[PD] repackaging externals on Deken

Liam Goodacre liamg_uw at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 23 05:00:19 CET 2017

Thanks Katja. I tried renaming an external and indeed it does not work!What would be involved in forking an external and would this process be accessible to someone with no coding experience?

Also, can you elaborate on your second-last paragraph? I don't follow this.

From: katja <katjavetter at gmail.com>
Sent: 21 January 2017 10:50
To: Liam Goodacre
Cc: PD list
Subject: Re: [PD] repackaging externals on Deken


Choosing a unique name for an external is indeed the best warranty to avoid conflicts. Not only a future release of a dependency has the potential to break your patch. An old release with a bug or missing feature can do that too! It seems there's no way to force Pd loading the executable that sits in your project tree (I would be very happy if someone can prove me wrong).

So if you're concerned about versions of externals breaking your patch, you could preventively fork them under a different and very specific name. Like 'contxt_demux', 'contxt_initbang'. I won't advise against it because the issue of name clash in pd is serious enough to consider all strategies, but be aware that forking is a bit more involved than simply renaming an existing binary (which won't do the trick as IOhannes has already mentioned).

In either case (modified class names or not) a redistribution of GPL licensed software should include the sources, and when you redistribute a subset you need a customized build system.

Note that I'm not advertising to redistribute, just detailing the consequences. I learn from this discussion too.


On Fri, Jan 20, 2017 at 5:22 PM, Liam Goodacre <liamg_uw at hotmail.com<mailto:liamg_uw at hotmail.com>> wrote:

Dear all:

Thanks for the detailed responses. My main interest here is, as Katja mentioned, the desire for a one-click-buy option (minus the "buy"). A secondary concern is that some future release of an external will change somehow break the patch, although this doesn't seem likely, given how slowly externals tend to move and the general commitment to backwards compatibility.

I like Fred's idea of distributing two packages, one with- and one without externals*. However, I take Katja's point seriously that forcing two versions of the same file on the same disk could become problematic. A quick and dirty solution to this might be to rename all the external files that are uploaded in the Context deken package (ie. "demux.pd_linux" --> "demux2.pd_linux"). This would solve the problem as far as I can see, although it seems somehow wrong. What are people's thoughts about this?

Two other points that are worth mentioning:

1. Context depends on [initbang] from iemguts 0.2.1. Last time I checked, the deken package for this was only available for Windows, not Linux or Mac.

2. I haven't used the [declare] object at all, given the warning in the help file against using it in abstractions. Instead, each external is declared in the object name.

*Actually, four versions: one for Windows, Linux Mac, and one without externals.


From: katja <katjavetter at gmail.com<mailto:katjavetter at gmail.com>>
Sent: 20 January 2017 15:29
To: Liam Goodacre
Cc: PD list
Subject: Re: [PD] repackaging externals on Deken

In the early days of Raspberry Pi I has a need to redistribute a few
externals with PicoJockey, an ARMv6 targeted version of SliceJockey,
because Pd-extended did not explicitly support the platform.
PicoJockey includes a source tree with subsets of some external
libraries plus a custom build system, and a binary build for ARMv6.

This was in the pre-deken era, and while it would be technically
possible to distribute PicoJockey (or any Pd project) in such a format
via deken, I seriously doubt whether that it is a good idea. Libraries
in deken are versioned, and so would be a project that depends on
libraries. A project can only specify it's own version in the deken
interface. Now imagine a project silently installs unspecified
versions of other packages, or subsets thereof? Even when they reside
in a subtree of the project, they will conflict with 'official'
versions if not identical. This can be a source of confusion and
frustration no matter how well you know Pd.

I perfectly understand your desire for a 'one click buy', Liam. That's
what I wanted for SliceJockey and PicoJockey as well. It's good for
your project and also for the reputation of Pd when things work out of
the box. But we have to recognize the fragility of a dependency chain.
Even in the heyday of Pd-extended a library update could wreck your
'one click' project and leave people puzzled why it stopped working.
In my experience, a Pd project with 'app convenience' is an illusion
that can hold for only a while. When a project suggests to be
self-containing, users are unaware of dependencies and clueless if
something breaks.

Externals are plugins no matter how they are distributed. Be sure to
accurately and conspiciously document all dependencies of your
project, on your project page and in the distribution. Then if
something breaks, people will hopefully remember to check dependencies
and come back to your project page for info or updates. Some
dependencies are more susceptible to break than others (e.g.
unmaintained / orphaned / complicated / debated / forked libs).

You could use various distribution methods according to target
audience and release cycle. Why not start with an alpha test release
for vanilla + deken? If your project provides clear dependency
statements and include mechanisms like [declare] objects, your alpha
testers should be settled with a few deken clicks instead of just one.
If not... oh yeah... now I remember your problem with one external not
being up to date in deken. Is that a consideration for 'repackaging'?


On Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 5:12 AM, Liam Goodacre <liamg_uw at hotmail.com<mailto:liamg_uw at hotmail.com>> wrote:
> Hi all
> I'm starting to think about how to distribute the Context sequencer when it
> is ready (hopefully the day is not very far away).  Context is an
> abstraction, but it relies heavily on externals*. Ideally, I want it up on
> Deken, but I'm not sure what to do about the external packages. Is it
> feasible / acceptable to bundle all the externals I'm using into a folder
> and distribute them along with the main Context package? I'm hoping that
> this way the whole thing could be downloaded and installed in one click, but
> I want to make sure that there aren't any complications or license issues.
> Has external repackaging been done before?
> *The external libraries I'm using are:
> -cyclone
> -zexy
> -iemguts (including initbang)
> -moocow
> -flatgui
> -list-abs
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