ok so this is sort of an amalgamation of discussions I’ve been wanting to start about max/msp/m4l in relation to lines. it’s a lot to take in, sorry, but I think it’s a big deal !
so especially in the wake of norns and its awesome community-ness I’ve been starting to notice how decentralized the max (and other platforms to an extent, pd seems to be doing decent though?) side of things has started to feel. there isn’t really a great consolidation of max/m4l devices for one, even though that is still one of the most common use-cases for grids. just recently someone newer like me dropped in kind of confused about this same kind of thing. to an extent I think it kind of pushes out the less hardware oriented monome users. as far as I can tell we’re still 1 thread per device, which I feel like doesn’t quite work well now that there’s so many platform options for grids. It also doesn’t look like the monome docs really cover the breadth of everything now, which it shouldn’t fully be expected to as a static document I suppose. honestly fixing this might be just as easy as making a “max thread” or a “max device thread” (maybe even a category?) to consolidate all of the different device threads. maybe there’s a better way to address this. I don’t think it’s a huuuge deal either way, just a bit of housekeeping that hasn’t happened yet imo
the bigger problem: new devices. they’re not happening ! they’re sort of dead rn. I want to make them a thing again ! a non-regular also brought this up recently. I’ve kind of brainstormed for a while why this might be happening, but of course want to hear other people’s takes on it. anyway, things where I see potential for improvement:
- organization, as I mentioned. I’ve been working on new stuff but none of it is in a finished state where a device thread would be quite deserving. something like a Norns: ideas or Norns: code review would be cool to have for max. sharing/answering questions and giving help in some dedicated thread might be a good way to get more people involved, i’d love to spearhead that.
- documentation/drawing APIs. this is of course one of the major improvements of norns, probably why it’s so so successful as a community platform right now. at the moment I’d kind of argue that making a grid app for max/m4l right now (especially one with pages, states, things that go beyond what something like grid studies covers) necessitates years of max experience. max is just super fiddly when it comes to this kind of drawing, but an API/library and good docs could fix that. I’ve started on a drawing API, I think @ithkaa started some work in a similar realm but they don’t seem to be active anymore. && to be clear, I’m not suggesting monome should make this by any means, it’s a big undertaking, and I’d love to work on it as a community if there’s enough interest ! like I said, I’ve already started on something, the working name right now is pattrns.
- and last, the big honcho, standards. most m4l apps don’t run at the same time as other apps, but some do, but not all in the same way ??? I’m actually not super caught up on this, cause I’m new (and because it’s hard to find this stuff due to aforementioned things falling out of organization), so fill me in if I’m wrong about this. it looks like at least @tehn, @elquinto, @ithkaa, and @stretta all have multi-object systems in max for live, but they don’t all fit one standard ? (again, correct me because I didn’t take time to confirm that). also most of those users look like they’re inactive now. part of what I’m imagining for the drawing API thing is just a standard approach for storing the drawing data so the grid can switch between apps, and also a standard for how to switch apps. I also like @stretta’s approach of just keeping track of active app using the live track. I’ve been experimenting and so far the dead-simplest approach I’ve found is to store that drawing data in pattr objects. but again, we can interrogate that.
EDIT: it looks like, yea there is a bit more standardization for this than I initially thought, I just haven’t been fitting my ideas into it - this might also diminish the need for an API (which could could run into compatibility issues inevitably)
and TO REITERATE I’m not at all blind to all the work that monome is putting into norns right now, I’m actually volunteering to take on the bulk of this work, hopefully this doesn’t come off as asking for stuff. mearly trying to get community feedback involved ! these are all things I’ve been quietly prototyping solutions for on my own, but I think I need to publicize the process to get to any solutions. also trying to use this topic to gauge who would be interested in getting involved with a re-born max community of sorts, and how that would look.
@dan_derks @alanza @glia @Rodrigo I’ve talked to all you lovely folks about this idea in various configurations and would very much value your feedback on this idea in its current state if you wouldn’t mind taking a look ty xx