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Re: possibility

On Mon, 11 Sep 2000, Mike Ciul wrote:
> Would using SDL really make things easier for the user? Right now the
> user has to have GTK+ and EsounD. Is there something else, like the xpm
> library? With SDL, the user would have to have GTK+ and SDL. Is that
> easier? 

  It probably wouldn't be much more difficult for the users if it were SDL
instead.  I can't speak for all distros, but mine came with esd at that
time. The latest release now comes with SDL too, however I'm not sure that
the SDL mixer code (which we would probably want) is included.  We would
either need to require then users to get that, or we could package it
ourselves.  I also picked ESD at the time because I was tired of apps
fighting over the sound device and esd was the only sound server at the
time that was support by more than one app that I used. (I now have most
things going through esd.  Yeehaw!)  

> About music: I think it would be great if we could have mod files. It
> would allow us to recreate the old music exactly or make cool new music,
> with relatively small file sizes. If nobody can make mod files, I think
> MIDI files would be acceptable. How does that work with the different
> sound APIs? 

    I said >I< couldn't really make MOD files.  (Nobody really even said
they wanted me writing the music anyhow. 8-)  I haven't been able to get
comforable with any of the trackers, and I don't have a library of
instrument samples laying around.  Someone wiser than I should be able to
whip up some good mods. 
    Midi could be OK if we packaged a set of midi patches and used the
software synth.  Otherwise there's no predicting how it will sound for the
end user.  (I've had some midis translate pretty bad between wave table
sets and fm synth.) 
    The APIs could be wrapped up so that it is format independent.  I
think the SDL mixer is that way.  As long as you have the libraries it
needs (timidity & mikmod) you can pass it a file name, and it figures out
how to play it. We could just use that, and from the looks of it now
supports mp3 anyhow using SMPEG.  (They've been busy!)  
    In anycase this could all be moot.  If we are willing to require SDL,
it would be *good* for sound and music.  It would require the use of an
extra library on top of SDL though.  (The mixer library.)  I don't know if
that will also require timidity, mikmod & smpeg if they can be made
optional.  We can cope.  I am a bit busier now that I was when I did the
esd code, but I will start hacking at it.  (Um, where can I get the most
recent snapshot?  If it's cvs, what a good "For Dummies" command to
extract it?)