Editors Lounge

In this page we will discuss about how to edit this wiki, ad what kind of plans we have. Currently there are two sections: Todo-list section with many todo tasks, and Hardware support section, where new hardware database work is planned and discussed.

Hardware support

I'm going to rename the page from 'current_audio_gear' to 'hardware_support' and will fix the backlinks myself.

However…

The page itself is right now a big wall of text. I propose -

1. Employing frames there and providing navlinks to change them. Having three sections on the page - The default first one should be an introduction to [the] hardware support [situation] on Linux, a tiny bit of recent news (like recent kernel updates and what that affects), and then history (i.e. basically older 'recent news' items changed into past tense).

2. Making a page for every hardware device, just like it is (IIRC) for applications. If we could provide the following data on every device page -

  • Manufacturer
  • Year of release,
  • Estimate price,
  • USB1/2/FW/PCI/PCIe/MIDI,
  • (audio interface only) whether it has an integrated MIDI interface
  • (audio interface only) number of analog inputs
  • and a 'Linux support level' rating, where
    • 0 - fully supported,
    • 1 - supported with some tinkering required (?),
    • 2 - supported but additional programs required for operation, Linux native alternatives available,
    • 3 - supported but additional programs required for operation, WINE is the only option,
    • 4 - supported but some features will not work
    • 5 - confirmed unsupported
    • 6 - status unknown
    • (combinations of these could be allowed if at all needed)

…then, on the second frame page, we could provide a search page, letting the users sort through pro-audio hardware based their specification of these parameters. Like, 'Show only devices…

  • [ ] …from this/these manufacturer(s),
  • [ ] …with estimate price under/over w,
  • [ ] …with year of release - on/before/after x,
  • [ ] …with interface type USB1/2/FW/PCI/PCIe, and
  • [ ] …which (audio interface only) have/don't have an integrated MIDI interface
  • [ ] …with exactly/atleast/at most y number of analog inputs
  • [ ] …with a Linux support rating of z'

This 'database search' would be the second section of the page.

3. Oh, and if someone didn't get the hints, I'm also proposing having not just audio interfaces but virtually all audio and MIDI hardware around. Also, we're not just stopping at what's on the market, but also what's off it, although that's lower down the priority ladder.

How about it? :D

If this idea is okay, I need someone to

a. just make the blank frames to start with, c. a. make the search function script or whatever,

b. and explain to me (contrapunctus on #opensourcemusicians on freenode, or here on the editors_lounge page) how to make the pages so that they'll work with the search.

d. c. Naturally, anyone willing to help me with the pages themselves are very welcome. This is one of the most important documentation tasks of Linux. Yes, it's a big task - we hope to cover all popular hardware on the market, if not all hardware ever made since the 50s. Just get the data right, I'll take care of the formatting and consistency (and search function integration, if and when needed). Together we will! :D

8/8/13 steevc is still maintaining Hardware Matrix when I get time. This was imported from the Linux Musicians' wiki, but still needs a lot of tidying up. I prefer the page per device (or group of related devices). A standard layout would be good.

2014/02/20 Wow, sorry, didn't notice this response. I'm on it. Thanks for pointing out that link. There is a huge amount of duplication on the wiki, I am trying to cut it down and put things in order - the changes should already be visible, I hope. The site is now consistently divided in three sections -

  • /wiki/ - containing the wiki (for the task of reference+archiving)
  • /apps/ - intended to be made into a software database (all existing link-pages for all non-software things (documentation, tutorials etc) should go to /wiki/links/ ) and
  • /hw/ - the hardware database.

All hardware database entries will have a separate page, as you requested, and likewise there is a standard layout, see Behringer BCD3000 for a sample page. Feel free to add more devices based on that, no one person can do all of it by themselves in a reasonable amount of time.

I've also rethought the rating system, compare the following one with the one written in my post above -

  • 5 - fully functional out of the box
  • 4 - fully functional with some configuration changes, or with libre software (which may run natively or with WINE)
  • 3 - fully functional with proprietary software (which may run natively or with WINE)
  • 2 - partially functional, some features will not work
  • 1 - completely unusable/confirmed unsupported
  • 0 - status unknown

As the HW DB is still in its infancy, any suggestions to the rating system or the entry layout are still welcome - it will be difficult to change them as it grows.

What's still missing is a way to list things based on tags in a more advanced way. Right now users can only see all pages under one tag. It'd be way more awesome if they could see, for example, everything with tag A AND tag B…, entries with tag A but NOT with tag B, entries with tag A OR tag B…, and combinations of these.

I discussed it with rgareus, but I did not (and still do not, sadly) have the time to look into the solution he gave me. Someone with skills in web development and some time to spare should help us with this. If we have this capability on the wiki, all three sections of the wiki would benefit greatly. - contrapunctus

Significant changes to the HW DB today -

  • Edited /hw/start , more clarity in ratings among other things.
  • The Behringer BCD3000 entry is no longer the sample reference page, it has been replaced by this.
  • All the sections of fields on the (new) sample page (linked above) need not be included if they do not apply to a device - e.g. the 'MIDI interface' section need not be included if the device is not, or does not have, a MIDI interface. This reduces the length of entries, and makes any future changes and maintenance easier.
  • A more user-friendly HW DB submission page is coming up, courtesy nido. He may also help us with better tag listing.
  • Updated the Behringer BCD3000 entry to the new format.

contrapunctus 2014/02/21

Personally I think the sample reference could be improved:

  • Better use of headlines, the page header for instances should use a Level 1 Headline. Unless you specifically do not want a TOC but I don't think using no TOC is desirable.
  • Using a box might look a bit more visually appealing but can get in the way of code blocks or other layout options.
  • The reference page lacks Linux specific details like ALSA device name or example JACK settings (see rme_babyface)
  • Categories != tags. Afaik this DokuWiki doesn't have a Tags option and using Categories is possible as an alternative option but the corresponding Category pages need to be set up too otherwie adding categories is of no use.

