In the ecology of human culture, unsolved problems play a role that is even more essential than that of solutions. Although the solutions found give a field its legitimacy, it is the problems that give it life. With this in mind, I'll describe what I think of as the central problem I'm struggling with today, which has perhaps been the main motivating force in my work on Pd, among other things. If Pd's fundamental design reflects my attack on this problem, perhaps others working on or in Pd will benefit if I try to articulate the problem clearly.
In its most succinct form, the problem is that, while we have good paradigms for describing processes (such as in the Max or Pd programs as they stand today), and while much work has been done on representations of musical data (ranging from searchable databases of sound to Patchwork and OpenMusic, and including Pd's unfinished ``data" editor), we lack a fluid mechanism for the two worlds to interoperate.