[PD] Proposing to Remove undocumented and additional "standard paths"

Alexandre Torres Porres porres at gmail.com
Tue Aug 15 20:41:05 CEST 2017

Hi, there have been infinite numb er of threads and endless discussions in
each of them about "Standard Paths", locations to download externals to,
user friendly experiences, etc, etc...

Some have had a reflex in recent changes to Pd, namely Pd now suggest to
create a location to download stuff to and also automatically adds it to
the path mechanism. Deken can also add folders to the path.

I think this is a great progress and we finally have it sorted, once and
for all. Good! But... there is still some remaining mess we have to sort
out, and I'm hoping that after so much that has been done we can keep the
pace and finish it.

I'm talking about something that came as a surprise to me, and that I still
think can throw a lot of people off. I had this idea that Pd had previously
defined paths (named "standard paths") that were the *"right"* location to
install externals to. Mostly because puredata.info has a section saying
there is where you should install externals. But, as it turns out, Miller
is saying he only intended "Standard Path" to be the "extra" folder in Pd.
And actually, if you read the manual, you'll see that "Standard Path" is
only referred to as the "extra" folder, and there is no mentioning of a
"user-specific standard path" that depends on the operating system (such as
~/Library/Pd in Mac). Hence, this is not an oficial way, a right way, and
seems to me it's actually "wrong", if anything.

I don't know how that expansion of the "Standard Paths" happened to Pd
Vanilla, I'm guessing this was a thing for Pd-Extended, and somehow got
into Vanilla in a way that Miller missed it, or confused it to be the place
for system files - which is a different folder: (~/Library/Preferences).

Anyway, now we have to discuss what to do. I think we should just remove
such paths as "standard paths", instead of adding something to the manual
saying there also this unsupported thing we decided it is not the way to do
things... so we should not use it anymore.

So, I opened a new Pull Request and I hope this is brought to the attention
of everyone on this list, as I think this is an important issue. Y'all can
check it out at: https://github.com/pure-data/pure-data/pull/183 and share
some thoughts here or there.

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