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Advice about programming language for MaxMSP development : C, C++, Flext? Books?

Dec 09 2009 | 8:24 pm


What compiled language would you recommend to a beginner to create MaxMSP externals on MacOS X :
– C ?
– C++ ?
– C++ with Flext?
– other ?

Also, which book(s) would you recommend (possibly in French) to learn programming in the advised language?

Thank you in advance.

Best regards,

Roald Baudoux

Dec 09 2009 | 11:13 pm

this is just what i’ve been meaning to ask

Dec 09 2009 | 11:31 pm

C to start with, since most max externals you find with source code are written with C. After that it’s relatively painless to move to C++ (if you need to).

Kerrnigan & Ritchie – The C programming Language is really good /

Dec 10 2009 | 12:44 am

+ 1

Dec 10 2009 | 2:57 pm


K&R (pour les intimes) existe en français chez Dunod:

I never read this second edition and just discovered that my copy is now 20 years old…


Dec 11 2009 | 7:40 pm

When I was first learning C, I found "Practical C Programming" by Steve Oualline to be very effective. It does enough hand-holding to be helpful, but doesn’t treat you like you’re clueless.

Dec 12 2009 | 12:12 am

I found this one : "Le Livre Du C Premier Langage", Claude Delannoy, Eyrolles.

Thanks for all the answers.

Roald Baudoux

Dec 14 2009 | 12:00 am


thanks for the refs.

what is the less painful way to move a Jitter project from C to C++ ?



Dec 14 2009 | 3:21 pm

You might want to consider making shaders (if what you’re trying to do apply to that…). It’s super fast.

Dec 14 2009 | 4:27 pm

I see that the question originates from experienced Max users, but just a remark for readers of the thread…
The first question before developing an external in Max is of course to look if Java/mxj is an option (or, as says EJ shaders in Jitter). Because it might be really more difficult/time consuming to develop and maintain a C external on PC and Mac.

Dec 14 2009 | 4:27 pm

Sorry, not a very useful comment, didn’t see the thread was in the "dev" forum.

Dec 14 2009 | 4:47 pm

For what I want to do (to communicate with a GigE camera) shader or Java are not a solution…

Dec 14 2009 | 5:42 pm

Tim and Graham (at least) posted some examples of C++ externals (there’s even one in the SDK now). It’s quite straightforward AFAICT.

Dec 19 2009 | 1:28 am

The example in the SDK for a general Max object that uses C++ is the ‘collect’ example (uses a std::vector from the library).

Similarly, there is a ‘simplejit’ example ( in the latest SDK @ ) for Jitter that uses C++ (some easy template stuff).

The SDK examples are really C-ish and just using a couple of random things from C++. The templates that Graham made for C++ really much more C++ish than these SDK examples. You should be able to search the forum to find them.


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