The new emerging NLE for GNU/Linux

Dec 11, 2012 on #lumiera 20:00 - 01:15 UTC


  • cehteh

  • ichthyo

  • joelholdsworth

  • raffa

Summary and transcript supplemented by Ichthyo 11/2011

Platform and lib dependency status

Right away, there is agreement between all 3 core devs that the Lumiera project should try to stay close to a stable reference linux distribution. Usually, developers tend to stick to “latest greatest”, causing lots of difficult to resolve problems to packagers and ursers of their software. The Lumiera team wants to go into the opposite direction: staying close to a mature and stable distro and rather try to backport any newer libraries, when they are really required for getting ahead with the coding. Since cehteh and ichthyo are Debian users and joelholdsworth tends to use a moderately recent Ubuntu, the intention is to use Debian/stable as reference.


  • use Debian/stable (currently Lenny) as reference distribution

  • care for backports of any newer libraries required

  • use VMs to verify the build on a moderate selection of more recent distros

Problems with GUI Plugins

The core devs are aware of some challenging problems regarding plug-ins for the GUI and effect plug-ins requiring an specific GUI control or option pane. Still the more since the intention is for Lumiera to adapt existing plug-in systems rather then rolling yet-another new plug-in standard no one else cares to support. Initially, specific Lumiera plug-ins will be provided only for some very basic modular functionality, eg. fader, panner, blur.

joelholdsworth points out that configurability can’t replace real GUI and workflow design. He quotes from a recent Blender GUI discussion

Lastly, I’d like to address another misconception, this time about customizability. There has been a notion that the solution to most of the UI problems can be solved with added customizability. The notion goes that if the UI is inefficient, the user can simply customize it herself to suit her needs. This claim is wrong for several reasons:

  • It is impossible to customize something you have not fully comprehended yet, so it in no way helps the learning process.

  • It makes an application less predictable, because the user cannot rely on the application to always act the same.

  • It takes focus away from the users content, and over to managing the application itself, which is what we wanted to avoid in the first place.

  • It undermines the portability of Blender, because you cannot rely on Blender functioning the same way across different systems.

  • Customizability does not equate to flexibility.

  • 99% of Blenders user will use the default setup anyway.

This is not to say that customizability is always bad - having the ability to change the hotkeys from the defaults to match another 3D application such as Maya or Softimage XSI can make it easier for users of those applications to adapt to Blender.

— the Belnder UI reviews

Consequently, Joel wants to try just doing the UI right, then add a little bit of customization back in here and there. Additionally, agreement is to have a kind-of “perspective switcher” (like in Eclipse), so saving different panel layouts would be covered easily

☉Transcript☉ — Discussion about foreseeable problems with GUI Plugins --
[2008-11-12 21:53:50] <ichthyo> I thought we could just discuss the problem informally
                                and share some thoughts what we think is most critical
[2008-11-12 22:06:01] <ichthyo> there are plugins which don't provide a GUI, and some plugin systems allow
                                for a standard method for creating plugin guis

[2008-11-12 22:05:46] <joelholdsworth> so bundling GUI together with plugins is easier now, right?
[2008-11-12 22:05:59] <joelholdsworth> we implement some kind of parameters system
[2008-11-12 22:06:03] <ichthyo> yes
[2008-11-12 22:06:14] <cehteh> joelholdsworth: thats up to you .. but the plugin system is ready
[2008-11-12 22:06:27] <joelholdsworth> yeah that's fine
[2008-11-12 22:06:38] <joelholdsworth> if you want to extend the GUI you just expose and interface for it

[2008-11-12 22:07:51] * cehteh thinks about some canvas widget which the plugin can use to draw stuff there
[2008-11-12 22:08:26] <joelholdsworth> cehteh: as in overlays on the video canvas?
[2008-11-12 22:09:19] <cehteh> joelholdsworth: up to you, not necessary overlays

[2008-11-12 22:05:07] <ichthyo> I see some problems we should thik about
[2008-11-12 22:06:50] <ichthyo> so, basically loading a processing routine from
                                a plugin and using it to process video/audio is no problem. Basically you define
                                some interface (first in C++) then translate it to the lumiera interface macros
                                but with the GUI there are several conceptual problems

[2008-11-12 22:07:35] <ichthyo> first: There are plugins which don't have a GUI. Thats fine
[2008-11-12 22:08:05] <ichthyo> we need to define a parameter system, as joel pointed out
[2008-11-12 22:08:38] <ichthyo> and then we need to fit the existing plugin systems, each one, to use this parameter system
[2008-11-12 22:08:45] <cehteh> thats type:key:value at simplest
[2008-11-12 22:08:51] <cehteh> maybe with some representation hints
[2008-11-12 22:08:58] <ichthyo> there is more about it
[2008-11-12 22:09:03] <ichthyo> representation hints
[2008-11-12 22:09:07] <ichthyo> type of gui control
[2008-11-12 22:09:15] <ichthyo> logarithmic/linear scale
[2008-11-12 22:09:17] <ichthyo> zero point
[2008-11-12 22:09:19] <ichthyo> range
[2008-11-12 22:09:27] <ichthyo> but it is manageable
[2008-11-12 22:09:38] <ichthyo> LADSPA is a prominent example
[2008-11-12 22:09:55] <ichthyo> then, the problem in the GUI is how to arrange those controls
[2008-11-12 22:10:20] <ichthyo> anyway, I think this alternative is the most simple one and the one which will
                                create the least problems
[2008-11-12 22:10:34] <joelholdsworth> ichthyo: I figured the UI will just expose parameters
[2008-11-12 22:10:42] <joelholdsworth> so you expose them semantically - maybe in a tree
[2008-11-12 22:10:51] <joelholdsworth> and add rich presentation hints
[2008-11-12 22:11:00] <joelholdsworth> that hit the UI how to lay out out
[2008-11-12 22:10:59] <cehteh> i think layout should be optional by some config/stylesheet
[2008-11-12 22:11:05] <ichthyo> cehteh: possible. But those things are already defined by the
                                plugin systems we want to wrap up.
[2008-11-12 22:13:01] <cehteh> you have a list (or maybe tree) of parameters .. presentation aside
                               ... tree just because some parameters depend on the presence of some else
                               and you have a presentation ..

