[LAD] State of Plugin API's

David Robillard dave at drobilla.net
Sun Nov 1 16:11:07 UTC 2009

On Sun, 2009-11-01 at 12:09 +1100, Patrick Shirkey wrote:
> On 11/01/2009 10:19 AM, Gabriel M. Beddingfield wrote:
> >
> >
> > On Sun, 1 Nov 2009, Patrick Shirkey wrote:
> >
> >> So, maybe it would be a good use of time to resolve this inadequacy as a
> >> priority before moving onto other items?
> >
> > Doesn't VST do it through branding?  VST is for effects, VSTi for 
> > instruments (softsynths), etc.?
> >
> > Perhaps LV2 could do a similar sort of branding... with the name 
> > defined by the extension.
> >
> > E.g....
> >
> >   LV2-fx
> >   LV2-synth
> >
> > Bonus points if some manner of logo integration could be done, too.
> >
> > Standardizing how this is done would make it easier for application 
> > developers and users to understand.
> >
> In addition, presenting the extensions and the plugins that have been 
> built with them on the website in a way that encourages developers to 
> integrate them would be helpful for adoption.
> It has been said before that there is a problem with documentation for 
> LV2. Perhaps the system needs to be more automated.

This is definitely true, the site and documentation needs work.

Making things like "LV2-fx", whatever the would be though, is pointless.
There would be too many of them, what gets in and what doesn't would be
just a big silly debate with no point.  Most features apply equally to
both anyway.  "Features" are not difficult for users to understand!

VSTi vs VST is basically just a product of VST being crap :)  The only
difference between a "synth" and an "fx" plugin in LV2 is one happens to
have a MIDI port, and probably a certain plugin category under
"Instruments", etc.  It really doesn't mean much at all.

> I'm not sure what the limitations of the existing system are but in 
> general having a central location where all extensions are collated with 
> explicit details about their usage and examples for how to write code 
> for them them would go a long way to making the system more developer 
> friendly.
> Providing a weekly/monthly mailout which lists the new extensions and a 
> brief description with links to code examples and usage cases would also 
> be helpful for developers who want to keep up to date with the latest 
> offerings.
> Essentially spending some time on automating the notifications system 
> now will be useful for everyone and could go a long way to increase the 
> pickup and development rate for LV2 which is good for everyone.

The volume isn't really big enough for this, to be honest.  We can set
up an RSS feed or something, or an announce list, but I really don't see
this as being an effective thing to worry about at this point in time.
You'd be automating nothing.  Need an actual nice presentation for
extensions first, before announcing matters.

The mailing list is low volume enough that any developers interested in
LV2 goins-on should simply be on that.  I'll look into adding RSS to my
documentation generator thingie though, that's kind of a cool idea.

> It just so happens that I have some free time I can put aside for this 
> over the next 6 weeks. If we can agree on what is missing from the 
> existing system I will spend some time on integrating it. I could put 
> aside 4 hours on Wed nights for this project.
> So, can those in the know please spend some time to think about the 
> things that are currently missing from the LV2 ecosystem and I will get 
> onto it.
> @Dave, I assume you have a feature/task list that you are working with 
> so if you want to hand any specific house keeping tasks to me then fire 
> away.

Awesome, thanks.  I think the main problem right now is that the site is
stagnant.  I think maybe the most feasible path, effort wise, would be
just to move all the content over to the Wiki, which is easy for
everyone to participate with, and nuke the site.

I could probably get Steve to install Drupal or Wordpress and make a bit
more of a "professional" looking site that way, but it's more work, and
then we have two account systems instead of one.  Is there any advantage
to this beyond pretty?  Seems no, and adding content is a bit more

So maybe the best housekeepingey thing to do right now is get all the
content over to the wiki, and tidy up the wiki, then we can make it the
main page for http://lv2plug.in ?



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