[PD] Cyclone suite initiative

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at yahoo.com
Sat Dec 6 19:42:01 CET 2014

On 12/06/2014 04:53 AM, Fred Jan Kraan wrote:
> Hi Ivica, Jonathan,
> Thanks for the response.
> @Ivica:
>> Why not simply use cyclone help patches provided in pd-l2ork that
>> already conform to the pddp standard?
> The pd-l2ork help patches with standard format indeed look much better
> than the 'free-style' pd-extended patches. That is why I use these as a
> base.
> But I do not copy them directly for several reasons:
> - the lack of curly lines in pd-extended make pd-l2ork formatted patches
> a little less clean than possible,
> - not all patches are correct, usually because the original had the problem,
> - the pd META information is incorrect (probably copied from an pd-core
> object),
> - to learn as much as possible of these objects, I try then to see if
> they work and how. This can lead to changes to the patch.
> Of course a mass copy would be a fast way to improve cyclone help, but
> with the long term goal in mind, I think this slow method could result
> in better help files. Later I will see how they look in pd-vanilla and
> pd-l2ork and make adjustments.
> @Jonathan:
>> But then Pd Vanilla aficionados might complain that to use cyclone they
>> would be forced to also install the pddp library for [pddplink] and
>> [helplink], because those objects do not ship with Pd Vanilla.
>> Otherwise they would end up with a lot of broken objects in those
>> help patches.
> There seems to a 'rule' to make help-patches only dependent on vanilla
> objects, and this makes sense. But maybe we can use a rich help-patch to
> generate a vanilla-compliant one (see below).

It's instructive to have some history on this...

The PDDP template was developed by developers of Pd.  They started with 
a format, revised it based on IRC chats (and maybe other meetings, I'm 
not sure), and wrote some wiki pages about the goals of the project.  
AFAICT this included all the major developers of Pd.  Everyone gave 
input.  Input was considered and things were revised.  There were 
certainly drawbacks and benefits to the template and design chosen, but 
that's true with anything.

Then nobody worked on actually implementing any of this.

I didn't participate in that process.  I just came along after it had 
happened, noticed it hadn't been implemented, and began the long, boring 
task of implementing it.  Hans had a help patch for [float] which 
already used the template and had links-- plus some other templates on 
pure data info-- so I took those and ran with it.

I added some things like the "Usage Guide", and where details were 
missing I inquired on the list.  After typically receiving no feedback 
from the list (because, after all, this is truly boring stuff), I just 
made a decision and stuck with it.  Other than [pddp/helplink], I added 
no dependencies to the template that weren't already there.  I asked 
Hans for permission to commit, and committed all the pd-extended 
reference docs you currently see included in the distro.

Consequent to that I found out Miller didn't want to include the 
PDDP-formatted help patches in Vanilla.  That, along with other obvious 
signs of Pd-community dysfunction convinced me that it would be more 
trouble than it's worth trying to convince everyone to use the PDDP 
template for the external libs.  Still, the other part of the standard 
was to tag the terse help docs with keywords to make it possible to 
search for Pd objects/tutorials/etc.  That only required the addition of 
a single subpatch, and who would possibly argue against adding that?  
(It turns out one dev still didn't accept that.)  I then added those 
subpatches to as many libs as I could, and contacted the maintainer to 
commit the changes.  For unmaintained libs I did the commits myself.

So, to recap: the "rule" you observe stems from my own reluctance to 
have futile discussions about why there aren't hyperlinks in Pd Vanilla, 
how to get them included, how to further revise the PDDP template for 
devs who barely even write help patches as it is, and so on.  I just 
wanted to be able to search the docs to find what I need.  By only 
adding subpatches I was able to achieve this.  The downside is that the 
help patches remain way less helpful because there are no links to 
easily cross-reference topics.  My own knowledge about what those 
cross-references would be has disappeared over time.

>> All the little Pd libraries in Debian don't help this problem, because
>> not every GNU/Linux distribution uses apt. (Nor does OSX or Windows,
>> for that matter.)
> The other main distribution tool is rpm. It might be interesting to know
> how much of the "Linux-market" uses either deb or rpm.
> For Windows and OSX, there is no ready made solution yet. But other
> software packages have a cross-platform package distribution system; the
> examples I know are perl (ActiveState) and cygwin. But is probably not
> trival to build or adapt something for Pd.
>> Also, I believe Hans emailed awhile back asking if I'd do the work
>> of removing the PDDP template boilerplate from the tutorial revisions
>> I did.  He wanted me to leave only the [pd META] subpatch, because
>> that's evidently the only part Miller wanted to add to Vanilla.
> Making help-patches as much as possible is also one of the modifications
> I make to the pd-l2ork help-patches.

I don't understand what you mean.  Are you saying you revised the 
Pd-l2ork help patches?  If so, send them to me and I'll commit.

If not-- is there a way for me to get a master list of the changes 
you've made?  If so I'm happy to integrate them into Pd-l2ork's help docs.

> So far I ignored the pddp code. But
> removing the line with "pddp/pddplink" seems to work and this can be
> scripted. But for pd environments that always have the complete set, it
> is a great feature to have links.

That would only work if all [pddp/pddplink] objects come last in the pd 
file.  Otherwise you'll throw off the connection indices.  (Maybe you 
didn't notice the effect because so many of the objects are comments, 
which don't have wires.)

Why aren't there hyperlinks in Pd Vanilla?  We shouldn't be working 
around this in the 21st century.


> Greetings,
> Fred Jan

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