[ubuntu-studio-devel] Feature Spec Discussion: Workflow Categorization

Ross Gammon retail at the-gammons.net
Thu Jun 26 16:54:38 UTC 2014

Thanks very much for the comments Len. It was just what I needed.

I will take it all onboard, and put it on the wiki. It can be tweaked
further from there.

We will probably need to adjust and add further guidance as we start
tagging anyway.


On 06/26/2014 01:22 AM, Len Ovens wrote:
> On Wed, 25 Jun 2014, Ross Gammon wrote:
>> Okay - no takers so far. So here goes for an attempt at defining
>> categories
>> for Sound/Audio applications (the easiest one to start on):
>> Debtags
>> Freedesktop
>> Description
>> Notes
>> Facet
>> Tag
>> Main Category
>> Additional Category
>> sound
>> recorder
>> Audio
>> Recorder
>> Application to record audio (single or multi-track).
>> Do we need to differentiate between single & multi-track?
> Daw is multitrack. One of the things I am seeing is that a lot of
> applications fit more than one place, but really have one main thing
> that distinguishes. Audacity,  records (multi track too), edits and
> processes audio. However it's main use is as an editor not a recorder
> (others may disagree :) ). So an audio recorder is something that does a
> great job of recording but not much else. At least so far as desktop
> files. Tags are different and should reflect all the uses of an
> application.
>> sound
>> mixer
>> Audio
>> Mixer
>> Setting levels and using signal processing on individual tracks.
>> Should we have a separate tag for signal processing?
> Yes. A mixer may include processing, but many processors do not "mix"
> anything. There are really two kinds of mixers that should be separate.
> There are audio interface controlers like alsamixer, mudita24,
> Echomixer, etc. and I would add pavucontrol as well BTW. Then there are
> performance mixers like non-mixer, jackmixer, idjc, etc. (most DAWS
> include such a mixer too).
>> sound
>> midi
>> Audio
>> Midi
>> This is a big category that includes anything that has midi functionality
>> (or an app relating to midi).
> It is ok that it is a big catagory because there are other catagories
> that narrow things down. (or should be)
>> sound
>> instrument
>> Audio
>> Instrument
>> A virtual or software instrument (synthesiser).
>> An application or plugin that outputs audio when receiving data control
>> messages (midi).
>> Neither Debtags nor Freedesktop have this category.
>> Should we have a separate tag for plugins?
> Plugins don't count as they are not started on their own. For example
> Hexter the plugin does not need a tag or category because it needs a
> container to run. Hexter as an application is an instrument (actually,
> hexter the instrument is a container with the plugin as an arguement,
> but becasue it has a desktop file to open it as an instrument, it needs
> a category and tags)
>> sound
>> compression
>> Utility?; Archiving?
>> Compression
>> This debtag is not explained. I suppose it could be intended for file
>> compression (e.g. wav > mp3). The Freedesktop category is for compressing
>> data (but not normally in the Audio category). Do we need this category?
> compression is audio processing. The dynamic range is changed. There is
> also an expander which normally shows up as a noise gate. wav to mp3
> would be encoding. Archiving normally involves multiple files. So three
> totally different things. Compression as a tag is ok, but not really
> needed as a category in my opinion.
>> sound
>> player
>> Audio
>> Player
>> Application to play audio files.
> Yup.
>> sound
>> sequencer
>> Audio
>> Sequencer
>> Application that can record, edit, or play back audio using note and
>> performance information (typically midi but also audio in the case of a
>> DAW).
>> Do we need to differentiate between DAWs & midi sequencers?
> A sequencer only (like a looper or drum tracker) might use this. A daw
> might include this with it's tags though.
>> sound
>> speech
>> Speech Synthesis
>> Freedesktop do not have this category. Do we need it?
> This would normally be a utility that runs at session start as an
> accessability feature. For audio use it would be an instrument of sorts.
> So tag yes, category no.
>> Audio
>> AudioVideoEditing
>> Application to edit audio/video files.
>> No debtag exists for this. Does "sequencer" cover it?
> No, a sequencer, in most peoples mind is not an editor. For debtags I
> would add two AudioEditor and videoEditor even though most video editors
> have some audio editing abilities. Again, some one looking for a video
