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

Max abonnements at revolwear.com
Sun Aug 12 19:00:36 CEST 2018

May I propose subwindow as an umbrella term for both abstractions and 

Both terms should be either hyphenated or not. I am fine with not 
hyphenating them, but as a native German speaker I might have a bias 
towards sticking words together.


On 12.08.2018 18:45, Miller Puckette wrote:
> Well, (adopting for the moment subpatch/abstraction for the larger class and
> one-off subpatch for the more specific one of a non-abstraction)...
> I imagine that more things are true of subpatch/abstractions (they have
> subwindows, inlets, outlets; and their run-time semantics are identical)
> than are true of either subset alone (of which we may say that saving and
> loading, and $-argument handling act differently).
> So it's convenient to have some name or other for 'abstraction/subpatch'...
> but if just calling this a 'subpatch' is confusing, perhaps we can think of
> another term.
> cheers
> Miller
> On Sun, Aug 12, 2018 at 02:23:15PM +0200, Max wrote:
>> 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.
>> m.
>>> 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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