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The Icon Bar: Programming: StudioSound
 
  StudioSound
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Chris Message #82600, posted by Chris at 21:17, 8/11/2006
Member
Posts: 283
Henrik Pedersen has indicated that he's willing to release the source to StudioSound. Having had a look at it, it's a mix of Basic and (26bit) assembler. Now, I'd be interested in taking this on, but I'd need some help: I have no experience of assembly language, so 32bitting it would be beyond me. Would anyone be interested in a collaborative project? The work might divide as follows:
Me: GUI stuff, general programming, website, documentation;
You: low-level stuff, 32-bitting, anything else I can't do.
...but of course this could be flexible.

So, anyone interested? Might be a good way to resurrect a very popular app?
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Blind Moose Message #112780, posted by Acornut at 23:11, 9/1/2010, in reply to message #82600
Acornut No-eye-deer (No Idea)

Posts: 487
So, anyone interested?
Did you ever get any takers Chris? As these guys are apparently (gasp) STILL using it!

[Edited by Acornut at 23:13, 9/1/2010]
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Jon Robinson Message #112805, posted by castlevarich at 18:05, 12/1/2010, in reply to message #112780
Member
Posts: 54
Does anybody have an up to date email address for Henrik Pederson ????

There is a downloadable copy of his CineWorks on the internet, but the more up to date version that supports MPEG import and export will not load on RISC OS 4.39, (although presumably it would on 3.7)

Jon Robinson
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Blind Moose Message #112806, posted by Acornut at 18:31, 12/1/2010, in reply to message #112805
Acornut No-eye-deer (No Idea)

Posts: 487
Dunno if this is upto date?
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Chris Message #112825, posted by Chris at 22:30, 14/1/2010, in reply to message #112780
Member
Posts: 283
I actually did do some work on this a while back. I've got a 32-bit version on my hard drive with an updated GUI and a half-rewritten manual taken from JPEGs. If I ever have any time, I'd be happy to take a look at it again. Obviously, it's more fun working with someone who really knows what they're doing - I'm definitely an *amateur* coder. unhappy
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Terje Slettebų Message #114765, posted by tslettebo at 00:00, 4/7/2010, in reply to message #82600
Member
Posts: 3
Hi Chris.

Henrik Pedersen has indicated that he's willing to release the source to StudioSound. Having had a look at it, it's a mix of Basic and (26bit) assembler. Now, I'd be interested in taking this on, but I'd need some help: I have no experience of assembly language, so 32bitting it would be beyond me. Would anyone be interested in a collaborative project?
I came across your posting today. If the source for StudioSound could be released, I'd be happy to help with making it 32-bit compatible. I've already done that with another application (the extASM assembler), so I've got some experience with it.

Feel free to contact me at tslettebo@broadpark.no.
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Paul Johnson Message #114800, posted by nodoid at 10:36, 9/7/2010, in reply to message #114765
Member
Posts: 69
Just a thought, how much work would be involved in moving the assembler to C? It would mean a far larger pool of people who could potentially help...
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Jeffrey Lee Message #114801, posted by Phlamethrower at 11:10, 9/7/2010, in reply to message #114800
PhlamethrowerHot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot stuff

Posts: 15061
If you were to replace the assembler with C then you'd probably want to rewrite all the BASIC bits as well, to avoid the complexity of interfacing BASIC with C. But having said that, if it's only the lower-level bits of the program (sound mixing, playback code, perhaps UI redrawing) that are written in assembler then it shouldn't be too difficult to convert the whole lot. Well-written BASIC translates to C fairly well, and low-complexity self-contained assembler routines aren't that difficult to translate either.

Now you just have to find someone who knows all three languages and has enough spare time to help out wink
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Paul Johnson Message #114802, posted by nodoid at 13:18, 9/7/2010, in reply to message #114801
Member
Posts: 69
I was thinking more along the lines of if the assembler was in C, then porting it to Linux (say) would make life easier. It would also have a large number of "blow back" benefits for RISC OS development.

I've time on my hands for the BASIC to C stuff, but haven't a clue on assembler (and before someone says the same about C - don't - things have changed a hell of a lot...)
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Jon Robinson Message #114803, posted by castlevarich at 15:27, 9/7/2010, in reply to message #114765
Member
Posts: 54
Terje Slettebo wrote

[I came across your posting today. If the source for StudioSound could be released, I'd be happy to help with making it 32-bit compatible. I've already done that with another application (the extASM assembler), so I've got some experience with it.]

