[PD] Artikulation - datastructures

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 5 03:52:03 CET 2014

Data structure usability and the difficulty of realizing electronic/interactive scores are two separate issues.
In general, data structures aren't widely used for four reasons:* you can't draw lines to/from scalars and make them part of the Pd diagram.  Instead, the user must keep track of them in singly-linked lists and even know to some extent what linked lists are.  Just to do the equivalent of drawing a line between two scalars one must write a cumbersome subpatch to traverse a linked list and pass around gpointers.* there's no data type associated with signal data, and there's no bridge for [tabread] and friends to read/write array data inside a scalar
* the drawing commands and events are too crude and inefficient to create usable widgets or complex scores* it's clunky even to create a scalar in the first place
All of those are fairly low level weaknesses, and all of the electronic scores done in Pd with data structures look the way they do because of those limitations.  Essentially data structures are missing functionality (some of which even exists already in tk, like the ability to draw an oval).  So I don't think Pd's data structures are a good example of the conceptual difficulty of visualizing electronic music.
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