[2008-11-12 22:11:53] <ichthyo> next problem is:
[2008-11-12 22:12:16] <ichthyo> the plugins need to allocate some space in the GUI and should not clutter
                                the workspace this is a tough really tough interface design problem
                                because some plugins aren't just some "optional stuff", but wired
                                right into the core operation

[2008-11-12 22:12:54] <joelholdsworth> well ichthyo: I'm not planning to allow plugins to "take over"
                                handling workflow. they get to extend very specific parts of the UI
[2008-11-12 22:13:09] <joelholdsworth> e.g. params
[2008-11-12 22:13:11] <joelholdsworth> or the canvas
[2008-11-12 22:13:15] <joelholdsworth> or timeline
[2008-11-12 22:13:22] <joelholdsworth> and only in very specific ways

[2008-11-12 22:14:15] <joelholdsworth> ichthyo: and most of the time plugins wont extend anything --
                                their whole UI will be exposed semantically (with UI presentation hints)
                                (in addition to the plain semantics)
[2008-11-12 22:13:27] <ichthyo> thats fine

[2008-11-12 22:14:58] <ichthyo> but do you see the interface design problem?
                                basically you want to design a smooth handling. but now you need to rely
                                on some module which is plugged in and you don't know much about this module
                                how is it possible to tweak effects easily while you just don't know much
                                about those effects?
[2008-11-12 22:15:23] <joelholdsworth> yes I agree

[2008-11-12 22:15:48] <ichthyo> then there is another problem:
[2008-11-12 22:15:56] <ichthyo> key bindings and MIDI bindings
[2008-11-12 22:16:10] <ichthyo> you want to bind key shortcuts and external controllers to GUI elements
[2008-11-12 22:16:20] <ichthyo> and of course plugins need to be included into this system
[2008-11-12 22:16:35] <joelholdsworth> ok that's quite easy - you just right click on the control
                                (or click a tiny button) that opens up a menu that lets you set this stuff

[2008-11-12 22:16:59] <joelholdsworth> UI design? well that's what presentation hints help with
[2008-11-12 22:17:26] <joelholdsworth> they set size, layout, the appropriate type of slider
                                for example to expose this value
[2008-11-12 22:17:29] <ichthyo> and what happens when the respective plugin options window isn't opened at all?
[2008-11-12 22:17:47] <ichthyo> or when you have multiple instances of the same plugin?
[2008-11-12 22:17:48] <joelholdsworth> what do you mean?
[2008-11-12 22:18:11] <ichthyo> for example: you use a sound panner plugin
                                and you want to adjust the sound pan in 3 dimensions by key shortcuts,
                                or to bind them to some knobs on an external control surface
                                and now you have multiple instances of the same panner plugin
                                so we need a naming scheme

[2008-11-12 22:19:03] <cehteh> how i thought about this:
                               1) plugin provides the list of its parameters (maybe as tree)
                               2) there is a config file (config system) which gets installed
                                  with the plugins which defines the default layout
                               3) user might override that in his own configs ...
                                  but still only defaults for new instances of the things
                               4) the actual configured state is saved with the session
                               while all this config just is a definition which gets applied to a kindof stylesheet

[2008-11-12 22:20:05] <ichthyo> as tree for sure, because many plugins have nested windows for each instance
[2008-11-12 22:21:49] <ichthyo> which means we need a naming/addressing scheme
[2008-11-12 22:22:20] <ichthyo> ...which creates sort of a cascading scheme
[2008-11-12 22:22:42] <ichthyo> I mean,  a naming/addressing scheme
[2008-11-12 22:23:04] <ichthyo> for distinguishing identical parameters in different instances of yet-unknown plugins
[2008-11-12 22:23:19] <ichthyo> and now consider: where should these key bindings attach to?
[2008-11-12 22:23:39] <ichthyo> to a specific instance, or to the suitable instance which is just in focus?
[2008-11-12 22:23:46] <ichthyo> or both (probably)
[2008-11-12 22:24:03] <ichthyo> you may want to bind a different knob to each different panner plugin
[2008-11-12 22:24:25] <ichthyo> or alternatively, you may want to bind "the pan knob" to the "current pannner"
[2008-11-12 22:24:42] <ichthyo> this would require that we introduce a focus concept
[2008-11-12 22:25:00] <ichthyo> I think thorwil proposed something similar in the last discussion
[2008-11-12 22:25:16] <ichthyo> so we have a notion of the "current track", "current clip"
[2008-11-12 22:25:49] <ichthyo> and then there is another problem with plugin GUIs
[2008-11-12 22:26:10] <ichthyo> many plugin systems, especially VST have custom GUIs
[2008-11-12 22:26:27] <ichthyo> and may not even work properly without using those
[2008-11-12 22:26:48] <ichthyo> which means, some GUI code in the plugin takes over. That is something I utterly dislike

[2008-11-12 22:33:29] <cehteh> no thats not needed
[2008-11-12 22:33:29] <cehteh> in the session each object has a uuid thats its address
[2008-11-12 22:33:29] <cehteh> each parameter has a uuid too(interface system)
[2008-11-12 22:33:31] <cehteh> so you can say parameter 0x2344545645654534 of object 0x4543765732525t643 ....
[2008-11-12 22:33:34] <cehteh> "yet unknown" doesnt exist .. it is either unknown or known :)

[2008-11-12 22:55:26] <ichthyo> well ..the problem is just: you can't avoid things like a user binding
                                some external control surface to a certain gui control. All I wanted is
                                to bring the problem to everyones attention, also, that we need a parameter system
                                and that this parameter system is probably tree-like, not just flat
[2008-11-12 22:57:06] <cehteh> i want anythnig be addressable with uuid(manipulating_function)+uuid(object)
[2008-11-12 22:58:41] <ichthyo> for me, this is just a opaque reference which is implemented in some way. So, assumed
                                I have the object representing the connectionn to the plugin, I can provide the GUI with
                                some means for re-addressing a certain parameter, e.g. for a key binding, and, of course
                                for re-establishing the same binding when re-creating the session from storage

