Commit 6fcd85d0 authored by pokergaming's avatar pokergaming
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added a README.txt with the original src notes plus lots of guidelines for...

added a README.txt with the original src notes plus lots of guidelines for installing, contributing, etc.
parent 8f7a20e5
Pure Data L2ork Contributor's Guide
maintainer: Ivica Bukvic <>
maintainer: Jonathan Wilkes <>
One Paragraph Project Overview
Pure Data (aka Pd) is a visual programming. That means you can use it to
create software graphically by drawing diagrams instead of writing lines of
code. These diagram shows how data flows through the software, displaying on
the screen what text-based languages require you to piece together in your mind.
Three Paragraph Project Overview
Pd has been designed with an emphasis on generating sound, video,
2D/3D graphics, and connecting through sensors, input devices, and MIDI as well
as OSC devices.
Pd has a special emphasis on generating audio and/or video in real time, with
low latency. Much of its design focuses on receiving, manipulating, and
delivering high-quality audio signals. Specifically, the software addresses
the problem of how to do this efficiently and reliably on general purpose
operating systems like OSX, Windows, Debian, etc.-- i.e., systems designed
mainly for multi-tasking.
Pd can easily work over local and remote networks. It can be used to integrate
wearable technology, motor systems, lighting rigs, and other equipment. Pd is
also suitable for learning basic multimedia processing and visual programming
methods, as well as for realizing complex systems for large-scale projects.
Distributions of Pure Data
There are currently three main distributions of Pure Data:
1. Pd-l2ork. Version used by Ivica Bukvic for his laptop orchestra. This
contributor's guide is for Pd-l2ork.
2. Pure Data "Vanilla". Miller Puckette's personal version which he hosts on
his website and maintains. It doesn't include external libraries like
objects for doing graphics, video, etc.
2. Pure Data Extended. A monolithic distribution which ships with lots of
external libraries. At the moment it doesn't look to be maintained.
Pd-l2ork Goals
Pd-l2ork has the following goals:
0. Documentation. We like documentation. It's like code, except friendly.
1. Be reliable. Binary releases must be usable for performances and
installations. The git repo must always be in a workable state that can be
compiled. Regressions must be fixed quickly.
2. Be discoverable. Undocumented features are buggy. Missing help files are
bugs. Patches for new functionality that lack documentation are spam.
3. Be consistent. Consistent interfaces are themselves a kind of
documentation. We like documentation, so it follows that we like consistent
Installation Guide
To install using a pre-compiled binary, follow these instructions:
To set up a development environment, first make sure you have the following
package dependencies listed here:
Then follow the steps outlined here:
Contributor's Guide
Contributing is easy:
1. Join the development list:
2. Tell us what you'd like to work on. Unfortunately there are _lots_ of
externals and even core features that are poorly documented. We can help
make sure you aren't duplicating functionality (or that you at least know
what's already been implemented).
3. Send us your patch and we'll try it out. If it's well-documented and
there aren't any bugs we'll add it to the software.
4. If you want to do regular development and have commit access, just request
it, then follow the Pd-l2ork goals above.
Here are some pressing tasks:
* porting Pd-l2ork's graphical user interface from Tcl/Tk to Qt.
skill requirements: knowledge about Qt5/QML, threading, and Pd's core design
and deterministic message-dispatching and scheduling
status: under active development
* designing/implementing regression test template
skill requirements: knowledge about... regression tests. :) But also some
expertise in using Pd so that the tests themselves can
be written in Pure Data. At the same time, they should
be able to be run as part of the automated packaging
process (i.e., in -nogui mode).
status: some externals have their own testing environments, but they are
limited as they require manual intervention to run and read the
results inside a graphical window.
Here's an email thread with Katja Vetter's design, which looks to
be automatable:
And Mathieu Bouchard's "pure unity" (not sure if this is the most
recent link...):
* writing small audio/visual Pd games or demos to include in the next release
skill requirements: ability to write Pd programs
status: I wrote a little sprite-based game that will ship with the next
version of Pd-l2ork. In it, the character walks around in an actual
Pd diagram shoots at the objects to progress, and to make realtime
changes to the music.
What I'd like is to include a new, smallish game with each release
that has a link in the Pd console. It can be a little demo or game,
just something fun that shows off what can be done using Pure Data.
Project "Underview" (Implementation and Code Style)
The following is adapted from Pd Vanilla's original source notes. (There,
they are found in CHANGELOG.txt for some reason...)
Sections 2-3 below are quite old. Someone needs to check whether they even
hold true for Pd Vanilla any more.
