[Ardour-Users] ardour 3.0 alpha 1 released

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Tue Mar 22 16:51:12 PDT 2011

We are happy to announce the first alpha release of Ardour 3.0. This
is not the final release of 3.0, and its not even a beta release.
Please read more below on what to expect from this alpha version.

What's new in Ardour 3.0?
Ardour 3.0 contains a huge set of changes over Ardour 2.X.


The most significant is the addition of MIDI recording, playback and
editing support, but you really should take a look at that list to see
the full scope of the work that has been done.

It should go without saying that since this is an alpha release we
expect there to be quite a few bugs left to fix before we reach a beta
or final release. The hope right now is that a month or so of
continuous, rolling alpha releases will be followed by a couple of
beta releases and then a final release of 3.0 in about 2 months from
now. Specifically, Ardour 3.0 itself is not yet feature-frozen, and we
anticipate several additions before the beta release.

What do you mean by an alpha release?

This alpha release exists for a few specific reasons:

* Session file format now stable

The file format for Ardour 3.0 session files is now stable. This means
that we (the developers) promise that work created with this and later
versions of Ardour 3 will be usable by all later versions of Ardour 3.
It doesn't guarantee that we won't tweak the file format a little bit
(though this seems unlikely at present), but it means that if we do
change it, we'll ensure that Ardour will continue to load any session
files from this release onwards.

* We need testers, and complainers and ...

We've had a really great group of people testing Ardour 3 as its been
under development, but its time to get more testing, more bug reports,
and more comments and ideas. We're not sure that we've done MIDI in
the best possible way. We don't know what workflows we handle well at
present, and which ones need lots more work. So this release is the
first round of asking more people into the "testing pool" to give us
feedback and let us know what's broken, what's horribly designed and
what works well.

* New binary distribution model

On Linux for Intel processors, Ardour 3 (and potentially Ardour
2.8.12) is going be distributed in a distribution neutral format - one
package for 32 bit, and one for 64 bit, that will run on any
distribution of Linux. We've done some preliminary testing of this to
make sure that it basically works, but there's a lot of distributions
out there to verify this for.

How do I get this alpha release

* Ready to Run binaries

It can be downloaded as two separate binary packages:

    * package for Linux, 32 bit (x86) systems
    * package for Linux, 64 bit (x86_64) systems

After downloading, simply unpack the file wherever you would like this
particular version of Ardour 3.0 to live. It can be placed anywhere on
your computer's filesystem. Then you can run
/wherever/you/put/it/bin/ardour3 (replacing /wherever/you/put/it
appropriately). There is no install command, and each package is
totally independent, so that if you download a future version of
Ardour 3, it will not interfere with this one.

These packages should run on any distribution of Linux with nothing
else to install or update. Testing these packages is one of the
primary goals of this initial alpha release. BTW, the packages are
very large at present because the libraries included have not been
stripped, to make debugging easier and more useful.

* Source code

There will be no tarball versions of any alpha version. If you want to
build Ardour 3 yourself, you should fetch it from svn.

* What about OS X

The rather weak development environment for cross-platform
applications on OS X has affected our plans on OS X. There will not be
any alpha releases available for OS X. The first OS X releases will
start with the first beta release - that is, with a version that we
think has withstood the first round of widespread testing and is worth
using by a larger community.

* Distribution Packagers

We would strongly prefer that distributions did not package any alpha
release of Ardour 3. We understand that you may have your own reasons
for doing so, and that we can't stop you from doing so. However, we
will routinely ignore problems bug reports that come from alpha
releases not built by us. We intend to release Ardour 3 final this way
also, and are sure that there will be some backlash from at at least
some parts of the Linux ecosystem over this decision. However,
questions about packaging Ardour 3 final are very different for us
than the questions about the alpha release stream, and we do ask for
your cooperation in reducing our workload in tracking down bugs and
problems caused by your own builds of the alphas.

Bug Reporting, Discussions etc.

The first rule of ardour 3 is don't talk about ardour 3 on the forums.
There's no code of silence here - its just that web forums are
incredibly inefficient ways for the development team to interact with
people. So please use these channels to communicate bugs, workflow
problems, design ideas and anything else to us:

    * the bug tracker/feature request system (http://tracker.ardour.org/)
    * either of the two ardour mailing lists (ardour-dev is probably
slightly better) (http://ardour.org/support#mlists)
    * our IRC channel, for realtime chat (and chit-chat) (most active
during daytime US eastern time)  (http://ardour.org/support#chat)

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