[2008-11-12 23:00:50] <ichthyo> Further, with plugin guis instances there is yet another problem in that you probably
                                have more option windows of some plugins as you can show in any reasonable GUI
                                These issues were one of the reasons I made this "FeatureBundle" proposal some time ago,
                                Meaning there is a mechanism allowing you to bundle
                                - an existing external plugin
                                - an adaptation we do for connecting it to the gui
                                - maybe a script or gui
                                - customisation info we need for the gui layout
                                ...and provide all together as a single bundle the user can install
[2008-11-12 23:11:15] <ichthyo> joelholdsworth: maybe you have already some ideas how to deal with all those plugin
                                option windows? they are a real problem for getting a smooth handling and workflow.
                                because: you'll spend a considerable amount of the whole project time with tewaking
[2008-11-12 23:12:28] <ichthyo> (yes, that's what I am about to point out....)
[2008-11-12 23:13:05] <ichthyo> ...if you work on tweaking, you typically have a small amount of plugin windows
                                which need to stay open with maybe subtabs for all active plugins
                                say some color correction on 2 tracks, and then you open and close variouos plugins
                                for several different clips, maybe the possibility to "pin" some of the plugin
                                windows, while others just allocate the next free slot

[2008-11-12 23:13:14] <joelholdsworth> I guess we need some modeless way of putting plugin controls in a panel
[2008-11-12 23:15:32] <joelholdsworth> so maybe having panels open up - or do it like inkscape with a scrollable panel
                                container that gets longer as more panels are opened

[2008-11-12 23:20:10] <cehteh> Cinelerra's plugin guis who constantly get lost behind the main window are really a mess
[2008-11-12 23:19:28] <ichthyo> joelholdsworth: have you already any ideas about focus handling?
[2008-11-12 23:20:15] <ichthyo> joelholdsworth: do we get a "current object", a "current track" or the like
                                which receives keybord input
[2008-11-12 23:20:37] <joelholdsworth> keybaord focus, yes - that was the plan
[2008-11-12 23:20:54] <ichthyo> thorwil recently pointed at the concept of having an "active element" within
                                a larger selected group of elements e.g. you have a "current clip" and within it
                                a currently active effect attachment and if you press the shortcut, you switch over
                                to the automation curve of this plugin if there is one, etc. etc...

[2008-11-12 23:21:44] <cehteh> think about future ... multiple elements have focus from different devices
[2008-11-12 23:22:06] <cehteh> multitouch ... and other controlers
[2008-11-12 23:22:06] <joelholdsworth> I think we have to treat keyboard focus as special
[2008-11-12 23:22:23] <cehteh> next X version will utilitze multiple mouse pointers
[2008-11-12 23:22:35] <ichthyo> e.g. what's with the mouse wheel?
[2008-11-12 23:22:42] <ichthyo> what's with a jog dial on a control surface
[2008-11-12 23:23:03] <ichthyo> or with the play/stop buttons on a control surface?

[2008-11-12 23:23:03] <joelholdsworth> my plan is to treat the jog dial as special
[2008-11-12 23:23:23] <joelholdsworth> yes again - special button assignment
[2008-11-12 23:23:23] <ichthyo> sort of like the mouse wheel?
[2008-11-12 23:23:34] <cehteh>  imagine user wants a 2nd normal pc keyboard as video controler
[2008-11-12 23:23:42] <ichthyo> because all those rather follow sort of  a focus
[2008-11-12 23:23:56] <ichthyo> maybe together with modifier keys

[2008-11-12 23:24:04] <joelholdsworth> yes again that would work via an auxialiry controller setup config
                                the primary keybaord and mouse work in the normal way
                                we can't have two keyboard focusses - it's just won't work
                                we can have a second keyboard - a board of hotkeys
[2008-11-12 23:25:21] <joelholdsworth> there's mouse, keyboard and auxiliary controllers
[2008-11-12 23:25:34] <joelholdsworth> and those controllers would be mapped to the UI using a cunning dialog
[2008-11-12 23:25:58] <ichthyo> and what I said some time ago today with the binding for the "current" pan
                                is a similar idea. Because also such a binding should rather follow the focus
                                it doesn't help if you bind it to a specific instance of the panner plugin
                                the moment you have more then 8 panners, it won't scale
                                rather, it would be helpful, if you had a "current" fade and pan and sound level,
                                which would follow the focus, so you could e.g. navigate the focus with the
                                right hand at the cursor keys, and leave the left hand on your control surface's knobs
                                please understand me right: I don't want to push features, and I will stay out of GUI
                                issues. All I want is that everyone in the project is aware of this problems
[2008-11-12 23:27:44] <joelholdsworth> yes ok
[2008-11-12 23:28:45] <joelholdsworth> I see the problem
[2008-11-12 23:28:58] <ichthyo> ok thanks

[2008-11-12 23:31:54] <ichthyo> but it's fine we are all aware of the problem and seemingly share the same approach
                                config system +  some sort of automatic persistent references within proc +  some
                                indirection + maybe a focus system

[2008-11-12 23:33:10] <ichthyo> and another point I want to note is: all of us are rather reluctant to allow plugins
                                to create GUIs on their own
[2008-11-12 23:33:27] <joelholdsworth> depends what you mean by that
[2008-11-12 23:33:29] <cehteh> i guess we cant avoid that
[2008-11-12 23:33:38] <ichthyo> but note: there is a great urge from some some users for such things
[2008-11-12 23:33:39] <cehteh> for really external plugins
[2008-11-12 23:33:47] <joelholdsworth> yes
[2008-11-12 23:34:01] <cehteh> i am more cared about them fireing threads up :P
[2008-11-12 23:34:13] <ichthyo> thats part of the problem
[2008-11-12 23:34:37] <ichthyo> some start registering their own key shortcuts and all sorts of horrible things
[2008-11-12 23:34:42] <joelholdsworth> if you let each plugin create every bit of it's ui, you get a lot of code
                                copy/paste and a lot of diverging GUI, so you need to "help" the plugins
                                by putting them in a strict framework. Then, on top of that we allow
                                extensions which allow a little more flexibility

[2008-11-12 23:35:20] <ichthyo> Steinberg failed to address this problem properly and VST bears on this heritage until today
[2008-11-12 23:35:35] <cehteh> make it in a way where the 'correct' way is also the most convenient for any programmer is
                                all and the best we can do
[2008-11-12 23:35:49] * ichthyo nods
[2008-11-12 23:36:04] <joelholdsworth> yes
[2008-11-12 23:36:07] <cehteh> note the 'any' ...
[2008-11-12 23:36:20] <ichthyo> :-P
[2008-11-12 23:36:26] <cehteh> means mad programmers, beginner programmers, experienced programmers, html programmers ...