0. structure definition roadmap. First, the containment tree of things
that can be sent messages ("pure data"). (note that t_object and t_text,
and t_graph and t_canvas, should be unified...)
BEFORE 0.35:
m_pd.h t_pd anything with a class
t_gobj "graphic object"
t_text text object
t_glist list of graphic objects
g_canvas.c t_canvas Pd "document"
AFTER 0.35:
m_pd.h t_pd anything with a class
t_gobj "graphic object"
t_text patchable object, AKA t_object
g_canvas.h t_glist list of graphic objects, AKA t_canvas
Other structures:
g_canvas.h t_selection -- linked list of gobjs
t_editor -- editor state, allocated for visible glists
m_imp.h t_methodentry -- method handler
t_widgetbehavior -- class-dependent editing behavior for gobjs
t_parentwidgetbehavior -- objects' behavior on parent window
t_class -- method definitions, instance size, flags, etc.
1. C coding style. The source should pass most "warnings" of C compilers
(-Wall on linux, for instance; see the makefile.) Some informalities
are intentional, for instance the loose use of function prototypes (see
below) and uncast conversions from longer to shorter numerical formats.
The code doesn't respect "const" yet.
1.1. Prefixes in structure elements. The names of structure elements always
have a K&R-style prefix, as in ((t_atom)x)->a_type, where the "a_" prefix
indicates "atom." This is intended to enhance readability (although the
convention arose from a limitation of early C compilers.) Common prefixes are
"w_" (word), "a_" (atom), "s_" (symbol), "ob_" (object), "te_" (text object),
"g_" (graphical object), and "gl_" (glist, a list of graphical objects). Also,
global symbols sometimes get prefixes, as in "s_float" (the symbol whose string
is "float). Typedefs are prefixed by "t_". Most _private_ structures, i.e.,
structures whose definitions appear in a ".c" file, are prefixed by "x_".
1.2. Function arguments. Many functions take as their first
argument a pointer named "x", which is a pointer to a structure suggested
by the function prefix; e.g., canvas_dirty(x, n) where "x" points to a canvas
(t_canvas *x).
1.3. Function Prototypes. Functions which are used in at least two different
files (besides where they originate) are prototyped in the appropriate include
file. Functions which are provided in one file and used in one other are
prototyped right where they are used. This is just to keep the size of the
".h" files down for readability's sake.
1.4. Whacko private terminology. Some terms are lifted from other historically
relevant programs, notably "ugen" (which is just a tilde object; see d_ugen.c.)
1.5. Spacing. Tabs are 8 spaces; indentation is 4 spaces. Indenting
curly brackets are by themselves on their own lines, as in:
if (x)
x = 0;
Lines should fit within 80 spaces.
2. Max patch-level compatibility. "Import" and "Export" functions are
provided which aspire to strict compatibility with 0.26 patches (ISPW version),
but which don't get anywhere close to that yet. Where possible, features
appearing on the Mac will someday also be provided; for instance, the connect
message on the Mac offers segmented patch cords; these will devolve into
straight lines in Pd. Many, many UI objects in Opcode Max will not appear in
Pd, at least at first.
3. Compatibility with Max 0.26 "externs", i.e., source-level compatibility. Pd
objects follow the style of 0.26 objects as closely as possible, making
exceptions in cases where the 0.26 model is clearly deficient. These are:
3.1. Anything involving the MacIntosh "Handle" data type is changed to use
char * or void * instead.
3.2. Pd passes true single-precision floating-point arguments to methods;
Max uses double.
Typedefs are provided:
t_floatarg, t_intarg for arguments passed by the message system
t_float, t_int for the "word" union (in atoms, for example.)
3.3. Badly-named entities got name changes:
w_long --> w_int (in the "union word" structure)
3.4. Many library functions are renamed and have different arguments;
I hope to provide an include file to alias them when compiling Max externs.
4. Function name prefixes.
Many function names have prefixes which indicate what "package" they belong
to. The exceptions are:
typedmess, vmess, getfn, gensym (m_class.c)
getbytes, freebytes, resizebytes (m_memory.c)
post, error, bug (s_print.c)
which are all frequently called and which don't fit into simple categories.
Important packages are:
(pd-gui:) pdgui -- everything
(pd:) pd -- functions common to all "pd" objects
obj -- fuctions common to all "patchable" objects ala Max
sys -- "system" level functions
binbuf -- functions manipulating binbufs
class -- functions manipulating classes
(other) -- functions common to the named Pd class
5. Source file prefixes.
s system interface
m message system
g graphics stuff
d DSP objects
x control objects
z other
t TK front end
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