Dear Terje

Has anybody compared the feature list of StudioSound with that of Richard Windley's SampleEd ????

Although there are a few problems with it, SampleEd is already 32 bit compatible, and it has a nice user interface.

Unless StudioSound has some killer feature that SampleEd lacks, there would probably be little point in spending months 32 bitting it.

The one program from the Henrik Pederson stable that definitely WOULD be worth rescuing is the full version of CineWorks that supports MPEG import and export.

I bought a copy at Wakefield a year ago, but have never been able to install it, as the installer will not work with RISC OS 4.39.

If Henrik would be prepared to release the source code for that, that would be a far more useful target for conversion.

Not only is it the only true video editor that has ever been developed for RISC OS, but it would be much more usable on a 600MHz/1GHz system, if it could be made stable, and it would complement the work that is being done to keep FFMpeg and KinoAmp up to date.

Jon Robinson (Leeds)
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Paul Johnson Message #114804, posted by nodoid at 15:40, 9/7/2010, in reply to message #114803
Member
Posts: 69
I personally think that when someone leaves a platform and no-one takes over their product, then they should *by law* have to release the source code for others to keep it running

We'd still have Sibelious then...
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VinceH Message #114805, posted by VincceH at 19:46, 9/7/2010, in reply to message #114804
VincceH
Lowering the tone since the dawn of time

Posts: 1590
I personally think that when someone leaves a platform and no-one takes over their product, then they should *by law* have to release the source code for others to keep it running

We'd still have Sibelious then...
Or even Sibelius.

However, your wish is somewhat flawed. What if, for example, a piece of software who's source code should be provided for the reason you give includes algorithms and code that is used in a still commercial product on another platform, and is therefore still sensitive?

I can accept a case for strong encouragement to make sure availability of the last version of the product remains available (I'd happy accept free if the developer(s) want to wash their hands of providing any support), as well as the idea that it should be possible to freely distribute 'orphaned' IP (after reasonable efforts are made to contact the originator) - but to force the release of sources is bonkers.

And personally, if there was any inkling of such a law being pushed through - which there isn't - then I'd pack my RISC OS toys away before it comes into force, so that I can avoid becoming a victim of it.

Note: I've no plans to give up RISC OS development, even though I rarely have time for it - but your bonkers idea of a law would, therefore, see me giving it up. Does it still sound like such a good idea?

Hears the sound of lots of people campaigning for such a law just so they can get rid of me...
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Simon Willcocks Message #114807, posted by Stoppers at 09:19, 10/7/2010, in reply to message #114803
Member
Posts: 278
The one program from the Henrik Pederson stable that definitely WOULD be worth rescuing is the full version of CineWorks that supports MPEG import and export.

I bought a copy at Wakefield a year ago, but have never been able to install it, as the installer will not work with RISC OS 4.39.
Purely on a practical note, if it's only the installer (and not the program) that won't work on 4.39, have you considered running the installer on another version of RO and simply copying the installed files to your machine?

If it includes some form of copy protection, then that probably won't work, but it might be worth a try. (I can try it on 4.02, if you like.)
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Jon Robinson Message #114812, posted by castlevarich at 14:52, 12/7/2010, in reply to message #114765
Member
Posts: 54
[I came across your posting today. If the source for StudioSound could be released, I'd be happy to help with making it 32-bit compatible. I've already done that with another application (the extASM assembler), so I've got some experience with it.]

I had a go at using StudioSound last night, just to see if I could amplify and save a WAV file faster than you can with SampleEd.

It certainly DOES work quicker than SampleEd, (which is frustratingly slow on a RiscPC) but the amplification seems to be controlled by a rotary slider.

Nudging this by the tiniest amount amplified the track by 150%, which is far too course to be used for building serious multi-track sound files.

I'm also fairly sure from comments I've read in the newsgroups that all the Pedersen titles have become unstable on RISC OS 4. They only work reliably on 3.7, which hardly anybody has anymore.

Jon Robinson (Leeds)
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Martin Bazley Message #114814, posted by swirlythingy at 16:05, 12/7/2010, in reply to message #114812

Posts: 460
They only work reliably on 3.7, which hardly anybody has anymore.
I have a spare set of 3.7 ROMs if you want them!

(PS: Try the 'Reply and quote' link.)
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Paul Stewart Message #114819, posted by sa110_mk at 12:15, 13/7/2010, in reply to message #114803
Member
Posts: 144


Has anybody compared the feature list of StudioSound with that of Richard Windley's SampleEd ????

