[LV2] plea to plugin UI devs

Albert Graef aggraef at gmail.com
Wed Mar 16 15:13:08 PDT 2016

On Wed, Mar 16, 2016 at 8:21 PM, Robin Gareus <robin at gareus.org> wrote:

> Since there are still new plugins with GTK and QT GUI popping up, and
> it's been at least 4 years since we last pointed this out, here's a
> friendly reminder:
>    **Please avoid big toolkit and be careful with C++**

Thanks for the reminder. :) FWIW, here are my thoughts on this from the
Faust POV.

C++ can't really be avoided when using Faust right now (at least not
without jumping through a lot of hoops). In my experience that's not really
a big issue, the Faust LV2 and VST plugins seem to work fine on both Linux
and the Mac at least. Of course there are issues due to C++ ABI
incompatibilities, but most of these will mainly affect commercial plugin
producers who ship plugins in binary format only. There might be slight
inefficiencies as well, but the Faust-generated code doesn't use any heavy
C++ features, so I'm pretty confident that the generated plugins wouldn't
run much more efficiently if they were plain old C instead.

That said, it's true that Qt plugin GUIs are problematic. The reason that
they are supported as an option in the latest versions of the Faust LV2 and
VST architectures now is that Faust had some pretty nice GUI-generating
code for Qt already in its library, so it was (relatively) easy to do.
Also, I had a student who was interested in working on this for his thesis,
and leveraging the Qt GUI support from Faust's library made that project
feasible in the limited time frame of a BSc thesis. So that's how this came
about, but I still think that it works quite well. You just need to be
aware of the pitfalls that Robin pointed out already.

> That being said, keep on hacking.

Thanks, will do. :) Now that the Qt GUI support for Faust-LV2 and -VST is
done, I'd like to take a serious look at AVTK and see whether we can cook
up something there. This will be extra work, since we have to tackle the
basic Faust UI -> AVTK GUI generation first. But it's certainly doable.
Since I'm not that much into the graphical stuff myself, I'll probably keep
looking for a student who wants to do this kind of thing for a BSc or MSc
project. The only obstacle is that most of my current students aren't into
C/C++ coding, so I'll have to wait until someone comes along. :) But if
anyone here wants give a helping hand with this then please let.me know.

Harry, I haven't bothered you with this yet ;-), but this has been on my
mind for a while already, so I'll surely talk to you about Faust+AVTK at
LAC, if we both find the time. And if anyone else attending LAC is
interested in this, you're welcome to join us!


Dr. Albert Gr"af
Computer Music Research Group, JGU Mainz, Germany
Email:  aggraef at gmail.com
WWW:    https://plus.google.com/+AlbertGraef
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