Jalv 1.4.6

Jalv 1.4.6 is out. Jalv is a simple but fully featured LV2 host for Jack. It runs LV2 plugins and exposes their ports as Jack ports, essentially making any LV2 plugin function as a Jack application.

Changes:

  • Show newly saved presets in the preset menu.
  • Generate Qt moc nonsense at build time for broader compatibility.
  • Update for latest LV2 Atom Object simplifications.
  • Set port pretty names via new Jack metadata API.
  • Add support for data-access extension (based on patch by Filipe Coelho).
  • Support new UI show/hide interface in console version.
  • Add option to print control output changes to stdout.
  • Support saving the same preset several times.
  • Update man pages and console jalv help output for new options.
  • Upgrade to waf 1.7.16.

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Lilv 0.20.0

Lilv 0.20.0 is out. Lilv is a C library to make the use of LV2 plugins as simple as possible for applications.

Changes:

  • Don’t load files multiple times if they are listed as rdfs:seeAlso for several plugins.
  • Call lv2_lib_descriptor separately for different bundle paths (fix loading several dynamic plugins like Ingen at once).
  • Tolerate calling lilv_node_as_uri or lilv_node_as_blank on NULL.
  • Add convenient lilv_new_file_uri for creating file URIs.
  • Fix use of lv2info -m and -p options to write plugin data (useful for porting plugins bridges with NASPRO).
  • Fix issues with lilv_plugin_get_author_name and friends (thanks Filipe Coelho).
  • Improved/working lv2_apply.py to apply plugin to a .wav (thanks Joe Button).
  • Add lilv_world_unload_bundle() and lilv_world_unload_resource().
  • Fix several minor memory leaks.
  • Improve test coverage.
  • Upgrade to waf 1.7.16.

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Serd 0.20.0

Serd 0.20.0 is out. Serd is a lightweight, high-performance, dependency-free C library for RDF syntax which supports reading and writing Turtle and NTriples.

Changes:

  • Support new RDF 1.1 Turtle.
  • Don’t write xsd:decimal literals to Turtle bare if they would not be read back with the same type.
  • Fix possible crash in serd_writer_end_anon() when writing invalid lists.
  • Generate blank names like _:b1 and _:B2 not _:genid1 _:docid2.
  • Correctly handle posix_memalign failure.
  • Fix const-correctness violation for reader input string.
  • Add -lm to pkg-config libs.
  • Update to waf 1.7.16.

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Patchage 1.0.0

After a long hiatus, a new release of Patchage is finally out. This version uses a new canvas library, Ganv, and includes many fixes and other improvements.

Download Patchage 1.0.0 (sig)

Changes:

  • Allow removing connections by selecting their handle and pressing delete.
  • Remove Raul dependency.
  • Switch from FlowCanvas to Ganv (much improved looks and performance).
  • Remove LASH support and simplify UI.
  • Fix font configuration on OSX.
  • Use Mac style key bindings on OSX.
  • Integrate with Mac menu bar on OSX.
  • Support for DOT export for rendering with GraphViz.
  • Use XDG_CONFIG_HOME instead of ~/.patchagerc.
  • Make port colours configurable.
  • Support port pretty names via new Jack metadata API.

Enjoy.

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Disabling the obnoxious lights on the Evoluent Vertical Mouse 4

I’ve been a fan of the Vertical Mouse for a while now, since the extreme wrist pronation of a conventional horizontal mouse aggravates my wrist. Unfortunately, however, Evoluent saw fit to put a blindingly bright blue lit-up logo on the back of the latest version (much to the delight of absolutely nobody in their target market). This is particularly problematic if you work late or sleep in the same room as your computer (blue light messes with your sleep cycle, hence tools like Redshift).

The offending logo (unlit).

The offending logo (unlit).

After unplugging my mouse every night for so long, I finally decided to tear the thing apart and see how easy it would be to disable those lights. It turns out this is very easy, you don’t even need to desolder anything. There are four screw holes hidden under the label and front pad on the bottom. You don’t need to remove the other two pads like I did in the process of figuring this out.

Screw hole locations.

Screw hole locations.

Remove all four screws and the top should come off easily. There are ribbon cables connecting the buttons, though, so don’t pull too hard. Now you can see the battery of LEDS.

The seven (!) offending LEDs.  When Evoluent shoots for annoying they go full out.

The seven (!) offending LEDs. When Evoluent shoots for annoying they go full out.

Luckily, this pointless board is connected with a header, so you can simply unplug it, and reassemble the mouse.

Disconnected LED board connector.

Disconnected LED board connector.

Much better.

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Pretty names in Patchage via Jack Metadata

The much-awaited (by me, at least) Jack metadata API has arrived. This will allow us to easily achieve many new things with minimal/nonexistent API friction. One of the simplest and most obvious is pretty names for Jack clients and ports, so I’ve chosen this as the first thing to tackle (as part of a drive to get Patchage polished up for a much overdue release).

Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, there is a chicken & egg scenario here since nothing is setting this metadata yet. So, I’ve made Jalv and Ingen both set pretty names for their ports. In the case of Jalv, the “pretty name” is the label given in the plugin data (distinct from the LV2 “symbol” which is restricted and unique).

Firing up Jalv with the Tal Dub III plugin (LV2 port courtesy KXStudio), we can see the port symbols, which are a bit awkward for end users with their prefixes and underscores. Conflating strong identifiers with human-readable labels is a serious design error I learned of the hard way, but that’s a discussion for another time…

Enable “Human Names” in the view menu, or press C-h, and voilĂ , we see the pretty names set in Jack metadata (if present) instead.

Tal Dub III in Jalv as shown by Patchage with human names off.

Tal Dub III in Jalv as shown by Patchage with human names enabled.

The metadata API is very simple to use for ports, though there seems to be a hole in the API which makes it difficult to get the UUID for your client to set metadata (I want a simple jack_client_uuid, like jack_port_uuid, but it seems you have to get a string UUID and parse it to a jack_uuid_t, clunky enough that I just didn’t bother). In any case, I am happy to see a low-friction mechanism in Jack which apps can use to share metadata towards making a better user experience.

It will be interesting to see what sort of information proves useful and becomes established/standard. For those of us of a mad scientist bent who live in a nest of patch cables, a CV tag seems like another obvious simple step, but for everyone, a big step is finally having meaningful port grouping and channel roles. I have always liked to joke that Jack (like LADSPA) doesn’t really even do stereo, but with metadata, we can mark up stereo, 5.1, Ambisonics, etc., and other clients will be able to make sense of the channel assignments without resorting to dirty kludges based on guessing from names. All without changing the ABI one bit. Good stuff.

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