[PD] Extension Cord

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 11 22:04:57 CET 2012

Here's an idea for a useful gui object in case anyone else has seen a need:

Problem: using [t a] or [pd] to extend a wire requires all incoming connections at the
top of the object which makes it a crude substitution for segmented wires.

Problem 2: segmented wires can end up making patches harder to read (though I
don't necessarily agree)

Problem 3: Often, esp. in help patches, you want to stack a bunch of msg boxes and
connect them to the object like so:





But doing so obscures the visual diagram-- for example, [method_4( might erroneously
have been left unconnected but the connection from [method_1( to [object] obscures
this error.

Solution: an "extension cord" object-- a line segment which, like a real extension cord,
can take in connections all along the length of the line.  It has a base at the bottom
like a flagpole, with an outlet (or outlets). The line segment can be at any angle, and
an object can connect to it anywhere along that line.

Could also call it [flagpole], because in the message box example above the message
"flags" would each have a small 45-degree wire connecting to the vertical line of [flagpole],
and [flagpole] would have a single outlet at the base connecting to [object].  Thus, each
45-degree angled wire coming from each message box would show clearly that each box
is connected, and there would be no ambiguity when viewing the patch as to the dataflow.

Similarly, there are times when having the line of [flagpole] extending horizontally would make
it easier to read a patch-- for example, if you have a lot of objects fanning into one object and
end up with some wires of a very small angle that extend very close to another inlet (or cross
through some other object).  In such a situation it'd be much more elegant for each object
to have a vertical connection to the extension cord.

There might also be examples with an angled line, but vert/horiz might cover most situations.
If you made it a one pixel border around a one pixel empty area for the pole and just made
the base the name of the object in a box, it'd be visually distinct from wires.


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