Linux Audio Conference 2014
The Linux Audio Conference (LAC) 2014 was held at the ZKM in Karlsruhe from the 1’st to the 4’th of May. For LAC it was a return home to where it all began in Karlsruhe in 2003.
Some of the Lumiera developers were there helping out with organisation: cehteh, ichthyo and ibenn. You might be able to see us peeping through in this picture. The conference provided us with an opportunity to meet up and discuss Lumiera and see old friends from the world of FOSS Audio.
But the conference itself supplied a crop of ideas to the Lumiera attendees. Sound is an inherent facet of Lumiera as is video, and the conference did not fail to reveal its treasures, new trends and food-for-thought.
One such topic was the GUI.
The Lumiera GUI is a challenge. Initially, there will most likely be one, dominant GUI although smaller scaled GUIs might also be present which would be geared towards specialised tasks.
For simple sound processing, one can use a simple GUI-builder, e.g., glade, and glue a few widgets together: a slider for volume, a file loader and saver, etc. But as the application becomes more complex, this simple mechanism fails to allow more complex operations to be intuitively incorporated into the GUI. Most developers who have used a GUI-builder have crashed against this wall.
As the complexity of the application further increases, more careful planning is required. At some point, as more complex operations have to be supported by a graphical user interface, the GUI programmer is going to have to transgress conventional GUI patters. A good example of this is Blender.
The Blender GUI is a marvel in itself, but it is not perfect; and it is this imperfection itself that has led to new insight: things to avoid in the Lumiera GUI. Blender offers an open application strucure built on top of a extensible data model and a unique self-describing binding layer that provides the user with an incredible array of complex functionality. To do this the designers of Blender had to go beyond conventional GUIs.
Lumiera is also on the moon when it comes to the GUI. It’s a moon inhabited with all kinds of green little martians, who are all members of the freaky feature show that the Lumiera GUI is going to have to provide to the user.
At LAC 2014 there was at least one GUI where the programmers were faced with freaky green specimens and it was thrilling to witness how the programmers went about solving the issues to present a really interesting GUI even though the GUI itself was almost a side show.
There has been some code development on Lumiera recently. ichthyo has been responsible for most code contributions over the past few months.
The Lumiera code-base is almost entirely C++11 compliant
After some further code restructuring, we were able to switch to C++11 compilation mode without any deeper problems.
One of the plagues hitting Lumiera development at the moment is the opaqueness of coding development to the general user: there’s nothing to exhibit.
FroSCon 20014: 23-24 August
FroSCon is beginning to establish itself as the defacto annual Lumiera get-together. This year promises to continue the slowly emerging tradition of meeting up either before or after the conference. FroSCon takes place this year from 23 to the 24 of August, and Lumiera members and enthusiasts will discuss plans on our regular IRC meetings and on our mailing list http://www.lumiera.org/project/contact.html.