Data structures


    Jul 22 2013 | 3:39 pm
    Hi, any reason to use the inbuilt datastructures (e.g. linked list, hash table) over those provided in C++ from STL?
    thx Lee

    • Jul 22 2013 | 3:39 pm
      By inbuilt, I mean those provided with the SDK....
    • Jul 22 2013 | 3:59 pm
      i'm not a pro there, but i guess if they are inbuilt that's for a reason... it might be useful in cases of special operations, like pattr saving etc.
    • Jul 22 2013 | 4:31 pm
      Cheers Nicolas... you seem to be answering all my questions :) You should write an FAQ ;)
      JUCE does indeed look interesting!
    • Jul 22 2013 | 6:56 pm
      Hi there,
      if you are writing your external from scratch and you intend to use it only in Max/MSP I strongly recommend you use the built-in data structures for several reasons:
      1 - Thread safety
      2 - They are optimized for the Max message passing signature
      (t_symbol *sym, long argc, t_atom *argv)
      3 - Some of them (i.e. t_hashtab) are able to send notifications as elements are added and deleted.
      4 - You never have to worry about those data structures not being compatible with future versions of Max/MSP.
      5 - I suspect that under the hood of the built-in data structures the C74 team takes care of other subtle issues specific to the Max/MSP environment.
      Of course - as Nicolas pointed out - if your situation is such that you need to reuse your code in other environments or you are porting to Max/MSP code based on data structures from different libraries (STL, Boost, Juce, etc...) then you can't use the built-ins and the choice is really a no-brainer.
      Personally, all the externals I write do use the built-in data structures.
      Never had a problem, and the fact that they are closed source was never an impediment for proper debugging. In the vast majority of cases I think it's a design mistake not to use the built-in data structures if you have the choice to do so.
      My 2 cents...
      - Luigi
    • Jul 22 2013 | 7:33 pm
      The Max API data structures are also convenient if you're using plain-vanilla C, which the SDK is actually designed for.
      They are possibly also more efficient than the C++ ersatz things, being more special-purpose designed for Max atoms and stuff like that. But that's only a wild guess (and probably partly based on my disillusionment with the C++ claim to be the best thing since sliced toast).