[2008-11-12 23:36:52] <joelholdsworth> but I'm thinking we do need to remember that the majority of our plugin developers
                               will be part of this project team
[2008-11-12 23:38:09] <ichthyo> joelholdsworth: no, it won't be this way. Rather, there are some mainstream plugin systems.
                               People will foremost want to use plugins they know already, letting asside a small set of
                               core plugins, yes, those are the ones we provide as native lumiera plugins
[2008-11-12 23:38:42] <joelholdsworth> hmm ok
[2008-11-12 23:38:44] <ichthyo> a fader, a mask etc.
[2008-11-12 23:38:50] <ichthyo> but anything besides that
[2008-11-12 23:39:06] <ichthyo> every sound engenieer has his favorite eq and compressor
[2008-11-12 23:39:26] <ichthyo> and he will rather swich to another application than being forced
                               to use a compressor he isn't fine with. Same for advanced video stuff

Source code organisation

In the weeks before that meeting some discussions regarding the start-up of the main application took place, including the question how to load and pull up the Lumiera GTK GUI as a plug-in. Moreover, cehteh just “landed” the branch with the first draft of his new plugin/interface system. Which prompted us to sort out the locations and arrangement of those parts of the source dealing with the application framework. The decision was to place that code into a small library, which we call the Lumiera common application services (, to be kept separate from the support library (

☉Transcript☉ — Include dir and namespaces --
[2008-11-12 23:49:43] <ichthyo> There is the namespace issue we left open on the last meeting
[2008-11-12 23:50:34] <cehteh> its really oblivious that you dont need to reflect the C++ namespaces
                               1:1 in the directory structure. I still think having all our stuff into lumiera::
                               would be good .. but :)
[2008-11-12 23:51:33] <ichthyo> in any case, it is closely interconnected to the "interface namespace":
                                which means the following: there are some interfaces (opaque datatypes
                                plus forward decls for C, abstract base classes for C++)
                                plus the things defined via the interface/plugin system
                                this stuff is our "public interface"
[2008-11-12 23:53:01] <ichthyo> and I really try hard to keep it separate from the implementation

[2008-11-12 23:53:14] <cehteh> the interface/plugin system has now its own rules which are somewhat special
                               and good by that way. I am thinking about a interface_doc.h which can be used
                               to generate documentation from the interface language with some special gcc/cpp flags

[2008-11-12 23:53:18] <ichthyo> those interface parts will be contained in a "Lumiera sdk"
                                and probably all those interfaces (for C++) will go into namespace lumiera::
                                because it's just the best and most natural pick
                                and, as said, I really want us to try hard to get this interface part
                                a real interface part and cleanly separated from the implementation
                                meaning: I don't want *.c and *.cpp files in this package/directory/namespace,
                                unless they are really needed there

[2008-11-12 23:55:55] <cehteh> well interfaces themself need to be .c they need to be implemented
                               and the implementation might adapt the code for example the config system
                               sometimes returns internal state as success/failure indicator
                               but its interface just returns integers

[2008-11-12 23:56:13] <ichthyo> so the question regarding namespaces is connected to the question:
                                how is the implementation organized in relation to the interface part?

[2008-11-12 23:59:41] <cehteh> config_interface.h needs to be installed someday (with a better name maybe)
[2008-11-13 00:01:52] <cehteh> do we want a src/includes/   ?
[2008-11-13 00:02:04] <cehteh> for includes which get installed
[2008-11-13 00:00:07] <ichthyo> so, someone *using* the interface system probably will need to include config_interface.h
[2008-11-13 00:00:19] <ichthyo> but he doesn't need config.c
[2008-11-13 00:00:29] <cehteh> config_interface.c is the mapping/actual implementation ...
                                which gets linked in but the user doesn't need it
[2008-11-13 00:00:52] <ichthyo> yes, thats my point. So we should try to separate those cleanly.

[2008-11-12 23:59:38] <ichthyo> so lets assume src/lumiera contains our interface
                                (I just take it as an example to make my point more clear)
[2008-11-13 00:01:01] <ichthyo> Let me explain it on another more elaborate example

[2008-11-13 00:01:47] <ichthyo> I have a class "Session" which is located in a file session.hpp
[2008-11-13 00:01:58] <ichthyo> but it is just a ABC
[2008-11-13 00:02:18] <ichthyo> and I have a Class SessionImpl which is contained in sessionimpl.hpp and sessionimpl.cpp
[2008-11-13 00:02:44] <ichthyo> and in the "interface package" there should be *only* session.hpp
[2008-11-13 00:03:11] <ichthyo> probably this class Session should be moved into namespace lumiera::
[2008-11-13 00:03:16] <ichthyo> then the situation would be clean

[2008-11-13 00:03:32] <ichthyo> note: up to now i wrote only implementation code.
[2008-11-13 00:03:50] <cehteh>  yes, me too

[2008-11-13 00:04:07] <ichthyo> but I already made the class hierarchy this way, i.e. everyone *uses* just the class Session
[2008-11-13 00:04:28] <ichthyo> and only the class SessManagerImpl knows of the implementation class SessionImpl
[2008-11-13 00:04:32] <ichthyo> and so on

[2008-11-13 00:04:50] <cehteh> well thats not important yet...
                               I currently have some 'mess' of includes because its just easier for now to mix them
                               all together and relative easy to clean up when done, and I don't have a differentiation
                               between interface and implementation headers .. because
                               a) its all implementation code yet
[2008-11-13 00:06:06] <cehteh> b) i was under the impression that i only wanted to export interfaces
                                  over 'Interfaces'
[2008-11-13 00:06:25] <ichthyo> ...which is fine

[2008-11-13 00:08:24] <cehteh> so .. public interfaces ... place in:
                               [ ] src/include/*.h
                               [ ] src/*/*_interface.h
[2008-11-13 00:08:45] <ichthyo> I am for the former: put them into a separate directory
[2008-11-13 00:08:55] <ichthyo> put them in a clearly separated namespace
[2008-11-13 00:08:29] <ichthyo> but... on the long run I am sure we don't just get one "includes" package,
                                rather I guess we get a (very small) tree of interfaces.
                                That's the rationale behind my keeping the implementation namespaces completely apart

