[Ardour-Users] Struggling to do anything at all

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Thu Aug 2 07:10:31 PDT 2007

On Thu, 2007-08-02 at 14:43 +0000, John Emmas wrote:
> Sorry to jump on the bandwagon here - but I must admit, I've also been
> disappointed by Ardour's  many stability issues (and I don't even use Ardour
> for 'real' work - I only use it in testing).

file any bug reports? ardour is a huge program with many, many different
possible workflows. clearly, the core developers cannot test every
possible workflow, and our core beta testers have their own styles that
reveal certain kinds of problems, but completely miss others. would we
release versions if we believed that the problems were so pervasive? of
course not. however, if people with a particular workflow run into major
problems and do nothing to let us know, we simply have no idea that the
problems exist. there have been (until very recently) a lot more emails
saying "ardour2 is working great for me" than "ardour2 seems totally
unstable and i don't understand how anyone can use it". how are we
supposed to know the truth?

> I didn't mention anything before because nobody else was complaining about
> stability so I assumed it was just my particular installation.  But it's
> becoming clear that lots of people are having stability problems and they've
> probably all been keeping for the same reason.....  just like me - they
> thought it was only happening to them!

indeed. i am very alarmed and disappointed (in myself) by the small rush
of people all saying "yeah, its totally unusable for me" who have never
mentioned the particular problem in any context where we can see it. its
absolutely critical that bugs get reported. maybe the reporter is the
only one to whom its happening, and if so, its possible that the bug may
take a long time to resolve. but if bug reports indicate that its a
widespread issue, then in general one of us will jump right on it
(typically myself or sampo).

> And at the risk of annoying everyone with my pet 'hobby horse' again, this
> kind of thing is very symptomatic of a poor debugging regime.  When I first
> joined the Ardour project I was amazed at how many developers were writing
> features without (apparently) any ability (or even any desire) to
> single-step through their code. 

comments like this enrage me. the fact that YOU cannot understand how to
single-step through code doesn't mean that we do not. we even put up a
web page on how to use gdb to debug ardour, and anyone who knew how to
use gdb in general could use that to single step. I spend hours and
hours inside gdb, single-stepping through parts of ardour. it works fine
BUT .... you will never be able to single step race conditions, nor will
you be able to test operations that rely on realtime execution if you
single step. since ardour has (a) lots of threads (b) runs realtime in
at least one of its threads, this puts limits on what you can do with
debugging. this isn't a limitation of ardour's codebase, its a
limitation of any multithreaded, realtime application. 

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