[PD] C++ for reusable dsp lib - or better use C?

Mathieu Bouchard matju at artengine.ca
Wed Feb 22 06:18:42 CET 2012

Le 2012-02-22 à 02:12:00, katja a écrit :

> I was considering C++ just for programming comfort. I know that 
> everything can be done in C but it is so clumsy for making class-like 
> things. If Pd would be conceived today, would it be written in C?

I can't imagine Miller writing it in C++...

But even though I'd like Pd to be written in C++, I'm conscious of its 
limitations about dynamic OOP. For example, you can't define methods at 
runtime, find methods by string, etc., which is bad for making a language 
like Pd.

> So, the comfort of C++ programming and the time saved during development 
> may be outweighed by troubles in deployment? I have to think twice... My 
> lib should easily build and run wherever Pd runs.

I'm not saying that, but it is annoying.

It's also possible to use a lot of C++ features while still using plain 
CDECL interfaces for external linkage (extern "C"). Plain Pd externals are 
even simpler : they only need to export one function to the linkers, and 
they do the rest of the linking by calling class_addmethod and such.

> I started reading Axel-Tobias Schreiner's 'Object-Oriented Programming 
> with ANSI-C', found via Marvin's link. The title made me enthusiastic 
> for a moment. I like C. But for OOP? It's a lot of dull administration.

OOP has been done many times in C. There are many examples of it, most 
notably Xt (the common portion between Athena, XView/OpenLook, Motif/CDE, 
the old widget toolkits) ; but even more notably, Glib/Gtk/GNOME.

It's good to read a book like that if you wanted to rewrite Pd in C++ (I 
don't know that book, I mean only this topic). This is because even if you 
use C++, you'll probably have to cook your own OOP features at one point 
or another. Even though C++ includes tonnes of features and very intricate 
details, it still leaves a lot of interesting topics untouched. C++ is 
really meant for compile-only use, and anything that looks like an 
interpreted language (such as Pd) is unimplemented.

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

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