scholarly adjective needed to describe Max

    May 02 2013 | 1:54 pm
    Could someone please suggest a comprehensive term describing Max, emphasizing the modular, customizable and free-form nature of the tool? Open-source is very evocative but clearly incorrect.
    Any suggestions?
    Submission date is on the horizon and moving REALLY fast ;)

    • May 02 2013 | 2:12 pm
      Back in the day, C74 (or maybe it was even Opcode Systems!) described Max as something like the following: "A graphical* programming environment for building interactive, real-time music and multimedia applications"
      * I actually lifted that entire line from: and changed visual to graphical...
    • May 02 2013 | 3:01 pm
      Hi spectro
      thanks, I was hoping to translate the rather wordy definition into something more succinct - perhaps such an adjective doesn't exist in the DAW world; but something like "modular interaction-programming" or "blahdy blah blah".
      What would YOU call Max?
    • May 02 2013 | 3:18 pm
      I give it a try out of m experience with Max:
      Max, a modular based programming environment for artists (musicians, composers, visual artists, performers etc.) enhancing time based multi/trans/interactive-media.
      Ok this is a phrase not a term ;>)
      So, if you are looking for a term, it could be "modular-based"
      (Max is maybe more flexible then "modular programming", so I suggest "modular-based". But maybe Cyclists ;>) would know better.
      my humble 50 cents
    • May 03 2013 | 6:56 pm
      I have heard "Data driven" to distinguish Max's unique real-time call stack from std procedural or functional languages "object-oriented" or otherwise.. Throw in " visual" (to point out the code is derived/executed orig from a visual representation) and "modular" (for obvious reasons) and you get
      " A Visually programmed data-driven modular language". (",created in C language for multi-media art programming.")
      k, just my thoughts.
    • May 03 2013 | 9:02 pm
      graphical dataflow
    • May 03 2013 | 9:46 pm
      A graphical modular programming language for physical computing?
      Thanks gents.
    • May 03 2013 | 10:19 pm
      I like the word "open-ended" about Max, even though "modular" somewhat covers it, too.
    • May 04 2013 | 12:14 am
      I would leave off "for physical computing" since it's clearly not all that can be done with Max. I like "graphical programming language" or even with "modular" added in; it seems a sufficiently general term. Puckette calls anything under the general "Max" family a "computer environment for realizing live electronic music."
    • May 04 2013 | 1:36 am
      just to say, from a scholarly point of view, i think the "dataflow" term (the accepted term, danke, BarryF) would be a critical component of an academic aka "computer science" description of the language. This is not a normal compiled/interpreted/"comp-terpreted"/language in some ways...especially in that no one (much) programs directly in it's text based linga franca....which also argues for the terms "graphical" or "visual".
    • May 04 2013 | 1:12 pm
      The basic terms for describing Max are
      - dataflow language
      - real time processing
      - graphical programming
      - interactive editing
      Note that the same applies to other programming environments like Reaktor or Bidule.
      But the main difference of Max is "extensibility" (may also be called "open-ended").
    • May 04 2013 | 5:54 pm
      It's just a graphical programming environment for customized dataflow.
      The folks here are in a bubble and might not be the best to coin such terms due to too much subjectivity. It's not necessary to be so technical.
      Terms like 'physical computing', 'modular', 'real-time', 'interactive'... these are old-school/outdated terms that used to be necessary back in the day when such things weren't so ubiquitous to programming(a bit like the term 'digital' which is one of the most essential terms you'd want to include in order to describe max but can simply be assumed in this day and age). Nowadays, those same terms can simply be implied by something more general('object-oriented programming' implies all of that... with the exception of maybe 'real time' but in this day and age, 'real time' can be assumed too).
      Also, Max is definitely not open-source, and therefore is not altogether open-ended: otherwise, there would be public access to all the source code of the foundation/kernel and people would've been able to run it on Linux, iOS, Android, etc. long ago.
      PD is open-source and therefore open-ended: libPD allows you to open the environment to different operating systems(therefore, a wider more open-ended range of environments and applications). SuperCollider as well(among others).
      It's important not to define terms based on a limited range of comparisons. (SuperCollider and PD compare to Max, the same way Max compares to Reaktor.)
      In this tenaciously unmerciful sea of digital quandary, there's always a more open-source/open-ended fish. >:D
    • May 04 2013 | 7:41 pm
      first analog programming language ever.
    • May 04 2013 | 8:24 pm
      reviewing this thread, I should clarify my original request: I am looking for a phrase or terms which would succinctly and precisely describe what Max is and what it does, for the general reader; someone who, as Tokyo Rose rightly points out, is perhaps broadly familiar with digital interactivity, but less familiar with Max, PD, Csound, Supercollider, Qlab, Pixivisor et al.
      We (they) will disagree on specific adjectives until the moon is a grain of rice, but I like: modular, open-ended, media, graphical and interactive. And Roman's 2c too ;)
      Many thanks everyone