[LAD] State of Plugin API's

hollunder at gmx.at hollunder at gmx.at
Wed Oct 28 14:47:17 UTC 2009

On Wed, 28 Oct 2009 08:50:34 -0500 (CDT)
"Gabriel M. Beddingfield" <gabriel at teuton.org> wrote:

> Hi guys,
> I'm looking to delve into the world of plugins (for both synth and
> fx), and of the free API's I find LADSPA, DSSI, and LV2.  But the
> picture is a little confusing.

Hey Gabriel,
I'm no dev but I'll try to give you a reasonable complete picture of
the situation.

> It appears that LV2 is "current," that DSSI is deprecated, and that
> LADSPA would be deprecated if it weren't so widely adopted.  However,
> LV2 is slow in being adopted.  Is this developer resistance... or is
> it just too new?

LV2 is a very extensible standard, which means that the core does
little, the extensions provide functionality (GUI as well as much more
basic things).
This allows it to become a very powerfull standard, in theory.

The practical problems seem to be:
Someone needs to write the extensions.
The extensions need to be supported by hosts.

So if you want functionality that's not yet there you need to write the
extension and basically write a host that supports it or extend an
existing host. For someone who just wants to write a plugin this can be
a hurdle.

Hosts are currently slow with adopting extensions.
This leads to compatibility issues where any given plugin might only
work in one host. It's especially a problem for users and will get more
severe as the number of plugins, hosts and users increases.
Afaik nothing has been done about this problem yet.

> Also, I can't find any applications that will host all 3, nor even 
> LV2+DSSI.  Is there a technical reason for this?
> Thanks in advance,
> Gabriel

Afaik there's no technical reason for this.


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