Key-commands for Patching

    Jun 23 2012 | 12:02 pm
    Hey, I noticed by accident there is a key-command for navigating the selection of an object through the patcher.(puh i'm sure something's wrong about that sentence, sorry not native english) You know what i mean? On OSX Try pressing Command and navigate with the Arrow keys. great! What i would really love is to be able to also select inlets and outlets of objects with the keyboard and being able to actually patch only by the use of the keyboard. I mean graphical programming is great, and i hate text oriented programming, because it seems to me that the Learning curve is a lot steeper. Or maybe i'm just more the visual type in terms of thinking about problems. But once you know a programming language fairly well, having to use the mouse to create connections is really slowing down some processes. I mean even if i have a large patcher, i think it would be a big help to be able skip through objects and their inlets and outlets one by one. It's just like typing a text on a computer. Sometimes it's great to have a mouse around to be able to "point" the courser to a specific location in the text, maybe a mistake one made. But mostly one will stay at the Keyboard and navigate with arrows, alt+arrows, page up, page down etc. I think this would be a huge advantage.. Does something like that exist already? (haven't looked at the maxtoolbox for a while, since it caused crashes some time ago. has it in the meanwhile become something like that?) What do you think? Cheers!

    • Jun 28 2012 | 8:20 pm
      no thoughts?
    • Jul 13 2013 | 4:47 pm
      Hello, once again, i'd like to restate my problem. The Max toolbox is great. I am using it very much but there is one problem:
      If one likes to connect two objects, one has to select them(unless they have a scripting name). It is possible to select one object without the mouse, simply by pressing command(on mac) and using the arrow keys.
      Is there a way to select two objects? Only with the keyboard??
      If not, please, please please make one, dear cycling gods!(or has anybody an idea doing it within java or js? Can this be achieved within Max toolbox, nat? btw thanks for you toolbox!)
    • Jul 13 2013 | 5:19 pm
      Hi there, I'm the toolbox author. I'll investigate to see if there's a way to do this via JS, not sure I can visually select objects via scripting though...
    • Jul 13 2013 | 5:23 pm
      Hello nat! Thanks again for the toolbox! Its really a huge help already without the feature that I would wish for!! Maybe i am overlooking something here? I mean the toolbox enables one to patch without the mouse when two objects are selected or they have a scripting name right? Do you assign scripting names for quick patching all the time? Is there a possibility to "completely" patch without the mouse using the toolbox?
    • Jul 13 2013 | 5:28 pm
      The toolbox doesn't use scripting names, it scans the patcher for selected objects and then does the connections depending on their positions. So basically the toolbox doesn't care how the objects were selected as long as they are. I'm just not sure it's feasible to select the objects using only the keyboard...
    • Jul 13 2013 | 5:35 pm
      Oh sorry I thought there was a possibility to connect objects via the toolbox commandline in case they have scripting names.
    • Jul 13 2013 | 5:39 pm
      I dont't know but i am working a lot with selecting objects only via keyboard. The only thing is i would need some kind of key to make max "remeber" ah selection. A similar thing like how one can control typical radiogroup or checkbox groups in regular web forms. One can jump through selections using tab or arrows and check a checkbox via space. You know?
      What really surprises me is that I seem to be the only one missing this feature.
    • Jul 13 2013 | 5:44 pm
      Via the commandline it's the same as with the keyboard shortcuts but you can add switches to select the inlet and outlet. I think there's also an @name command that will allow you to name a row or column of objects quickly but it's not related to connecting. I'll check if there's a way to select via javascript. A big hack would be to change the color of the box via javascript to simulate selection. Will see what's possible.
    • Jul 13 2013 | 5:46 pm
      Hm, hack or not, seems promising! Thanks very much for considering this!!!
    • Jul 13 2013 | 5:49 pm
      Oh you are saying you can already select using the keyboard ? (i don't have a computer around) If so then you should be able to connect objects with the toolbox if they are selected.
    • Jul 13 2013 | 5:52 pm
      Ah, yes I can select every object in a max patcher by holding command and using arrow keys. I love this feature.
      What is not possible is to select TWO or more objects. rendering toolbox features impossible to use(w/o mouse) but really, one alway whishes for them when working this way..
    • Jul 13 2013 | 5:56 pm
      Ahh i understand. yes the normal behaviour would be to hold down shift-command to do multiple selections, like in te finder but shit seems to move the objects by a few pixels... That could be a feature request for cycling.
    • Jul 13 2013 | 6:09 pm
      ok!now we got it, so this shall be the feature request!!
    • Jul 13 2013 | 6:11 pm
      But if the js thing you suggested is easy to implement it would be a nice thing in the meanwhile :)
    • Jul 13 2013 | 6:28 pm
      Just for the sake of completeness: I like and use the shift move slightly feature, it alows to place objects off the grid, which is very handy when desgning GUIs. and, what i would not like is holding the shift(or any other) key to achieve finder like behaviour. What i would very much prefer is the thing i described above. I think on windows computer the explorer has similar behavior. One has kind of a cursor that can be moved via arrow keys and with space, i think, one can select items independent of their location. In contrast the finder just allows to select multiple adjacent items via shift.
      So, I hope, cycling, you are reading this. This, in combination with the toolbox would be a huge step towards a professional workflow. Everybody I think tends to use the mouse less and less when becoming really used to a program. Again I would love to hear other peoples opinions on this since i am very surpised that this isn't possible already or a big topic.
    • Jul 13 2013 | 6:43 pm
      i was thinking something skeptical like "meh patching without mouse ?" but the max toolbox, the cmd+arrows (thanks for the trick !) plus your suggestions (cmd+shift+? to select more objects) make me think it could be possible. Albeit not as convenient as mouse+keyboard ;)
    • Jul 13 2013 | 7:09 pm
      "Albeit not as convenient as mouse+keyboard ;)" I mean it really depends. I'm patching with a mouse since about ten years now, i guess i am kind of used to this way of doing it. Which makes it kind of convenient i guess.
      But i find myself using the keyboard and shorcuts a lot, and of course increasingly. I find that a natural development when becomin acustomed to a piece of software(sorry if i am repeating myself) But this one central thing(actual patching) in the workflow brings me back to the mouse. Really there is just nothing i can think of I use the mouse for a lot when using max.
      I mean we can even configure shortcuts for menu items(on a mac at least). So i created one for colour assignment eg. and I use it a lot, and my patches got tidier that way(albeit more colourful)
      ok, but back to the point. There should, in my opinion, be the *possibility*. If only to give some perspective for development of a more efficient personal workflow. Max has the big advantage to be very graphical, it chose the mouse(btw. anybody sing a wacom for patching?) as an interface. Now Mira arrived and we have a new way of interaction(which is great, wohoo! love it!). But what i want is pretty basic, but, i think, concluding, very awesome. What shall i say.
      Another thing in case these suggestions have any future: Moving objects with arrow keys is great. Moving them a little with shift is great. Moving them greater distances demands patience or the mouse. Here I'd also whish for something handier.
      edit:grammar and spelling..puh..