[PD] distinction Pd lingo: abstraction, subpatch, subwindow

Max abonnements at revolwear.com
Sun Aug 12 14:23:15 CEST 2018

Hi Miller, thanks for chiming in.

On 12.08.2018 00:54, Miller Puckette wrote:
> I think the best terminology is "sub-patch" for either an abstraction or
> for a one-off subpatch.  (But then we probably need a better term for 'one-off';
> maybe 'ad hoc'?

may I ask the rationale for it?

I believe a clearly defined and consistent terminology is very important 
for people trying to understand the manuals and helpfiles.
The definitions in 2.7 and 2.7.1 are good, and I think the terms 
"subpatch" and "abstraction" are good too.
** subpatch ** is like a folder structure where things can be put into 
and stuffed away.
** abstraction ** is exactly what it sounds like. The term doesn't try 
to be what a "class" is in other languages, I think that's smart.

The established definitions give us a clear distinction between 
externals, abstractions and subpatches.

Now I just wish the documentation would be consistent with those 
established terms and not adding confusion by using the terms differently.


> cheers
> Miller
> On Tue, Aug 07, 2018 at 01:44:18PM +0200, Max wrote:
>> In the Pd documentation the word
>> abstraction is found 1859 times
>> subpatch is found 2142 times
>> sub-patch is found 45 times
>> subwindow is found 24 times
>> sub-window is found 1 time (that's in the html document, where it occurs 3
>> times hyphenated and 1 time not hyphenated)
>> For reference: Definitions of the terms subpatch and abstraction can be
>> found in paragraphs 2.7 and 2.7.1 of the documentation.
>> The terms however are consistently used inconsistent.
>> in 2.7.2 "Graph-on-parent subpatches" the illustration shows an abstraction,
>> not a subpatch. The text first talks about an abstraction and then
>> continues: "When the sub-patch is closed, all controls in it appear on the
>> object instead; so the number box in the sub-patch in the example above is
>> the same one as you see in the box. "
>> Even weirder, there is a definition of the term "abstraction" in the
>> clone-help.pd which goes as follows: "a patch loaded as an object in another
>> patch"
>> but in the same patch the clones abstraction is named "clone-subpatch.pd".
>> Is there something I am missing here?
>> m.
>> On 05.08.2018 12:01, Max wrote:
>>> OK, let me try myself, please correct me:
>>> An abstraction is a Pd patch which is used like an object in another Pd
>>> patch.
>>> A subpatch is saved within the main patch and is constructed with [pd
>>> {name}]. Multiple subpatches with the same name may coexist.
>>> Subwindow is the umbrella term for both of the prior terms.
>>> If someone can confirm that the above definition is true, I will make
>>> some pull requests to the documentation/ help files since it isn't
>>> consistent. The pd~-help for example.
>>> On 04.08.2018 14:05, Max wrote:
>>>> In the helpfiles and on this list the three words
>>>> 'abstraction'
>>>> 'subpatch' or 'sub-patch'
>>>> 'subwindow'
>>>> are used. could someone provide a definition of those? I suspect
>>>> they aren't used in a consistent way throughout the documentation.
>>>> m.

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