[PD] no pd?? WTF ????

Mathieu Bouchard matju at artengine.ca
Fri Jan 13 14:05:13 CET 2012

Le 2012-01-13 à 10:46:00, João Pais a écrit :

> and you're only talking about the aesthetical/workflow features. to bring up 
> a subject that I am paying attention only now, try out to see how high you go 
> with [expr pow(2,$f1)] until you loose resolution - 20 in pd, but 30 in max5 
> (the coming up of Pd double precision will help this, but it's a work Katja 
> is doing alone).

There's a big difference between decimal precision as printed on screen 
and in text files and [netsend], and binary precision used in most other 

Pd is able to think of numbers bigger than a million, but won't print a 
million plus one. It is able to if you force it to, using less than ideal 
tools such as [makefilename] that creates one symbol each time, or 
[#sprintf] that makes you a float list of ascii codes.

Neither binary nor decimal representation is more precise than the other, 
it's just that their precision never matches exactly. 20 bits is slightly 
less than 6 decimals, whereas 16 decimals is slightly more than 53 bits. 
Thus you can only preserve precision by using slightly too many digits, 
otherwise you'll have too few.

I don't know what max5 does, but the only practical float sizes in the 
main processor are 24 bits and 53 bits. (this assumes that the most 
significant bit is not recorded because it's always one)

> Which means, for example, in max you have more resolution than Pd to control 
> the playback of large arrays with precision (up to 2147483647,

that's 31 bits. From 0 to 2147483647, you have 2147483648 numbers, which 
is pow(2,31) exactly (aka 1<<31), if it didn't overflow. the 32nd bit is 
the sign. That's using integers. I bet that you can't have integer 
signals. Can you ? Otherwise, you're stuck at the same limit as Pd... 
though Pd42 does offer a workaround as a 2nd inlet in [tabread~].

Does Max offer that 2nd inlet ?

BTW : in floats, pd can exactly represent powers of two up to pow(2,127). 
Powers of two are represented exactly in binary. They just won't be 
printed exactly in decimal by default, but [makefilename %f] can print 
«symbol 170141183460469231731687303715884105728.000000» accurately. The 
float format stops working just before getting to pow(2,128). But for 
[tabread~] you need contiguous integers, and that stops at 16777216, and 
for [tabread4~] you need at least some fractions to make it useful at all 
(contiguous sixteenths stop at 1048576, for example). So, your power-of-2 
example is misleading in another way.

| Mathieu BOUCHARD ----- téléphone : +1.514.383.3801 ----- Montréal, QC

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