Although there are a few problems with it, SampleEd is already 32 bit compatible, and it has a nice user interface.

Unless StudioSound has some killer feature that SampleEd lacks, there would probably be little point in spending months 32 bitting it.
It's maybe worth pointing out that in my dealings with Richard, he is usually quite amenable to adding new features to his applications. Therefore if you are using SampleEd and wished it could do feature x or y. I'm sure Richard would be happy to hear from you.
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Paul Johnson Message #114824, posted by nodoid at 12:27, 14/7/2010, in reply to message #114805
Member
Posts: 69
Hi,


I can accept a case for strong encouragement to make sure availability of the last version of the product remains available (I'd happy accept free if the developer(s) want to wash their hands of providing any support), as well as the idea that it should be possible to freely distribute 'orphaned' IP (after reasonable efforts are made to contact the originator) - but to force the release of sources is bonkers.
Okay, let's look at the argument. Let's take Prophet. A cracking piece of kit which is now making the majority of it's money (as does OvationPro) on the Windows side of the business. The RISC OS version stops dead, but the Win32 version lives. The company ditches all RISC OS support - people still use it, but with the OS developing, chances are that it will fail at some point.

The company decide not to release the source, but then a few months later, sucumb and die with no-one buying up the assets.

Support completely dies, no new versions - the worst case. Here, it should be possible to reverse engineer the code to keep it working. It should also be the case that the source is released, but made sure it's under the GPLv2 (or a licence which means that the code has to remain open with all changes released).

The code lives on and the ability to move it to other platforms suddenly happens.


And personally, if there was any inkling of such a law being pushed through - which there isn't - then I'd pack my RISC OS toys away before it comes into force, so that I can avoid becoming a victim of it.
In that case, I'd ensure that it's restrospective to 10 years ;-)
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Peter Howkins Message #114825, posted by flibble at 14:10, 14/7/2010, in reply to message #114824
flibble

Posts: 865

Okay, let's look at the argument. Let's take Prophet. A cracking piece of kit which is now making the majority of it's money (as does OvationPro) on the Windows side of the business. The RISC OS version stops dead, but the Win32 version lives. The company ditches all RISC OS support - people still use it, but with the OS developing, chances are that it will fail at some point.

The company decide not to release the source, but then a few months later, sucumb and die with no-one buying up the assets.

Support completely dies, no new versions - the worst case. Here, it should be possible to reverse engineer the code to keep it working. It should also be the case that the source is released, but made sure it's under the GPLv2 (or a licence which means that the code has to remain open with all changes released).

The code lives on and the ability to move it to other platforms suddenly happens.
Erm, but your alternative is terrible, Company A ports their RISC OS apps to Windows, but following your suggestion releases the src to the RISC OS version under the GPL. The windows build is successful enough to keep the company/programmer going (yay). Then some enterprising soul takes the RO code under the GPL and ports it windows, and, completely legally, undercuts your business. Thus company/programmer is no longer sucessful enough to keep going (boo).

It's just a dumb idea from a commercial point of view to release the code to things that can end up competing with you.
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Phil Mellor Message #114826, posted by monkeyson2 at 15:12, 14/7/2010, in reply to message #114825
monkeyson2Please don't let them make me be a monkey butler

Posts: 12380
I think what you want is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Source_code_escrow
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Paul Johnson Message #114827, posted by nodoid at 16:09, 14/7/2010, in reply to message #114825
Member
Posts: 69

Erm, but your alternative is terrible, Company A ports their RISC OS apps to Windows, but following your suggestion releases the src to the RISC OS version under the GPL
I've not said that anywhere. I've said that the company dies, but the source lives on.

It's just a dumb idea from a commercial point of view to release the code to things that can end up competing with you.
Which is why I've said after the company dies.

That said, it has to be the company that owns the source, not (say) if I write something for company X, X dies and the source copyright reverts to me.
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VinceH Message #114828, posted by VincceH at 16:36, 14/7/2010, in reply to message #114827
VincceH
Lowering the tone since the dawn of time

Posts: 1590

Erm, but your alternative is terrible, Company A ports their RISC OS apps to Windows, but following your suggestion releases the src to the RISC OS version under the GPL
I've not said that anywhere. I've said that the company dies, but the source lives on.
You have said that somewhere - in this very forum further upthread. You said, and I quote (adding my own emphasis):

"I personally think that when someone leaves a platform and no-one takes over their product, then they should *by law* have to release the source code for others to keep it running

There is a vast difference between that and "after the company dies" which is what you are now claiming you said originally.