[2008-11-13 00:08:53] <cehteh> ok
[2008-11-13 00:09:43] <cehteh> the _interface.c  is the glue code which can stay in the implementation dir imo
[2008-11-13 00:10:16] <cehteh> actually i wanted a include dir too .. i just didnt start because i wanted to ask you too
[2008-11-13 00:10:41] <cehteh> ah another thing i asked joel before .. i dump the tests dir out of the Doxyfile
[2008-11-13 00:10:58] <ichthyo> really?
[2008-11-13 00:11:09] <cehteh> main documentation should have less noise,
                               the include graphs are messed up with all test dependencies.
                               But we can make special doxyfiles for special purposes
                               Doxyfile.all Doxyfile.small Doxyfile.browser

[2008-11-13 00:13:34] <ichthyo> yes, thats fine.
                               So we make a "small" doc set with just the core facilities, and a "complete" doc set,
                               which includes: test cases and documentation on private members, so someone really
                               needing to find out how something works in detail can use the "complete" set.
                               At the end, I bet we will have almost 60% test code and 40% actual code

[2008-11-13 00:16:29] <ichthyo> ok, back to the include dir question:
                               My proposal would be to use src/lumiera/... and namespace lumiera::...
                               (and its children) for the public interfaces

[2008-11-13 00:17:04] <cehteh> mhm thats the usual reversal operation
[2008-11-13 00:17:31] <cehteh> src/lumiera/include/ ... gets installed in /usr/include/lumiera :P
[2008-11-13 00:17:40] <cehteh> ok you dont have the include
[2008-11-13 00:17:52] <cehteh> but i'd rather use the name include
[2008-11-13 00:17:59] <ichthyo> so src/lumiera/** -> /usr/include/lumiera/**
[2008-11-13 00:18:22] <ichthyo> this would make the namespaces match 100% to the directories

[2008-11-13 00:18:13] <cehteh> i dont like that much
[2008-11-13 00:18:18] <cehteh> better src/include
[2008-11-13 00:18:22] <cehteh> rationale:
[2008-11-13 00:18:43] <cehteh> when i look at some project i dont know and see a ./include
                               i know that there are the interfaces. If it is ./projectname then
                               i expect there a huge tree of code which makes the project
[2008-11-13 00:20:04] <cehteh> which is actually true for most project ...
                               at least i dont know anyone which names its includes projectname
[2008-11-13 00:20:14] <ichthyo> thats a good argument
[2008-11-13 00:20:23] <cehteh> the projectname/include is somewhat common .. but bit bloated
[2008-11-13 00:20:48] <cehteh> so better include
[2008-11-13 00:20:49] <ichthyo> yeah, thats a good point

[2008-11-13 00:21:04] <ichthyo> so namespace lumiera::  -> /src/include
[2008-11-13 00:21:35] <ichthyo> namespace lumiera::edit -> /src/include/edit  (just as an example)

[2008-11-13 00:22:00] <ichthyo> while namespace proc::builder -> src/proc/builder

[2008-11-13 00:22:31] <cehteh>  but i think keeping it flat would be ok
[2008-11-13 00:22:58] <ichthyo> I didn't say I want it. But it may happen to be necessary or just better,
                                when the root of the interfaces gets too big
[2008-11-13 00:23:00] <cehteh>  at least i dont plan  to make a tree behind it
[2008-11-13 00:23:08] <ichthyo> neither do I
[2008-11-13 00:23:11] <ichthyo> but... well
[2008-11-13 00:23:14] <cehteh>  i doubt that it will get very big
[2008-11-13 00:23:29] <ichthyo> I've seen enough projects to prove the contrary
[2008-11-13 00:23:45] <ichthyo> and when an interface dir as 60 entries it starts to get messy
[2008-11-13 00:23:37] <cehteh>  even with 100 files there it will still be manageable
[2008-11-13 00:24:02] <cehteh>  and if not .. we may reconsider that before we release
[2008-11-13 00:24:38] <cehteh>  a deeper hierarchy which is very sparse is much more annoying
                                than a dir with up to 100 files

[2008-11-13 00:24:49] <ichthyo> but anyway, the important point is I really want to try hard to get public interfaces
                                and implementation code cleanly separated
[2008-11-13 00:25:31] <cehteh> for C++ absolutely .. for C i less that a *little* bit
[2008-11-13 00:25:54] <cehteh> for performance reasons and because most of the backend wont end in public interfaces anyway

[2008-11-13 00:26:27] <ichthyo> just out of curiosity: what are the performance reasons?
[2008-11-13 00:26:51] <cehteh>  i have some static inline accessor functions ..
                                which need to be in the .h and need full public structure definitions
                                which expose private details. I think these will stay private
                                but if not i wont really care.

[2008-11-13 00:27:06] <ichthyo> ah, I see
[2008-11-13 00:27:59] <ichthyo> probably those just count as "reasonable exceptions from the rule"
[2008-11-13 00:28:33] <cehteh> well C has no access protection at all .. you have to do whats allowed/documented
[2008-11-13 00:28:47] <cehteh> any improvisation counts as undefined behaviour .. point

[2008-11-13 00:28:26] <ichthyo> and besides: also within the implementation of one layer,
                                there are further interfaces, e.g the builder has an interface

[2008-11-13 00:32:03] <ichthyo> actually, I wanted to write something down, but couldn't find the time
[2008-11-13 00:32:17] <ichthyo> But I may well tell it just informally if that's ok ?

[2008-11-13 00:33:02] <ichthyo> I always assume we have separate interface namespace(s)
                                and implementation is in a different namespace then the exported interface
                                basically I see two scenarios:

                                so, the first scenario I'd call "libarry type"
                                it means that the implementation namespace is nested
                                eg namespace mylib  <-- the stuff the library users include and use in their code
[2008-11-13 00:34:23] <ichthyo> namespace mylib::impl and mylib::impl::special   <- the actual code making the library work

[2008-11-13 00:34:50] <ichthyo> second scenario is rather what I was aiming for
                                namespace lumiera  <-- the interfaces
[2008-11-13 00:35:45] <ichthyo> namespace proc::builder:.... <-- the implementation has a completely separate hierarchy
                                                                 for each subsystem

[2008-11-13 00:36:08] <ichthyo> my rationale for prefering the second aproach is:
[2008-11-13 00:36:32] <ichthyo> in our case, we are "implementation heavy".
                                We will certainly have much more implementation code than interfaces
                                we often will build more nested namespaces for the implementation,
                                but can live with just one shallow public interface
                                besides, you can just grab one directory and install it as "include",
                                the way we discussed
                                for a real library, the situation is reversed: Often you have much code close
                                to the interface, maybe even inline
                                e.g. think at boost:
                                half of the code is immediately inline within the interface classes you use
                                and the more technical parts are in shallow sub-namespaces below
                                the good side of course is, that the implementation code doesn't need
                                to pull in the interface, because he already sees it because of the nesting.
                                but for our situation, for me, the need to pull in explicitly any interface
                                you want to use or implement counts rather as a good thing
                                because it clearly documents what non-local parts you use
                                that was my rationale for keeping the implementation part
                                in a completely separate hierarchy.

