[Ardour-Users] Struggling to do anything at all

John Emmas johne53 at tiscali.co.uk
Thu Aug 2 10:29:06 PDT 2007

> Steven Chamberlain wrote:
> I don't want it to seem like Ardour isn't as powerful, versatile and
> even reliable as it probably is for many people.
No - that wasn't my intention either.  In my case, the problems are rarely
repeatable.  In fact, there's only one that is repeatable - and that's not
VERY repeatable.  In most cases, I'll do something (like just clicking on a
particular part of Ardour's surface) and the whole thing just disappears
from my screen.  But I can do the same thing 50 more times and it won't
happen.  Last week I loaded a project and set it playing.  I've loaded this
same project many times before but on this occasion - 5 seconds into the
playback - Ardour just disappeared off my screen.  I'd done nothing, apart
from starting Ardour, loading the project and hitting the 'Play' button.
But it hasn't done it since.  It's that sense of instability that I'm
talking about - not repeatable bugs.

>> Paul Davis wrote:
>> 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.

> Steven Chamberlain wrote:
> I've not done any serious multithreading myself but I imagine
> it's a nightmare to debug.
Well not necessarily....  what I'm referring to (specifically) is
single-stepping through the code - the primary aim of which is to test that
the code actually does what you designed it to do.  Most of the time when
I do this, I'm not expecting the app to run as if it was running normally.
If threads get locked out waiting for something to happen, so what?  I'm not
interested in what's happening in the other threads - only the one I'm
debugging.  I'm not saying that you can debug everything that way but in
practice, single-stepping through the code is a great aid to verifying it.
Most of the time it doesn't cause too many problems - because, most of the
time, you're not too bothered if the rest of the app is temporarily

>> Paul Davis wrote:
>> well, we can't really suggest a workaround until we know precisely
>> what steps you are taking that lead to the crashes and issues you have.
I rest my case.  I can't speak for Steven but in my experience, many of the
problems just seem to happen occasionally.  Repeating the same sequence of
steps doesn't necessarily repeat the problem.  This (IMHO) is why it's so
essential to be sure (before releasing the code) that it actually does what
I intended it to do.

>> Paul Davis wrote:
>> 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 beg to differ Paul.  When you last emailed me about this, I visited the
debugging page but all it refers to is how to generate logs & back traces.
I did ask some other developers for some guidance about single-step
debugging (because personally, I use it all the time).  But I couldn't find
anyone who even felt the need for it - let alone who knew how to do it.
If it's possible, please let me know how to do it - because I'm not going to
delve into any Ardour code until I know it can be done.



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