It's just a dumb idea from a commercial point of view to release the code to things that can end up competing with you.
Which is why I've said after the company dies.

That said, it has to be the company that owns the source, not (say) if I write something for company X, X dies and the source copyright reverts to me.
That just complicates things further with sole trader companies, such as - to pluck a completely random example out of the air - Soft Rock Software, and thus shows your idea to be even more flawed.
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Martin Bazley Message #114829, posted by swirlythingy at 17:58, 14/7/2010, in reply to message #114828

Posts: 460
That just complicates things further with sole trader companies, such as - to pluck a completely random example out of the air - Soft Rock Software, and thus shows your idea to be even more flawed.
This whole discussion has grown over-complicated, not least in the case where people change their minds about what they meant, but as far as I can see the most workable solution would be this:

Company X dies.

Company X's assets are sold off and bought by various other companies.

Any IP assets left unsold are released into the public domain.

This prevents the situation where a piece of software is completely unmaintainable and the source unreleasable, but which people may still be using.

As mentioned further up, this would obviously be unworkable except in the case that nobody has any interest in the IP whatsoever (otherwise it would simply be an enforced blow to the company's commercial prospects).

IANAL, or any other kind of IP expert for that matter, so I don't know how it works currently.

Now, as for your point about sole trader companies, such as (since you mentioned it) Soft Rock Software, and assuming that these rules would only apply to the case where you decide to wind up the company and nobody (e.g. R-Comp) wants the source to your closed-source products, ask yourself this question: What are the circumstances in which you would choose to cease selling or otherwise making available software such as WebChange, and yet wish to continue having the sole right to develop it? And if you did not wish to stop sales, what reason would you have to wind up the company?
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VinceH Message #114830, posted by VincceH at 22:20, 14/7/2010, in reply to message #114829
VincceH
Lowering the tone since the dawn of time

Posts: 1590
Noting first that company liquidation isn't a field I have any direct, recent experience of, except where clients' have been creditors, which really only amounts to filling out a proof of debt form, receiving the occasional report from the liquidators and so on, and not much else. There was only one time that I recall where I was more directly involved - when I was a junior at a firm of accountants 20+ years ago! But anyway:

but as far as I can see the most workable solution would be this:

Company X dies.

Company X's assets are sold off and bought by various other companies.
Broadly speaking - and assuming by "dies" you mean that it is brought to its knees kicking and screaming by creditors (for one obvious example) - this is the current situation. Any IP owned by the company is just one of those assets. The assets are sold in order to pay the preferential creditors (HMRC, banks), and the fees of any independant practitioner appointed as liquidator. Oh, and to pay a dividend to all other creditors, as well, if there's any money left over. wink

Any IP assets left unsold are released into the public domain.
AIUI, any assets (IP or otherwise) left unsold belong to the state. It would therefore be up to "the state" (whoever its representative and voice may be) to decide if any IP assets could be released this way. Legislating that IP orphaned in this way is released into the public domain is what has, in effect, been suggested.

The question, though, becomes one of how workable this would be, because it's not so cut and dried as you might think:

Some of the company's IP might, for example, be licensed to another company for use in something they sell. The licence might include restrictions on what the licensor can do - including releasing any sources that include the licensed code, in order to protect the licensee's interests.

Similarly, the exact opposite could be true - what if the company's IP includes code licensed from someone else, with a licence clause preventing release of sources?

So even if the suggested legislation were in place, it would be quite nightmarish to sensibly administer. Every piece of code would have to be carefully audited to be absolutely sure its release isn't prevented by some licence or contract - and that work has to be funded. And this after the company's liquidation has been carried out, and all preferential creditors, the liquidators' fees, and any remaining creditors' dividends have been paid.

They couldn't sell that IP as an asset to raise money to help pay the company's debts, but now someone has to be paid (very highly, since this isn't an easy task) to very carefully audit it in order to see if it can be released for free. Which in some cases, the result of the audit will be that it can't.

Am I the only person who can see why that's unworkable? wink

Then there's the - somewhat less tricky - issue of how it's actually released into the public domain. Presumably HM Govt. would have to maintain a website to host such things, for the public to download whenever they so choose.

