[ot] organizational strategies


    Feb 01 2006 | 9:16 pm
    I was fruitlessly searching for a missing patch and
    realized my files are a mess. Does anyone have any
    organizational or workflow advice you would like to
    share? I have seen some successful max minds using
    their computers and it seems like most have organized
    systems for managing their data, though I couldn't
    tell how exactly they worked. I have also seen a patch
    by Richard Dudas that scared me.
    Thanks,
    R. Crandall

    • Feb 01 2006 | 10:59 pm
      after a few million files have been going over my
      desktop in various contexts i find that there is only
      one organization system which really works:
      always give files useful names, and sort everything once
      a day into monthly subfolders.
      i have a monthly "email" folder, a monthly "downloads"
      folder, a monthly "office and webdesign" folder, one
      for safety backups, one for nuendo projects, one for
      skribbles, and of course one for maxmsp programming
      inside my maxmsp search path.
      if you know anything about that cool idea you had, then
      it is that is was about 5 months back.
      i have been switching to my monthly onscreen life organisation
      scheme because that no longer requires that i have to sort
      things from 2 years back.
    • Feb 02 2006 | 4:26 pm
      Not particularly Max-related, but I have started using DevonThink Pro
      and find it quite useful for organizing my computer life:
      Now I can keep all files related to a project together (including
      links to Max-patches). You may or may not like the database approach
      it is based on, though.
      Cheers,
      Alexander
    • Feb 02 2006 | 6:22 pm
      Some simple things that will help alot:
      CONSISTENT, LOGICAL FILENAMING CONVENTIONS
      1. Consistent file-naming conventions. e.g., GOOD -- audio_router.mxt;
      audio_switcher.mxt; audio_gain.mxt. BAD -- gain_for_audio.mxt;
      the_switcher.mxt; router_january.mxt
      If you have files related to specific projects and you know you won't reuse
      them in other projects, keep names consistent. e.g., GOOD --
      MySong_thing.mxt; MySong_otherthing.mxt; MySong_lasthing.mxt. BAD --
      thing_for_mysong.mxt; other_mysong_thing.mxt; song_my_lasthing.mxt
      2. Consistent directory-naming conventions. Following above logic, but need
      to decide if organize by project, by functionality (a folder for audio
      objects, one for jitter objects, one for midi objects, etc.), or a hybrid.
      Whatever. Just be consistent.
      3. I wouldn't put version info in the patch title. If you're using
      ThePatchV01.mxt in a bunch of places, then modify your patch and name it
      ThePatch02.mxt, you'll have to change the refernce all over. I'd put
      versioning info inside the patch.
      4. If you *do* put versioning info in the name, beware proper sorting. Pad
      zeros with numbers, do dates YYMMDD:
      GOOD
      patchV01.mxt
      patchV02.mxt
      patchV03.mxt
      patchV10.mxt
      patchV20.mxt
      patchV21.mxt
      BAD
      patchV1.mxt
      patchV10.mxt
      patchV2.mxt
      patchV20.mxt
      patchV21.mxt
      patchV3.mxt
      GOOD - YYMMDD
      patch050116.mxt
      patch051224.mxt
      patch051229.mxt
      patch060115.mxt
      patch060203.mxt
      BAD - MMDDYY
      patch011506.mxt
      patch011605.mxt
      patch020306.mxt
      patch122405.mxt
      patch122905.mxt
      PATCH LOGIC
      1. I think it's important to have logical inlet/outlet use across patches.
      e.g., any patch accepting L/R audio uses the left two inlets for that; any
      patch outputting a jitter stream does it from the rightmost outlet. Not
      saying these have to be your rules, just something as consistent as
      possible.
      2. Make use of color coding withing patches to group functionality, either
      as a universal assignment, or universal for a project, or just within a
      patch. e.g., I wrote my own state-saving logic before Pattr came out. I
      use blue as a universal color in all my patches to indicate elements tied to
      my state saving.
      Lots of other things you can do, but thats where I'd start.
      Adam
    • Feb 03 2006 | 2:30 am
      Hi Rebecca,
      On OSX, I'm using "URL Manager Pro".
      Not only for web URLs, but also to bookmark my localhost files and
      folders.
      Just drag&drop, create folders and sub-folders, sort by name, date or
      color labels, add any description, etc.
      I'm using one document for my own patchers, another one for the help
      patchers, one document to quickly load Max tutorials and PDF
      documentation, etc.
      Powerful, and cheap!
      HTH ;-)
      Philippe