More newbie grumbling, grousing, complaining and kvetching

I’m not going to put this on the Csound forum; I would feel guilty about wasting the time of the users there who are already far beyond my knowledge.

So, poking around in the C:\Program Files\Csound\examples directory, you see a lot of files with the .py/.pyc/.pyd extension. This turns out to mean they are Python files.

OK, so what’s that? Python is a relatively new language which is like a Swiss army knife of programming. It’s a great match for Csound, since as Mr Gogins’ Tutorial points out (C:\Program Files\Csound\tutorial\tutorial.pdf) , you can use it to create notes for your Csound score which may have thousands of notes in it, and wouldn’t be possible to write by hand.

OK, so you go to and download and install it. You run through some of the elementary Python tutorials so you at least have a sense of what it is and how to run it. In fact, you successfully get some Csound/Python examples to work.

But then you run across some files that won’t run, because things with names like Tkinter or wxPython are missing. To make a long and sad story shorter, these are GUI tool kits which sit “on top” of Python and allow you to build graphic interfaces. Again to cut to the chase, wxPython seems to be more modern than TkInter but there’s no way to figure this out from your Csound installation.

So what this all amounts to is more corroboration for my complaint that the Csound installation as it currently exists is a huge potpourri of stuff from the entire history of Csound, without little or no guidance to the newcomer as to what is essential, obsolete, useful or other.

The other quick comment I want to make is about coding style. Since the examples in the installation (and that come with The Csound Book) are from dozens of different programmers, the comments range from exhaustive to nonexistent.

For instance, in Richard Boulanger’s “Trapped in Convert”, he has included numerous explicit and useful comments. But then you go to a directory called C:\Program Files\Csound\examples\gab which contains several files with no comments and no explanation for their existence.

It’s this kind of thing that makes me wish I were 40 years younger and had nothing but time to sort this all out….


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