[Ardour-Users] 2.7.1 is now feature-frozen / 3.0 development "plan"

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Thu Dec 11 12:40:27 PST 2008

Ardour 2.7.1 is now feature frozen. No new features will be added to the
2.0-ongoing branch of the program, with the following exceptions:

    1) support for saving & loading AU plugin settings
    2) (re)use Apple's ExtAudioFile library to allow MP3 and AAC 
         handling on OS X
    3) minor features that are implemented in 3.0 and can be back-ported
         to 2.0-ongoing with no code changes

If you are a user with an idea for a new feature, please it in Mantis,
but do not expect to see it appear in any 2.X release. It is not
impossible that it may do so, but your expectations of this should be

Why is this happening?

The release of 3.0 has been delayed for far too long, primarily by a
lack of developer hours devoted to advancing its current condition. The
pressure to get the OS X and SAE versions released led to both myself
and Nick Mainsbridge (along with other developers possibly following
both their own itches and our lead) focusing on the 2.0-ongoing branch.

This needs to stop, and almost all developer attention to ardour should
be directed towards 3.0. The plan is roughly as follows:

    1) Paul finishes up the merge of 2.0-ongoing changes from 
          rev 3890 to rev 4299 into the 3.0 branch
    2) All hands on deck to start finding bugs in the *audio* 
          part of 3.0. This should include Ardour developers
          and our leading beta testers, as well as anybody else
          who wants to join in. The focus will not be on de-novo
          criticisms of Ardour's audio functionality - we just
          need to get 3.0 to function as well as 2.7.1 does in
          the audio realm. 
    3) Once the bug-finding and -fixing is done, I will lead the
          effort up to a half-dozen substantive features
          to Ardour 3.0's audio side. These will include:

                * the new "matrix" IO selector
                * the long-promised overhaul of bus architecture
                * the ability to work on 2.X sessions without
                   making them unusable by 2.X ardour versions

    4) While this work goes on, anybody who wants to work on MIDI,
          either as an alpha-tester or as a developer is welcome
          to do so.

    5) When (3) is "complete", I would like to collect together
          information gathered in step (4), and do a comprehensive
          review & proposal of how the current MIDI editing interface
          functions. We need to gather together user experience and
          make sure that the first official release of 3.0 is capable
          of being easily used to do relatively easy MIDI tasks.

     6) Release 3.0

Once an initial version of 3.0 is released, it will be time for some
more drastic changes to the codebase. This will likely include things
like replacing edit groups with named track selections, changes to the
playlist structures to support linked (soft-copy) regions, region
grouping, new GUI handling of sends, and last but not least, the
addition of a language for MIDI manipulation, allowing MIDI "filters" to
be trivially written by people without C++ backgrounds.

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