Jeremy Jongepier 2014/02/21 20:01

Hey, Jeremy.

  • Level 1 Heading - done.
  • Box - I don't see any imminent issues. If and when the need arises, we can change it.
  • Example JACK settings can be written in the notes area, I'll add a mention of this in the sample soon.
  • ALSA device names can be useful. Is there a list of them somewhere?

(for others reading - it was clarified by Jeremy later, on IRC, that the tags -are- creating categories)

nido suggested yesterday that perhaps an actual DB is better for this. I'm inclined to agree. I'm scheduled to speak to him today, will update.

contrapunctus 2014/02/22

HW database looks nice! I added information about my soundcard, and process went ok. Template was a little bit hard to understand, but otherwise it was straightforward. Submission form would be easier method though. I think that could be achieved with Bookmarklet like we have in app submission (see http://wiki.linuxaudio.org/wiki/bookmarklet).

I also got idea when added my card: should there be general tags for input? Like in_xlr or in_spdif? Now we have tags based by type and amount of inputs, like in_xlr_2

Next big thing would have some kind of search functionality in frontside of HW database. Possibly based by tags. It really should be interactive, so DokuWiki guru would be really needed!

Heikki Ketoharju 2014/02/24 21:55

Hey, happy to see your entry and that you dig the HW DB, hekkiket :)

It seems like a HWDB on an actual database will finally be a reality, thanks to nido. A submission form as well as a dynamic (interactive) UI for the wiki-based index was being considered earlier (the current template was the best I could do, but it is naturally no match for a submission form :) ), but no point any more, for as the new DB comes up, it'll have it. I just saw the Bookmarklet mere hours before I saw this post - it is indeed excellent.

Not sure what you mean about 'general tags'. Why?

HW-Index entries for the wiki will get replaced by the RDBMS-implementation when it comes, but it's easier to transfer entries to the new DB when they're in the existing format (the new DB seems like it will be mostly based on it), so if anyone wants to submit entries in the meantime, keep them coming.

raboof moved some old hardware pages to /hw/start. It'd be cool if someone converted these to the HW-Index format, I'll be doing as many as I can find time for.

A note regarding HW-Index entries - posting links to insightful forum posts, ML discussions, and logs of IRC conversations about a device is encouraged, BUT, please try to list the important information from said links, and use the links only as source citations, like so -

  • info from link1
  • more info from link1
  • …etc

from $link1

  • info from link2

from $link2

That way, the links are there to acknowledge sources, yet the user doesn't have to wander around unnecessarily for the information, it's right there.

contrapunctus 2014/02/25 1719 UTC

TODO-list for wiki

Please add, comment, etc.

Extend newbie introduction article

Introduction is supposed to be a starting point for newbie user. Please extend it where appropriate. Offer additional information as links for other articles in this wiki, if possible. Avoid external links: this is a introduction article, supposed to lead to more detailed articles in this wiki, so don't send user away.

Being a newbie myself, I will give it a go to make the page better. Please do not remove the old intro page too soon as it contains mcuh valuable information that could be pasted elsewhere.

Marcus Dapp 2014/03/23 22:39

Update all application entries

Mark application entries with tags: dead_link for dead URL:s, unmaintained for unmaintained projects.

Please update also release date and other information while visiting at project pages.

Heikki Ketoharju 2014/02/23 15:44

Update application lists

Hide entries tagged with dead_link from application listnings. Copy from example page: DAW

Documentation for DokuWiki tag plugin used for sorting

Heikki Ketoharju 2014/02/23 15:44

Recommended Applications

We need some kind of mechanism to mark recommended applications in specific categories

  • it should point out stable, active and well-documented projects
  • a “recommended” tag? “editor's choice”??
  • later we could focus on such entries and extent specifically this entries

I suggest we will extend Introduction to music creation in Linux article and link it to other articles. Those other articles will offer recommended choices for new user. If no such article exists, we would then write it. What do you think?

Heikki Ketoharju 2014/02/23 15:36

Yes. A user-centric way of presenting the material and the recommendations would be to structure according to “use cases”. For example, someone who liks to do recording with their keyboard is different than someone who wants to do looping with samples and voice, guitar players, etc.

OT: 'signature' always inserts my email address instead of wiki:user:… Why? Can I change this?

Marcus Dapp 2014/03/24 09:33

Redesign front page

Front page must have balance between offering information and showin links. Mainly it's for navigating to the contents of wiki. Some images would be nice also.

Heikki Ketoharju 2014/02/23 15:44

Thought the same, started on it today. FIXME I lack perms to upload images.

Marcus Dapp 2014/03/23 22:22

Tutorials page

I think it would be more user-centric to have all the tutorials on the respective app pages. That would mean, the tutorial page would be deleted after all tutorial links have been moved. Thoughts?

Marcus Dapp 2014/03/23 22:36

wiki/editors_lounge.txt · Last modified: 2014/03/24 10:35 by digisus