I use the text representation a lot. Not to edit but to search for sends/receives/grabs/colls/prints throughout my patch with a texteditor that has advanced search options (e.g. the textwrangler 'Find all' option). In fact I am just waiting for a 'Find all' option in Max.
Not really.. I use it mostly to change the name of a specific send/receive throughout the patch (the one I am working on now exceeds 85,000 lines in text). You guys ever tried the 'refactor' functionality in eclipse? (http://www.eclipse.org/) Now -that- is an IDE. I am afraid Max/MSP is not coming near. But I guess to make Max a real programming language with a real IDE is something for the future. A future I believe in though.
I've started generating sets of tutorials with a descriptive comment on the second line of the text file so:
a really basic patch;
This seems to work as both copy and paste and save file as... and open. However, as might be expected, it does generate an error message...
The reason is so that I can post lots of patches and read them via php - with the above I can display both the filename and the descriptive comment, making the list much more friendly. For the moment the error messages are worth it. It would be nice to have a method of commenting that didn't generate the errors, though.