defaults, sizes, colors, features - miscellaneous questions & suggestions

    Apr 26 2008 | 10:49 pm
    Dear list and Cyclists.
    I am really enjoying version 5. It is great! Playing with it, discovering its new features and adapting to the changes from 4 for a few days now, I'm loving almost everything. Zoom, grid, presentation mode, debug, transport/timepoint/when. Excellent, really! I have a few question though. I'm curious to hear how others feel about this, so here we go.
    Is it possible, or could/should/might it be possible in future versions of Max, to:
    - Set the default size of objects that don't use fonts (e.g. button, slider) in Object defaults? So, for example, a button always loads 16x16 pixels, a slider 100x16, a ezdac~ 20x20.
    - Make the vertical size of int, float and number~ boxes a bit smaller? There is now quite a lot of unused space above and below the numbers. For a font size 9 the objects are 17 pixels high now. That's two pixels more than in version 4, which used 15 pixel number boxes. But why actually? To me they just look bulky, and out of proportion relative to the object boxes and messages. I've set my number boxes to use font 9 while everything else uses 10, and that looks much better to me. But maybe some unused space could be cleaned out? Or the default height could be a user option in Object defaults? Same thing goes for the message boxes, I guess.
    With any change, it is mainly a matter of getting used to it. Just like we all have already gotten used to most of the changes from 4 and learned to appreciate them. This is a change from max 4 (where int, float, number, message where less high than object boxes at the same font size), but personally I don't see the improvement in this case.
    In many Max patches signal flow tends to be vertical (at least before cleaning up) and computer screens tend to be a lot wider then are high. Therefore, screen real estate is valuable on the vertical axis. I would prefer two pixels less on these objects. Especially on int, float and number~. Either it saves valuable screen space, or a bigger font size could be used to improve readability.
    - Set a different color set for presentation mode? The main thought behind presentation mode is that editing and using/working/performing with a patch have different requirements, right? I think two separate color schemes would really help. For example, I like to perform with big color objects on a black background with white comments, but I like to edit using one like the default Max5 scheme.
    - Make the width of signal and matrix patchlines a user option? I would love it if they would be twice a wide as normal patchlines. Right now it seems to be three times as wide - just a bit too much for me. Especially when zooming in a bit. Maybe the width could be reduced when zooming in, so they don't get too bulky?
    - Have the zoom function zoom into the selected object or the center of selected rectangle?
    - Have the inspector button on the Toolbar open the Patcher Inspector when no objects are selected?
    - Have more objects take the "rounded $1" message?
    I would really appreciate any answers, opinions and general debate on these subjects.
    With kind regards, Klaas-Jan Govaart