[2008-11-13 00:43:17] <ichthyo> joelholdsworth: so you moved your gui code within namespace gui, is that correct?
[2008-11-13 00:43:50] <joelholdsworth> yes that's right!
[2008-11-13 00:43:59] <ichthyo> because, then the issue seems to be settled.
                                Originally I had yet more shallow trees.
                                But your argument with the matching directory names and the consistency
                                is an important point. So then, I'll go ahead and move my implementationn code
                                into a new root namespace proc and then start cleaning up the library part
[2008-11-13 00:44:47] <joelholdsworth> great :)
[2008-11-13 00:45:20] <ichthyo> meaning, you can expect quite some stuff moving between /src/common and /src/lib
[2008-11-13 00:45:40] <ichthyo> on the long run, probably the intention should be for "common" to disappear
[2008-11-13 00:46:08] <ichthyo> either stuff goes into namespace lumiera::, meaning it's an interface
                                and the header should go into "src/include" or stuff is heavy support lib
                                implementation stuff and thus goes below src/lib
☉Transcript☉ — build system, plugin tree --
[2008-11-13 00:47:06] <ichthyo> which brings us to another question
[2008-11-13 00:47:18] <ichthyo> how do we organize building plugins?
                                because: one plugin may contain several source files and headers,
                                but needs to be linked into one module

[2008-11-13 00:47:55] <cehteh> plugins dir
[2008-11-13 00:48:11] <cehteh> and a tree there
[2008-11-13 00:48:22] <cehteh> plugins/video/effects
[2008-11-13 00:49:56] <cehteh> plugins/video/effects/foo/ ...    with foobar.c foobaz.c    links to foo.lum
[2008-11-13 00:52:38] <cehteh> plugins/video/effects/foo/foo.c   builds   foo.lum and
                                                                 installs it in $(pkglibdir)/plugins/video/effects/foo.lum

[2008-11-13 00:48:24] <ichthyo> background is: I am aiming to get the build process as much rules-directed as possible
[2008-11-13 00:48:27] <ichthyo> thus:
[2008-11-13 00:48:54] <ichthyo> can we come up with a rule about how plugins will be built?
[2008-11-13 00:50:33] <ichthyo> again the notorious namespace question
[2008-11-13 00:51:08] <ichthyo> if it's a rather large plugin, e.g. a plugin providing an adapter for an
                                external media type libarary or such stuff then it probably can have nested namespaces
[2008-11-13 00:51:56] <cehteh> we really dont need a 1:1 relation between dirs and namespaces
[2008-11-13 00:52:08] <ichthyo> so, then, how can the build system tell at what level of the tree below plugins
                                we'd need to start with building one shared libarary?

[2008-11-13 00:52:46] <ichthyo> would the following rule be ok for you?
[2008-11-13 00:52:58] <ichthyo> start with dir src/plugins and descend
[2008-11-13 00:53:12] <ichthyo> depth-first tree search
[2008-11-13 00:53:28] <ichthyo> when you enter a directory which contains a real source file
[2008-11-13 00:53:46] <ichthyo> then build everything below it into one shared module

[2008-11-13 00:53:31] <cehteh> well i just suggesting here .. for the plugin loader ist relative simple
[2008-11-13 00:53:56] <cehteh> it just searches in the paths you give him (and doesnt descend itself)
[2008-11-13 00:54:19] <ichthyo> no, I really want to configure as few pathes as possible
[2008-11-13 00:54:23] <cehteh> if you think thats ok, then do it

[2008-11-13 00:54:57] <ichthyo> note, the limitation is: you can't just put some isolated code
                                file *.c *cpp in some of the root directories...
                                the moment you add a *c or *cpp file in some new sub tree,
                                you'll find a <subtree-rootdirname>.lum in the corresponding bin dir

[2008-11-13 00:55:17] <cehteh> thats prolly a good choice anyways
[2008-11-13 00:55:28] <cehteh> plugins shall be only at the leaves of the tree

[2008-11-13 00:55:42] <cehteh> be careful when linking
[2008-11-13 00:56:16] <cehteh> the autoconf build included a lot libs from configure which where not needed for plugins

[2008-11-13 00:56:57] <ichthyo> besides, I will set up a different "build environment" for plugins
[2008-11-13 00:57:16] <ichthyo> in SCons, each build environment has a fixed set of libraries attached
[2008-11-13 00:57:28] <cehteh> you likely need specialized ones for some plugins
[2008-11-13 00:57:43] <cehteh> but you can inherit them
[2008-11-13 00:58:02] <ichthyo> yes, I can inherit them
[2008-11-13 00:58:12] <ichthyo> and I match them from the directory name
[2008-11-13 00:58:20] <ichthyo> the rest is fully automatic

[2008-11-13 00:58:14] * cehteh thinks
[2008-11-13 00:58:38] <cehteh> a bare plugin doesnt need any lib
[2008-11-13 00:59:04] <ichthyo> not even the lumiera support lib?
[2008-11-13 00:59:11] <ichthyo> liblumiera.a
[2008-11-13 00:59:12] <ichthyo> ?
[2008-11-13 00:59:29] <cehteh> nope
[2008-11-13 00:59:43] <cehteh> only if it needs somthing from that

