5 DATs

5.1 Introduction

Data Operators, or DATs, perform operations on data. They can edit, parse, create, send, and receive data in various forms. These forms of data can range from text strings, tables, Python scripts, XML, JSON, MIDI, Serial, OSC, and much more.

Logical systems rely heavily on the use of DATs and Python scripting. Being able to parse tables full of information and metadata, monitor other Operators and their states, perform complex tasks based on incoming messages from other systems, and more, make it possible to create rather complex systems in TouchDesigner. There will be a few simple logical systems in the examples portion of the book, as they are one of the things that makes TouchDesigner unique.

An interesting way of thinking about TouchDesigner 088 is as a modular Python programming environment. Imagine taking intricate, and long, Python programs and functions, and breaking them into light-weight, and modular pieces. Think of the Text DAT as these pieces. This setup is easy to learn from, easy to maintain, easy to expand upon, and even more importantly, easy to share and work on collaboratively.

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