[Devel] Fwd: [andraudio] Native audio plugins packaging and discovery

David Robillard d at drobilla.net
Mon Jul 18 14:33:37 PDT 2011

On Mon, 2011-07-18 at 23:17 +0200, Stefano D'Angelo wrote:
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Stefano D'Angelo <zanga.mail at gmail.com>
> Date: 2011/7/16
> Subject: Re: [andraudio] Native audio plugins packaging and discovery
> To: A discussion list for Android audio developers
> <andraudio at music.columbia.edu>
> 2011/7/14 Olivier Guilyardi <list at samalyse.com>:
> > On 07/13/2011 03:31 PM, Stefano D'Angelo wrote:
> >
> >>> Well, I happen to be a commercial host (well.. potential host) developer, and as
> >>> a small company owner I highly prefer open and modern standards such as LV2. The
> >>> only downside is that it's a bit obscure and complex right now.
> >>
> >> Can you write down a list of things that could improve the situation
> >> (possibly with priorities)?
> >
> > 1. Add a small and simple Hello World plugin tutorial on http://lv2plug.in based
> > on the amp example. Make sure to turn important keywords into links to reference
> > documentation, but keep the tutorial very short.
> We only have this: http://www.nongnu.org/ll-plugins/lv2pftci/ online
> at the moment (a bit dated), but I don't remember having any other LV2
> programming tutorial.
> It would be nice to have indeed.

See currently active thread about the amp example in the SVN repository.

> > 2. Add another (more realistic) tutorial and example, possibly for a small
> > useful effect, using a /little/ more metadata and extensions, but no UI. (I
> > personally especially love this presets extension).
> Ok..

In the works.

> > 3. Add a page a or link to a page showing how to write a minimal host, with
> > example code, such as what is found in the LADSPA SDK, so that plugin developers
> > can test their plugin. (maybe something around lilv/utils/)
> Inside lilv there is at least one such thing, but no tutorial/etc.

I have moved the simple host in Lilv to a separate and less toyish
program called "Jalv".  Release soon.


> Would be nice to have, but this is lower priority for me, since lilv
> API documentation is quite easy to follow.

I hope so.  It should be clear from the API documentation how to use the
library (just as with any library).  If this is lacking, suggestions and
contributions are always welcome.

> > 4. List existing hosts and plugins to show how LV2 is used in practice
> We had this on the old wiki, just waiting for Dave to resurrect this stuff.

I'm really sorry about the lag here.  I have some problems to deal with
in real life...

I have a DB dump of the old Mediawiki wiki.  I know I've seen a script
somewhere to convert to Trac syntax (with unknown level of accuracy, but
whatever).  The content is small enough that a quasi-manual process
shouldn't be too bad.  If anyone wants to tackle this (all you'd need is
write access to the wiki anyway, which registered users have) I'd be
happy to provide the dump.  Otherwise, I'll get on it.

I will, however, emphasize my earlier point that I strongly believe very
well documented working examples are far more useful than tutorials and

> IIRC there was some discussion regarding an example MIDI plugin but I
> can't recall the outcome.

A suite of simple MIDI processor plugins would be useful in any case.
There are those event extension problems though... :/

> >>> Good, but my opinion on all this is that you need to inject a business approach
> >>> into LV2. Let it be free and open, but make it profitable somehow. It should be
> >>> possible to find an ethical business model.
> >>>
> >>> My other two cents ;)
> >>
> >> It depends on what you mean by business model.
> >>
> >> Ardour and Linux DSP should be already making some money from LV2 (and
> >> I am going to get PhD funding for that as well :-P), but you are maybe
> >> referring to a "business infrastructure" of some sort (e.g., community
> >> development bounties, host/plugin store, don't-know-what)?
> >
> > I don't know precisely, but you could think some more about this. LV2 needs to
> > be "plugged" into the economical world. Right now it's too academic IMO.

As a specification, it's frankly pretty unlikely LV2 itself makes any
money.  There's donations and Flattr, the latter of which we have now,
but its monthly revenue is best measured in cents rather than dollars...

That said, if any commercial developers would like certain new
functionality (or tutorials, or web services, or *anything* LV2 related)
I would personally be more than happy to be contracted out to do so (I'm
sure others would as well).

Keep in mind that LV2 is more or less capable of anything reasonable to
do in a plugin whatsoever.  If you want it, and are willing to pay for
it, I would gladly drop all other priorities and get it done for you.  I
have found that those pitching that a project needs to be more
"commercial friendly" usually backtrack quite a bit when I suggest that
some of *their* profit should go to the project.  Please, by all means,
break that trend.

In other words, if a commercial interest wants to steer the project,
then provide the funds *first* to do so.  It doesn't work the other way

The inherent web-integrated nature of LV2 could also perhaps be tied in
with revenue somehow, but I have no idea how.  I am a programmer, not a

> I do personally think this is has to be orchestrated among developers
> using LV2 (hosts mainly, plugins too) rather than only among
> developers of LV2 technology (core, extensions), and possibly having
> those who already have some serious commercial/economical activity
> going on.

More cooperation here in general would certainly be good.  Non-hackers
have a pretty big aversion to mailing lists.  I often wonder if a forum
or something would enhance communication...

> The only names that come to mind are: Ardour, LinuxDSP and Olivier. :-)
> I mean, people behind most LV2-related projects never had to deal with
> consistent amounts of money for their work (think: me, Dave, Nedko,
> Lars, etc.) and probably lack the competence and experience in this
> regard, so we could at best try to help, but we don't know how to do
> marketing, "lobbying", etc.

I assure you I am competent at receiving money.  Try me. :P


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