[2008-11-13 01:00:01] <cehteh>  -DLUMIERA_PLUGIN   for compiling plugins
[2008-11-13 01:00:11] <ichthyo> plus libdl
[2008-11-13 01:00:24] <cehteh>  stop. no
[2008-11-13 01:00:34] <cehteh>  libdl actually breaks the isolation :P
[2008-11-13 01:00:41] <ichthyo> ah, only for the part which loads the lib
[2008-11-13 01:00:51] <cehteh> the host needs libdl not the plugin
[2008-11-13 01:00:54] <ichthyo> but what is when a plugin wants to open another interface
[2008-11-13 01:01:11] <cehteh> it asks the host to do it
[2008-11-13 01:01:17] <ichthyo> doesn't it need to link against your plugin system impl?
[2008-11-13 01:01:32] <cehteh> nope .. just the interface.h
[2008-11-13 01:02:49] <cehteh> interface.h defines some functions .. but these are not available for the plugin either
                               but the nature of plugins is to extend the system ..
                               thus follows that they will need some more specific libs in many cases

[2008-11-13 01:02:29] <ichthyo> please understand my goal: I want to make the build as automatic and rules based as possible
[2008-11-13 01:02:58] <cehteh> yes ...
[2008-11-13 01:03:09] <ichthyo> for SCons, this is already mostly the case currently,
                                but the autotools build is a maintainance nightmare right now
                                because the paths and dependencies are so much hard wired there
[2008-11-13 01:03:24] <ichthyo> i spent already a considerable time to fix it again and again
[2008-11-13 01:03:52] <cehteh> huh i feel comfortable with autotools
[2008-11-13 01:04:04] <ichthyo> fine for you, but I fix it all the time

[2008-11-13 01:06:44] <ichthyo> for now I didn't use any special switches
[2008-11-13 01:06:59] <ichthyo> I just defined exampleplugin to be an dynamic module
[2008-11-13 01:07:10] <cehteh> sounds reasonable
[2008-11-13 01:07:41] <ichthyo> as said, in future I'll tell scons
                                "build everything below this root  dir into a dynamic module"
                                and scons will derive the necessary compile and link commands

[2008-11-13 01:10:32] <ichthyo> ah, another little issue
[2008-11-13 01:10:42] <ichthyo> we have two tools directories currently
[2008-11-13 01:10:53] <ichthyo> one as "src/tool"
[2008-11-13 01:10:57] <ichthyo> and  another as
[2008-11-13 01:11:12] <ichthyo> just "admin"
[2008-11-13 01:11:29] <ichthyo> within admin, there is the icon rendering and the vgsuppression
[2008-11-13 01:12:01] <ichthyo> the idea was, that all this special support tools would be in src/tool
[2008-11-13 01:12:52] <cehteh> admin are administrative scripts .. tools shall be moved into src/tool
[2008-11-13 01:13:00] <ichthyo> ok
[2008-11-13 01:13:07] <ichthyo> so joelholdsworth:
[2008-11-13 01:13:29] <ichthyo> would it be ok for you to move the icon building executable into src/tool ?
[2008-11-13 01:13:41] <ichthyo> and probably vgsuppression too?
[2008-11-13 01:14:00] <ichthyo> so the build process doesn't need to build anything in admin
[2008-11-13 01:15:29] <joelholdsworth> yes that's ok!
[2008-11-13 01:15:39] <joelholdsworth> that really is just a tool
[2008-11-13 01:15:43] <ichthyo> that is built lilke a tool, so I'd like to move it into src/tool
[2008-11-13 01:16:15] <joelholdsworth> it's the standard rsvg utility with some options added
[2008-11-13 01:16:58] <ichthyo> a propos: joelholdsworth:
                                I've built some additional directory checks into the accompanying python script
                                you have probably noticed that I call directly from the SConstruct into your
                                python script to invoke the icon rendering, and I built some additional checks
                                and move non-empty dirs away as "*.bak"
[2008-11-13 01:17:50] <joelholdsworth> I hadn't actually looked
[2008-11-13 01:17:59] <joelholdsworth> but yes that makes perfect snese
[2008-11-13 01:18:31] <joelholdsworth> actually it is supposed to overwrite any prior renderings
[2008-11-13 01:18:39] <ichthyo> ah?
[2008-11-13 01:19:00] <joelholdsworth> so if you change the SVG the PNGs get created fresh
[2008-11-13 01:19:01] <ichthyo> so I could change it and just do a recursive remove if the target dir exists?
[2008-11-13 01:19:10] <joelholdsworth> yes
[2008-11-13 01:19:32] <joelholdsworth> like obj files - it's supposed to just overwrite any previous bits
[2008-11-13 01:19:50] <joelholdsworth> well the targets are just build temporaries
[2008-11-13 01:20:01] <ichthyo> ok
[2008-11-13 01:22:25] <ichthyo> ok. then regariding the build system, the only bit of cleanup is the tests
[2008-11-13 01:22:46] <ichthyo> cehteh: we talked about it when I visited you
[2008-11-13 01:23:02] <ichthyo> it's not urgent right now
[2008-11-13 01:23:14] <ichthyo> but.. as we agreed at that time
[2008-11-13 01:23:39] <ichthyo> we should make a separate tree for the test-support code, maybe in a subdirectory of /tests
[2008-11-13 01:24:01] <ichthyo> and this tree of course reflects the main tree. That was the idea if I recall correct
[2008-11-13 01:25:11] <cehteh> ichthyo: yes .. i know
[2008-11-13 01:25:13] <cehteh> pending
[2008-11-13 01:25:18] <ichthyo> yes, not urgent
[2008-11-13 01:25:26] <ichthyo> works as-is for now
[2008-11-13 01:25:45] <ichthyo> I have some similar cleanup for my part

[2008-11-13 01:27:24] <ichthyo> btw: do we need "test plugins"?
[2008-11-13 01:27:52] <ichthyo> i.e. something similar to the src/plugin subdirs we discussed just a moment ago
[2008-11-13 01:28:53] <cehteh> you mean some which get installed?
[2008-11-13 01:29:09] <ichthyo> no, just plugins which are needed only from within tests
[2008-11-13 01:29:18] <cehteh> yes we need them
[2008-11-13 01:29:19] <ichthyo> i.e. /tests/plugin
[2008-11-13 01:29:39] <ichthyo> and everything below will be built exactly similar as everything below /src/plugin
[2008-11-13 01:29:44] <cehteh> i currently build them in place example_plugin.c
[2008-11-13 01:29:54] <ichthyo> just it will be only used for test runs
[2008-11-13 01:29:56] <ichthyo> yes, ok

