguts is the most 
>> Pd-ish because 
>>>> its a library of simple objects rather than a single absattr 
>> mega-object with 
>>>> attributes (Max/MSP style) or messages via send/receive.
>>> The max [pattrhub] object isn't what I'm after.  I used [absattr] 
>> for the @key value 
>>> syntax when it was sitting in a previous version of pd extended but 
>> that's all.
>>> What I'm really after are some simple, core features that allow the 
>> user to 
>>> access simple, core data about the pd instance and canvas instance(s).
>>> For the pd instance the most obvious starting point is the version-- the 
>> simplest 
>>> way is what I proposed about sending a query to the pd and 
>>> getting a response with a [receive pd].  Miller wants to avoid this 
>> approach 
>>> for readability reasons, so if there's a better approach I'd be 
>> interested in 
>>> hearing it.  At the least it should have these features:
>>> * ability to return all data with a single bang/get/whatever message.  
>> One-object-per-datum 
>>> like [version], [rtflag], [nogui], etc. isn't optimal.
>> I think having individual objects that are bangable is the best approach.  Why 
>> don't you like it?
> Because if you want to get n data about pd (or from a canvas) you have 
> to have n objects.  One of my biggest pains in Pd comes when I need to 
> map keys to, say, midi numbers-- if you use [route 32 12 56 32 etc.] connected 
> to however many message boxes, it's a lot of patching work to do something 
> very simple.  So if I had a patch that needed many of your objects above, 
> it's a pain.

I don't see how typing the message boxes for the send/receive approach is really much less typing and patching than the single object approach. And it does make the patch a lot more readable.  As for your [route] example, that doesn't quite seem related.  You can also do programmatic matching using [select], and other approaches.

>> I'm just about done with a [canvasvisible] object for 
>> iemguts to illustrate this idea.
> I'm not wild about the interface of some of the iemguts objects-- one of them 
> differentiates between "list" and "bang" to trigger different behavior, and 
> the level for [sendcanvas] isn't settable.

Yes the depth should be settable, that should be possible to add, not a lot of work.  Which differentiates between list and bang?  That can make sense depending on the context.


> -Jonathan
>>> * clear syntax that can be extended to other areas of pd.  I like the 
>> "get $something" syntax 
>>> because one could also use it for getting data from the inlet of an object 
>> and outputting it 
>>> to a subsidiary outlet.  (Other selectors could be used-- that's just 
>> my example.)
>> Having individual objects means the most minimal and Pd-ish syntax:
>> [bang(
>> |
>> [nogui]
>> |
>> [1(
>>> * for canvases, the user must be able to make a distinction between 
>> "this local canvas" and 
>>> "all canvases that have this receive symbol".  (This is why 
>> [namecanvas] isn't obsoleted by 
>>> sending to an abstraction's filename prefixed with "pd-".)  
>> The only ways I've seen to do this 
>>> are [iemguts/sendcanvas] / [iemguts/receivecanvas] and using gpointers with 
>> the send-window 
>>> method of [pointer].  Using either to query/receive canvas attributes will 
>> be wireless, which 
>>> evidently isn't what Miller wants.
>> You could combine [sendcanvas] and [receivecanvas] into [thiscanvas] with an 
>> inlet for the receive and an outlet for the send.  
>>> My idea is to have the pd community build abstractions around whatever way 
>> these features 
>>> get implemented.  Even if one method of getting the core functionality 
>> isn't the most readable, 
>>> it can be wrapped in an abstraction that has an inlet and an outlet to make 
>> it more readable.  
>>> If changes to the core functionality need to be made at a later date then 
>> the innards of the 
>>> abstraction can be modified to fit those revisions without the 
>> abstraction's interface being 
>>> affected.  This way you open up development of these interfaces to the 
>> entire Pd userbase, 
>>> rather than just people who can code in c.
>> I think we all agree on the end goal here.  It sounds there are two things here: 
>> iemguts-like functionality for interacting with the patch's t_canvas  
>> (posonparent, parent, coords, etc.) and getting info from the global (nogui, 
>> version, rtflag, etc.).  For things about interacting with the t_canvas that are 
>> missing from iemguts, I think they should be added to iemguts.  Then for global 
>> things, we can start a new lib.
>> .hc
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> "Making boring techno music is really easy with modern tools, but with live 
>> coding, boring techno is much harder." - Chris McCormick


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