[LAD] State of Plugin API's

Jörn Nettingsmeier nettings at folkwang-hochschule.de
Sun Nov 1 00:11:34 UTC 2009

David Robillard wrote:
<many, many things>

dave, if you'd really read the my post in its entirety and not jumped at
the one provocative catchphrase, you might have noticed that we're
pretty much on the same side. heck, i've even begun to dig into larsl's
lv2 tutorial.

to re-iterate what i had thought i had been communicating:

lv2 is a *very* *sexy* piece of *software* *engineering*.

the problem is, many people are looking for a *standard*.

as a standard, lv2 is ages behind ladspa, because you just don't know
what your host will support until a canonical set of extensions has
emerged and is generally implemented. don't give me that graceful
degradation thing - if a plugin author wants an extension, it's
generally mission-critical and the plugin will be unusable except in
those few carefully crafted examples you gave.

let me dig out the tired old analogy: lv2 is xml. you can define what
you need, and anything goes. in principle.
ladspa is html. it's ugly, kludgy, non-extensible. but if i put
something in <a></a>, then every friggin browser in the world will
underline it in blue and make it perform the action the user expects
when she clicks on it. that's quite lame from a software architecture
standpoint, but it's really cool for users.

i'll be the first to admit that my programming skills are more akin to a
html "programmer" than anything real. i can write a ladspa plugin in no
time. i could also write a simple ladspa-equivalent lv2 plugin in no
time, but using all those cool extensions or probably designing my own
is beyond me. hence, no win, and no inclination to pick up lv2.
world domination implies you gotta win at least a percentage of the dumb
fucks like me, not just the hotshots.

please, dig this: i'm talking about the standards aspect, not the
engineering aspect. i don't know shit about software engineering, and
never claimed otherwise. however, i do know which things pick up
momentum and which linger half-dead in the water.
actually, the largest part of my post was about strategies to help lv2
pick up momentum.

don't give me that M$ FUD shit, either. heck, i've been doing more linux
audio advocacy in my life than is good for me, and i really don't see
why you're perceiving a little provocative discourse as some sort of
intrigue from evil incarnate. just relax.

that said, i hope you know i appreciate and respect the work that went
into lv2. hence,

respectfully yours,


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