[2008-11-13 01:32:18] <cehteh> another thing: shall plugins override existing interfaces or barf out?
[2008-11-13 01:32:33] <cehteh> both has pros and cons
[2008-11-13 01:32:46] <cehteh> both can easily circumvented with some effort
[2008-11-13 01:33:27] <ichthyo> ehm, I don't fully understand the situation.
                                Could you explain it? Lets say: we have interface A
                                now a plugin wants to provide an implementation of interface A
                                i.e. the client of this plugin would use interface A to access it

[2008-11-13 01:34:03] <cehteh> in a mail to you i explained that i would like mockup plugins which
                               override core functionality

[2008-11-13 01:35:07] <ichthyo> so, wouldn't the mockup just be another implementation of interface A ?
[2008-11-13 01:35:09] <cehteh> well you query an interface+implementation tuple
[2008-11-13 01:35:35] <cehteh> you cant just open a interface .. you open a implementation of an interface
[2008-11-13 01:35:49] <ichthyo> yes, but you use this (interface+implemntation) just for opening the interface, or?
[2008-11-13 01:36:05] <cehteh> so mocplugin  can provide blurfoo
[2008-11-13 01:36:15] <cehteh> even if blurfoo.lum provides it too

[2008-11-13 01:40:32] <cehteh> imagine 2 *.lum modules implement and export exactly the same thing
                               (or at least announce it as exactly the same thing)

[2008-11-13 01:40:57] <ichthyo> I'd just try to relate it to the similar situation with classes
[2008-11-13 01:41:16] <ichthyo> you have an interface and now you have two subclasses
[2008-11-13 01:41:12] <cehteh> nah classes are different
[2008-11-13 01:41:27] <ichthyo> no they aren't. really different
[2008-11-13 01:41:43] <cehteh> subtle different
[2008-11-13 01:41:47] <ichthyo> so both subclasses claim to implement the contract which is defined by the interface
[2008-11-13 01:42:04] <ichthyo> now I have a factory which instantiates one of those subclasses
[2008-11-13 01:42:14] <ichthyo> or the other or both
[2008-11-13 01:42:18] <ichthyo> same situation as for the plugins

[2008-11-13 01:42:44] <cehteh> err no
[2008-11-13 01:42:48] <cehteh> you have only one class
[2008-11-13 01:42:49] <ichthyo> the client just wants an "instance" of the contract defined by the interface
[2008-11-13 01:43:01] <ichthyo> and doesn't care which one it is
[2008-11-13 01:43:14] <cehteh> you didnt understand my problem because it doesnt exist in C++
[2008-11-13 01:43:33] <cehteh> class foo {...};
[2008-11-13 01:43:43] <cehteh> foo this_is_it;
[2008-11-13 01:43:44] <cehteh> foo this_is_it;
[2008-11-13 01:43:57] <cehteh> ... redefinition of the same instance is my problem
[2008-11-13 01:44:08] <cehteh> not even exactly
[2008-11-13 01:44:37] <ichthyo> ah, in C++ the two would either be rejected by the compiler,
                                or they would be allowed if in different scopes
[2008-11-13 01:44:43] <cehteh> even worse the 2nd can say the it is a identical instance but it isnt
[2008-11-13 01:45:07] <cehteh> thats a good way to inject moc objects

[2008-11-13 01:45:15] <cehteh> so now my solution:
[2008-11-13 01:46:01] <cehteh> *thinking*
[2008-11-13 01:46:29] <cehteh> minor versions must differ, biggier minor will win
[2008-11-13 01:46:41] <cehteh> (newer one for certain)
[2008-11-13 01:46:53] <cehteh> thats intended
[2008-11-13 01:47:11] <cehteh> now a mock object might claim it is some *exact* same ..
[2008-11-13 01:47:57] <cehteh> that will be rejected .. so a mock object must do some heavy work
                               to throw out the old one from the nest
[2008-11-13 01:48:10] <cehteh> thats ok for testing purposes

[2008-11-13 01:48:12] <ichthyo> well... at some point you will be able to tell the loader:
                                load this module for use as interface A
[2008-11-13 01:48:20] <cehteh> nah
[2008-11-13 01:48:37] <cehteh> but you forget that modules != interfaces
[2008-11-13 01:49:07] <ichthyo> I understand the modules as being like a "subclass" of the interface
[2008-11-13 01:49:23] <ichthyo> meaning, each of them can "stand-in" for the interface
[2008-11-13 01:49:18] <cehteh> nope wrong
[2008-11-13 01:49:41] <cehteh> modules are a collection of interfaces
[2008-11-13 01:49:47] <cehteh> completely unrelated
[2008-11-13 01:49:54] <ichthyo> huh?
[2008-11-13 01:50:19] <cehteh> a module could provide a video effect and a gui plugin and a fancy format exporter at once
[2008-11-13 01:50:36] <cehteh> no one shall do that ... but modules are just collections of interfaces
[2008-11-13 01:50:37] <ichthyo> which would be 3 interfaces
[2008-11-13 01:50:41] <cehteh> yes
[2008-11-13 01:51:00] <ichthyo> but what then is the term for the implementation of an interface?
[2008-11-13 01:51:08] <ichthyo> because, at an extension point
[2008-11-13 01:51:21] <ichthyo> you just want to tell: this is the interface to be used at this extension point
[2008-11-13 01:51:28] <cehteh> but the module is just a bunch of interfaces .. and module itself doesnt give them a purpose
[2008-11-13 01:52:09] <ichthyo> thats clear. Something like the feature bundle could give it a speficic purpose,
                                or something similar, which itself is loaded as plugin
[2008-11-13 01:52:46] <cehteh> modules are just the bucket .. it is pretty unspecified what you put in
[2008-11-13 01:53:01] <ichthyo> yes thats fine, to start with
[2008-11-13 01:53:23] <ichthyo> anything more specific can be built on top of such a system
[2008-11-13 01:53:35] <ichthyo> for example take the video effect
                                at some point, you define an interface "VideoEffect"
                                probably this interface isn't loaded from a module, rather it's defined from the core,
                                but this doesn't matter for the point in question here
                                now, everything you can ever use as an implementation of this "VideoEffect"
                                must use this interface, because the client of the interface
                                (which in this case is the core which uses this interface for rendering)
                                doesn't care about the implementation and doesn't know any differences