[PD] standard paths for externals

Alexandre Torres Porres porres at gmail.com
Tue Jun 12 21:16:20 CEST 2018

2018-06-12 8:00 GMT-03:00 IOhannes m zmoelnig <zmoelnig at iem.at>:

> why do you think it is outdated?

I think cause it doesn't say about the new way of doing things since 0.48.

> everything you found on the how-do-i-install-exernals-and-help-files FAQ
> is correct.

Well, recent discussions seem to have at least challenged this entry.
Specially Miller and Dan felt it wasn't the right approach or the way to do

The FAQ basically describes three different "Standard Paths" (paths
automatically searched for things) for Pd. They are the app specific
("extra" folder), local and global path. Although Pd has these 3 locations
hard coded as "Standard Paths", there seems to be a conflict/inconsistency
in what "Standard Path" is or should be, and that the local and global path
shouldn't really exist. I say that because:

*A)* Pure Data, up to this day, does come with or create the local/global
folder, so the user has to go for it.
*B)* The local/global folder are never mentioned in Pd Vanilla's
documentation. And in fact, only the "extra" folder is described as a
"Standard Path" in Pd Vanilla's manual, and  - see
http://msp.ucsd.edu/Pd_documentation/x3.htm#s5 for reference
*C)* Miller stated that "Standard Path" was always meant to refer to what
comes with Pd - that is, of course, things in the "extra" folder, and not
the other folders which don't come with Pd (see "A") and are not even
documented (see "B"). Here's the reference:

Now, regarding "A)", I know Pd Extended did create at least the "local"
folder, for macOS. So this seems to have been something well integrated in
Pd Extended. Hence, I wonder if these two other paths (local/global) got
into Vanilla from Extended's influence without Miller noticing it - as it'd
explain them not being documented in Pd's manual, not being provided by the
software and Miller stating he never meant those folders to be "Standard
Paths". Perhaps someone here can tell me more about how this got into Pd.

But that is a parallel discussion. What's more relevant is that, influenced
by this FAQ entry, I proposed a different/better folder for macOS. Well, to
my surprise, all this idea I got about that FAQ entry being the canonical
way of doing things just fell apart, and Miller/Dan went for another
approach that kinda ignores this FAQ entry, which is the new way since 0,48
(here's a long discussion for reference

> There has been discussions about this frequently, but I can't seem to
> > find the results of it. Was there something which was agreed upon?

Well, there has definitely been results in the design of Pd that came out
of recent discussions. Let me point again to what Miller said in
https://lists.puredata.info/pipermail/pd-list/2017-07/119839.html to
highlight the notion that we should not use "Standard Path" to install
externals, and this is regardless if there is one or more of them, and if
there should be only one... it doesn't matter, just don't use them.

As Miller said in that message, we should just use the "Path" mechanism,
and no Standard Paths. This means just have your externals anywhere and put
them in "Preferences => Path" if you want them to be automatically loaded.
Now, this may not yet be 100% fully well integrated with Pd, I don't know
what IOhannes meant by that, but I can say that if you want to use
[declare] instead of doing this, it won't work well, but there's already a
Pull Request that fixes it. So whatever is not perfect yet with the new
system should be fixed soon.

> there's a deep rift between the factions.

Ok, I don't know about that, and I haven't seen one. By the way, let me
just make it clear that I do not have a dog in this fight, I'm just going
with the flow without disputing anything. Yeah, I actually first opposed to
the new way of doing things since 0.48, as I was influenced by that FAQ
entry and worried about a good integration to Pd's mechanism, so I argued
on it. But once things went the way they did, I'm embracing it and thought
that was the new consensus. And speaking as someone that had lots of
resistance to the new approach in the beginning, I don't see any real
issues now. If you or anyone else have issues, let's put them on the table
and work on them.

One way or another, I just hope that aren't rifts and that such challenging
notions get sorted out. I say that because I want to write a new
documentation on how to install externals nowadays, and there still seems
to be lots of confusion in the air, which gets in the way of writing a
clear documentation, and prevents the development of a text that would make
things more objective and clear to everyone. This thread is a very good
example on how even advanced users are still confused about all this, so we
should do something about it. I think it's very important. If advanced
users are confused, imagine newcomers...

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