[LAD] State of Plugin API's

Sean Bolton musound at jps.net
Thu Oct 29 00:53:32 UTC 2009

Hi all,

On Oct 28, 2009, at 8:59 AM, Jörn Nettingsmeier wrote:
> Gabriel M. Beddingfield wrote:
>> 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?
> as others pointed out, the [LV2] extensions (while being good from  
> a design
> POV) have actually hindered adoption. but general consensus seems  
> to be
> that while lv2 might have some awkward aspects (not everyone likes  
> RDF),
> it's the way to go.

Consensus? Right. I know of several talented linux audio developers
who consider DSSI to be obsolete -AND- I also know of a similar
number who have said they'll never use LV2. Recently I've seen
more new open-source synth plugins being released as VSTi's than
either LV2 or DSSI. GMPI doesn't exist, because people couldn't
reach consensus.

Sounds familiar.  ALSA versus OSS vs PulseAudio vs JACK. C vs C++ vs
<fill-in-the-blank>.  Emacs vs vi. XML vs everything else. They all
suck, some just suck more than others -- and which suck the least
depends on what you want to use them for.  For simple effects,
it does seem like LV2 may eventually supplant LADSPA.  But for
softsynths, I don't see any one of the current plugin APIs (LV2,
DSSI, or VSTi) obsoleting the others any time, well, ever.  There's
just too much difference in personal tastes.

My advice: write to the API that appeals to you most.  The playing
field is level and slow-changing enough at the present time that
far more important than someone else's idea of what is "current" or
"deprecated", is

     * what will feed your creativity and joy the most? *

because no single API is ever going to please everybody, no
one's going to pay you for your work, and only a fraction of
those who use it will even take the time to say thank you.

My point is, be clear about your motivation. Choose an API
that fits your tastes. Then go create some killer plugins.
I'm looking forward to trying them. ;-)


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