Now, as for your point about sole trader companies, such as (since you mentioned it) Soft Rock Software, and assuming that these rules would only apply to the case where you decide to wind up the company and nobody (e.g. R-Comp) wants the source to your closed-source products, ask yourself this question: What are the circumstances in which you would choose to cease selling or otherwise making available software such as WebChange, and yet wish to continue having the sole right to develop it? And if you did not wish to stop sales, what reason would you have to wind up the company?
I might, for example, to wind the business up to simplify things administratively while I travel the world for an undetermined number of years. When I return, I might want to start up again, be that under the same name or a new one, or I might not. I just don't know yet, and what happens while I'm travelling might determine what I'll decide to do when I return.

Luckily, though, because I'm a sole trader and, therefore, the business and I are one and the same, winding it up is trivial and any IP that 'belonged' to the company belongs to me anyway - so I can just 'sit' on it for one year, two years, five years, ten years... and then pick it up again and do something with it, or decide to spend another five years living on the Moonbase, before reconsidering again... whatever. I could even bequeath it to the illigitimate love child I had with Kylie Minogue and decide to do nothing more with it myself at all, just hope that when I'm gone he'll be able to use it.

Unluckily, in Paul's dream world, if I take too long to decide my own future, too long to decide what I'm going to do with my own property, I'm fecked; it's been taken off me and the IP now belongs to everyone.
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Paul Johnson Message #114833, posted by nodoid at 08:30, 15/7/2010, in reply to message #114830
Member
Posts: 69
Ah well, back to the land of dreams where dead apps can be brought back to life... Think of the number of RISC OS apps which could return where no company exists, games would return, as would the art package from Cerilica... Ah, bliss.

Back to the main point though - it would be good to see the source of StudioSound and to see if the assembler can be re-written to be in C (it was possibly in assembler to speed things up on the older architecture more than anything) and then the second part is porting the BASIC to C... Wonder what the chances are though...
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Jeffrey Lee Message #114835, posted by Phlamethrower at 08:32, 15/7/2010, in reply to message #114833
PhlamethrowerHot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot stuff

Posts: 15061
Ah well, back to the land of dreams where dead apps can be brought back to life... Think of the number of RISC OS apps which could return where no company exists, games would return, as would the art package from Cerilica... Ah, bliss.
We could do with a few programmers returning first wink

All the source code in the world won't help you if there's noone around with the time/skill/inclination to maintain it!
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Paul Johnson Message #114836, posted by nodoid at 10:04, 15/7/2010, in reply to message #114835
Member
Posts: 69

All the source code in the world won't help you if there's noone around with the time/skill/inclination to maintain it!
I completely agree. Argh!

That said, releasing the code may increase the chances of a port to (say) Linux which then feeds back to RISC OS now that there is a port of SDL and the likes available to make life easier.

Imagine the power of (say) PipeDream if it went open source and parts from OOo added in to give the ability to natively import/export excel and ODF...

/pfj is currently away with the fairies in a world of his own thinking of a brighter future...
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Paul Johnson Message #114839, posted by nodoid at 12:53, 15/7/2010, in reply to message #114836
Member
Posts: 69
Hmmm, studiosound website seems to be unresponsive... Anyone got an email address for the author?
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Paul Johnson Message #114842, posted by nodoid at 08:04, 16/7/2010, in reply to message #114839
Member
Posts: 69
Hmmm, studiosound website seems to be unresponsive... Anyone got an email address for the author?
The email address I have for the author (I think the sofwtare is hosted on TIB) bounces too...
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Paul Johnson Message #114849, posted by nodoid at 14:47, 20/7/2010, in reply to message #114842
Member
Posts: 69
Hmm, the thread has gone as quiet as a scientologist when presented with the fact they've been conned and that auditing is a fraud...

[Edited by nodoid at 17:02, 20/7/2010]
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Jon Robinson Message #114850, posted by castlevarich at 16:09, 20/7/2010, in reply to message #114849
Member
Posts: 54
Hmm, the thread has gone as quite as a scientologist when presented with the fact they've been conned and that auditing is a fraud...
I've tried to contact Henrik before, but my emails have always been bounced back to me. If anybody is subscribed to the csa programmer's forum (I'm too thick to be on that), that would be the best place to leave a message asking if anybody has an up to date email address for him. He is still around, because Chris Wraight was in touch with him about 2 years ago.

Jon Robinson (Leeds)
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The Icon Bar: Programming: StudioSound