One of the things that makes Max/MSP special is that a wide variety of tools, from simple MIDI utilities to complex interactive art, can be represented by a graphical interface of interconnected visual objects instead of lines of code. But actually building those patchers can involve some repetitive tasks, if you need to connect a large number of objects or want to clean up an on-screen mess of boxes and lines.

Nathanaël Lécaudé has built an elegant solution called the Max Toolbox. A whole series of mouse operations is reduced to single keystrokes: connect and rearrange objects en masse with just one key press. The secret is Max’s JavaScript implementation, which allows objects to be manipulated, created, and destroyed via code. But whether this inspires your own automagical patching JavaScripts for Max or you just take advantage of the keystroke shortcuts Max’s creators forgot, it’s a welcome idea. Still in beta; I’ll be watching this evolve. Via the CDM forums, where you’re welcome to ask or share anything you like related to this sort of thing on our DIY, Physical Computing, and Advanced” boards.

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