> editor has no interest in audio editors and vise vesa.
>> hardware
>> storage:cd-writer
>> AudioVideo
>> DiscBurning
>> Application to burn a disc.
>> Debtag not in "sound" facet (video also?). Request a new facet, or use
>> the
>> "hardware" one?
> I think HW is just fine... though most application authors for cdburning
> sw seem to disagree with me  :)  but that is fine, they just add the
> extra tags/categories as they like and it still works. Some cd burners
> with a main function of writing an audio/video collection already end up
> in the multi-media menus already.
>> Other missing categories?:
>> - effects/signal processing
>> - mastering?
> Mastering is another type of signal processing. I would call it audio
> processing to differentiate from video processing even though there are
> almost no video processing programs (1 or 2 I know of) there are likely
> to be more showing up now that computer hardware is getting fast enough
> to actually do this stuff in real time.
>> - plugins
> plugins don't run on their own. The host and plugin API are responsible
> for catagorizing this stuff unless plugins can have a host started
> around them by selecting them to open... but they would not need a
> plugin tag, just the tag/category for what they did
> (processor/instrument/etc.).
>> - plugin hosts?
> not sure on this one.
>> - radio (e.g. recording/streaming podcasts, running radio station)
> This is a huge area of seeming unrelated sw :)  A studio setup would be
> the same as for DJing. A performance mixer. Streaming is really a server
> side thing that never comes with a GUI anyway. Anyone setting up a radio
> station will want all the needed sw to start at session startup (maybe
> some of it before then). This is really very specialized and probably
> would come grouped by the name of the sw, much like wine has it's own
> submenu. Developing a song list is more of a word processing/accounting
> function (done by a clerk). Inserting ads again is an office job rather
> performance, as is keeping track of advertizing accounts. A radio setup
> will only use one application set... a menu of different radio sw would
> get someone in trouble fast. radio is a custom setup.
>> - notation/scores (in publishing category?)
> Ya, I think a mix of already in use categories would work. A tag would
> be nice though.
>> - Coding/Programming (e.g. Pure Data/Supercollider/CSound)
> Development, plus sequencer/midi/audio, etc.
>> - Looping (is this under sequencing?)
> Yes
>> - Sampling (under recording?)
> Instrument. Most samplers are sample players first... a carry over from
> the hardware side naming. Often the samples are recorded using a
> daw/audio recorder and imported to the "sampler"... even more often the
> samples are downloaded or ripped from CD/DVD.
>> - DJ
> I am not sure. Does it include VJing as well? It is almost like we need
> multimedia to be split between playback/consumer and
> performance/creation/development. (also see comments at radio)
>> - Soundfont (or is this under instrument?)
> Instrument.
>> - Patching (or is this too specific)
> Two kinds of patching:
>  - routing
>  - synth patch creation/storage
> These are audio utilities, but one would be covered in audio control
> (what we call mixers  :P  ) and the other by midi/instrument.
>> Which of the "other missing categories" are important? Anything else
>> missing? Suggestions on terminology? Please note that Debtags are to help
> I would add DAW to cover song creation sw. Many multitrack recorders
> have become recorder/editor/sequencer/mixer/plugin-host and just as many
> "squencers" now record and edit audio. Because of the variation in the
> way they do these things and the variation in UI, it may be normal to
> have a number of applications that seem to do the same thing... in fact
> more than one might be used at the same time in sync. Just like qt has
> an IDE for sw creation, the daw is like a song IDE.
> The really hard thing to do is separate consuming from creating.
> Ubuntustudio is for the content developer/creator where most Ubuntu
> flavours are for the content consumer... at least from a multimedia POV.
>> search for packages that match a search-term and therefore the more
>> descriptive tags we have the better. On the other hand, the freedesktop
>> categories define where the application appears in the menu. Therefore
>> the
>> categories are restricted/reserved (although we can add new ones prefixed
>> with an "X-" indicating an extension).
> Makes sense.
> -- 
> Len Ovens
> www.ovenwerks.net

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