[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: http://www.devon-technologies.com/products/devonthink/overvi ew.php
      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:
      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:
      patchV01.mxt patchV02.mxt patchV03.mxt patchV10.mxt patchV20.mxt patchV21.mxt
      patchV1.mxt patchV10.mxt patchV2.mxt patchV20.mxt patchV21.mxt patchV3.mxt
      patch050116.mxt patch051224.mxt patch051229.mxt patch060115.mxt patch060203.mxt
      BAD - MMDDYY
      patch011506.mxt patch011605.mxt patch020306.mxt patch122405.mxt patch122905.mxt
      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.
    • 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