Re: [ecasound] goodbye to dynamic libraries...?

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Subject: Re: [ecasound] goodbye to dynamic libraries...?
From: Dennis J Houy (
Date: Tue Oct 08 2002 - 10:12:36 EEST

Hi Kai

I for one will be sad to see it go. I have been working on a graphical
multi-track recording interface for quite some time, and after suffering
many difficulties, decided to use ecasound as the base to work from, now

How is this going to affect me, and all the work I am doing? Do I need
to look to something else? I haven't found anything that will allow me
to develop a friendly interface without worrying about the actual audio
processing underneath. (Ecasound is such a nice solution for this)

*sigh* Oh well, I guess I have to try get Ardour running again - another
three weeks of hair-pulling frustration.

- Dennis

On Tue, 2002-10-08 at 00:55, Kai Vehmanen wrote:
> First of all, if you think this is a very bad way to go, do let me know.
> This request is aimed especially to those of you who are involved with
> distribution issues. I'll consider silence as 'I agree'. :) Ok, let me
> continue.
> 1. Problem
> The current ecasound development model does not work very well. Nowadays
> it's simply impossible for me to spend long periods of time on ecasound
> development. I still have time for it, but it's just much more irregular.
> The common scenario nowadays is that I spent a hectic day or two
> implementing some new feature, and then have to return to other tasks.
> After a month or so the cycle repeats.
> 2. Symptoms
> With the current model, the development series just never gets enough
> testing. As it is now, most ecasound users are using the stable branch.
> Only very few people actively use the development versions. This means I'm
> getting very little feedback concerning the new features, especially when
> compared to the huge amount of functionality that ecasound nowadays
> provides.
> A prime example of this is that yesterday, when doing some multitrack
> recording with the latest 2.1dev12, I noticed a huge bug in the
> multitrack-mode code. It turned out that ecasound would stop processing if
> all inputs tracks became finished, _even though_ we were still recording a
> live input. The fact that a bug of this magnitude has gone unnoticed for
> many _months_ makes me very, very, very uncomfortable about the status of
> the current development branch.
> 3. Lost in the woods
> During the last year or so I've tried to find a cure to this problem. I've
> spent lots and lots of time with library versioning issues, defining roles
> for different branches, change control, developer documentation and other
> stuff that doesn't directly benefit the normal end-users of ecasound
> (including myself).
> I've also tried to attack the problem with testing. I've written separate
> test tools for libecasound and libecasoundc, a general testsuite and
> various smaller tools. These have helped a lot, but in the end, testing
> just doesn't replace real-life use.
> At the same time, the reality is that aside ECI apps, _nobody_ is using
> ecasound as a platform. So most of this work is just wasted effort. And
> this isn't a problem of slow adoption. Although released versions of
> libecasound have been available for over two years, the only applications
> using it are ecawave and ecamegapedal (both written by me). Maintaining
> the whole shared-library thing going on for just these two,
> not-so-widely-used apps just doesn't seem sensible.
> 4. Improvement Proposal
> Inspired by the recent work on standalone ECI implementations, I'd like to
> drop the whole ecasound-as-a-platform concept, and instead, continue
> developing ecasound as an application. Only supported way of using
> ecasound as a development platform would be ECI.
> 5. Implications
> - only one code-branch (no more separate stable and development
> releases; just releases and CVS-access for bleeding-edge development)
> - removal of all shared libraries (libkvutils and libecasound)
> - ecasound binary would be statically linked against libkvutils
> and libecasound, but dynamically against other libraries
> - ecatools have to be rewritten using ECI (otherwise
> we'd have too many multi-megabyte binaries :))
> - ecawave and ecamegapedal have to be linked statically (this
> isn't that big of a problem, I'm quite sure the few people
> on this planet that use all these three apps can
> sacrifice the harddrive space for three copies of libecasound
> and libkvutils
> ...
> Huh, I tried to keep this short, but as always, I got carried
> away a bit. :)
> --
> Audio software for Linux!
> --
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