The Musician's Sequencer

for Linux
Written by Michael Ashton <data@users.sourceforge.net>

Main / News

Status Update

(18 September 2001)

BINARS is dead; long live BINARS!

The "old" BINARS - i.e., 0.4.0 - sort of petered out last year. I spent about two months working on it full-time, and then made the initial release, which has been available here ever since.

Then I got a job. I had to move, and pack, and unpack, and get used to the new job, etc. etc. Typically enough, I lost track of development on the old code base then. But I had grown very dissatisfied with Gtk--. Gtk+ still lacked some very important widgets, and I knew it would take ages for them to be adapted into Gtk-- when they finally appeared. Code size was huge, and I kept thinking there had to be a better way ..

Some time after that, I took a look at KDE 2. I hadn't liked KDE 1 much, but KDE 2 impressed me greatly, and I soon switched to it from GNOME. It wasn't long before I was taking a second look at Qt (I hadn't liked it much either, at first). Once I got over the initial learning curve, and got used to the idea of having a precompiler, I found I enjoyed it greatly; so much so that I decided to rewrite BINARS using Qt.

Coincidentally, it was right around that time that Trolltech decided to release Qt/X11 under the GPL, finally removing any objection I might have had to using it.

I'd intended to rewrite major parts of BINARS anyway, but in the course of porting the device database editor, I realised that the design of the old instrument system had a major flaw. A somewhat agonising period of redesign followed, which was more or less completed as of about two months ago.

The new version of BINARS will be released when I feel that it's ready for others to have a look at it; it will be numbered 0.6.0. The new design has the following notable features:

Right now, the basic plugin framework has taken shape, and the overall architecture of the system is in place. I've also got quite a bit of code written for the Qt GUI, but haven't actually compiled it. (The back-end compiles, but there's not much sequencing code yet.)

I'm really not ready to release any code yet, or even to upload it to CVS, so please don't ask to see it; it's simply changing too fast. Once it's compiling and running to some extent, I'll start moving it into CVS, and I'll post an announcement here, and on the announce list.

Work progresses at a half-decent pace; the tragic events of last week brought things to a standstill, but I'm back working on it now. It'll be ready when it's ready :)

What about the old release?

If you can get it to compile, my hat is off to you. I sure can't. :)

The release in the files section on the project page uses a specially-compiled version of Gtk--, and is based on the old 0.5 ALSA series. I won't support it any more, so any questions about it will probably be forwarded to /dev/null. (Sorry.) Wait for the new version.

Actually, there are now two very nice sequencers out there now which you might like to investigate: MUSE and Brahms. Both have audio support, which BINARS never will, if I have anything to say about it :)