[PD] arraysize WAS apt.puredata.info is back!

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 28 05:38:14 CEST 2012

----- Original Message -----
> From: Simon Wise <simonzwise at gmail.com>
> To: pd-list at iem.at
> Cc: 
> Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2012 10:33 PM
> Subject: Re: [PD] arraysize WAS apt.puredata.info is back!
> On 28/09/12 03:23, Jonathan Wilkes wrote:
>>  And who is this mythical user that looks to the Debian repositories
>>  to figure out how to do something in a programming language?
>>  (Hm, I'm not getting audio output, let's open up Synaptic and 
> search
>>  20,000 mostly non-related packages for a solution...)
> they are at all not mythical, though not as numerous as those using apple, 
> windows or a pre-assembled linux distribution.

That's not what I'm talking about.

I'm referring to what Hans wrote:
>For me, apt-get install pd-arraysize is far easier than trying to
    remember that [expr] trick.  And thankfully we can write externals,
    so we can have choice. :-)

That implies that the user who needs to get an array size but can't
figure out how to do it would either a) remember that one of the many
pd-related packages they happened to see in a query does the job
and decides to install it or, more likely, b) consider the Debian repo
a good place to search for help on Pd.  Neither is generally true, and
typing "pd array" in Synaptic only works because that's a single object
library that does the _exact_ thing the user wants.  (Forget for the
moment that its an unnecessary external and that "expr trick" is clearly
documented.)  Otherwise it's
worse than the <ctrl-b> browser because you have to do the work of
installing each lib just to see whether those are the correct objects
you need, and whether they are actually in working order and don't
crash your system (which is evidently not an obstacle to getting
something included in the Debian repos, unfortunately-- just try opening
ascwave-help.pd from the cxc library).

Also keep in mind that the ease of installing pd-arraysize in Debian doesn't
translate to ease in non-Debian systems of users who may be trying
to read/understand a patch.

I like Debian's repo system a lot-- in fact I think it's the most
wildly successful model for distributing software in a stable and secure
manner  (one that unfortunately Google, Apple, and to some extent
even Gnome with its extension system seem to ignore).  But it's not a
help system.

BTW-- if you type "array size" in my search gui-plugin the first result is
all_about_arrays.pd, which indeed explains the "expr trick".  No installation
necessary.  Granted I revised the patch to demonstrate the method that
works across more flavors of Pd than the other one, but still... :)


> once you get to know apt-get, apt-file, apt-cache and friends those 20,000 
> packages and their contents are very accessible, very well indexed in many 
> useful ways and searching is incredibly quick and powerful ... then installing 
> the result is usually painless, with all dependencies taken care of by the 
> packagers. Running sid rather than stable you get a quite recent set of 
> libraries all in sync version-wise, and sources available, to compile your own 
> packages.
> certainly not the typical pd user, but also certainly not a mythical one either, 
> and since the work done for such a package is by one or other such user then 
> that seems very reasonable to me.
> Simon
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