Re: Beast not yet perfect


On Thu, May 31, 2007 at 03:50:34PM +0200, W.Boeke wrote:
> Some problems with beast:
> - I tried to run passive.bse from the beast sound archive. Got all
>    kinds of errors, many of them containing 'alsa'.
> - So probably the bse-alsa was needed? I downloaded it and ran 'configure'

Thats hard to say without knowing the actual error messages. If you post
them here (or, if you think you've found a bug, in the bug tracker), we
can have a look at it.

Generally to know whether your installation works, the "Party Monster"
song from the Demo menu is a good test.

> - Result:
>      configure: error: Package requirements (bse >= 0.7.1) were not met.
>    In the beast distibution there was a file bse.pc, that probably was
>    not intalled to the right place. I tried to understand what 'make install'
>    should have done, but that's too difficult for a normal human being.
> - I ran 'make install' again. Then the complete installation apparently
>    was done again. That is not what make should do if everything is
>    installed already.

What often happens is that the .pc file cannot be found if you have
compiled/installed beast from source and haven't installed beast in a
standard location known to pkg-config. For instance, I have installed
beast in /usr/local/beast, and use these environment variables:

export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=$PKG_CONFIG_PATH:/usr/local/beast/lib/pkgconfig
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:/usr/local/beast/lib
export MANPATH=$MANPATH:/usr/local/beast/share/man
export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/beast/bin

Only the first line is necessary for pkg-config, but the others are
useful as well. The default prefix if you compile from source is
/usr/local (you need to adjust the variables if you installed beast

If you installed a binary package of beast, you probably should also
install the right bse-alsa package.

> - I still cannot import a midi file. There were some answers about this
>    recently, but they were not clear to me.

Here is a step-by-step guide:

1. Use File -> Import Midi, and select the file you wish to import
2. For each track in the file, you need to do four things
2a. Load an instrument using Synthesizers -> Load Instrument
2b. Assign the instrument in the Track's "Synth" field
2c. Go to the Mixer tab in the Song
2d. Assign the Output of the track to the Master bus (Inputs can be
    edited at the upper side of the bus)

Actually 2d should happen automatically. That it doesn't is a bug:
which was actually only filed recently during this list discussion.

> What are scripts and how do you run them?

Parts of beast are written in C/C++. These are compiled to binaries,
which don't change once beast is installed.

However, to allow easy extentions (which can be both: supplied with
beast and added afterwards by the user) for performining tasks
automatically, beast supports Scheme as scripting language. It should be
a bit easier to add functionality as script than adding it to the
normal codebase (if you know Scheme).

The scripts integrate in the normal menus, so no special stuff is
required to run them. Examples for scripts can be found in the Tools
menu in the main view of beast.

> Probably the development phase of beast is where the program is seen
> mainly as a coding challenge, the users coming second place. Maybe I better
> wait for version 1.0?

Well, as far as I am concerned, the goal is that any release of beast,
be it 0.6, 0.7, 0.9, 1.0, 1.1 or 1.4 is usable. Of course what you can
or cannot do with beast will be different between different versions.
For an impression for examples of what I do with beast (with the most
recent code), you can download clips and bse files at

My view is that there is no "development phase" where the program is
developed, and then a separate phase (be it after 1.0 or elsewhere)
where it is usable. This model wouldn't work very well for an open
source project like beast I suppose, because nobody likes working for
many years on something that cannot be used.

So 1.0 is really just a more or less arbitary line we draw. But
compared to other projects (especially from the commercial context where
versioning is always also related to marketing - where versions called
7.0 are not uncommon), I think beast versioning is rather conservative.
So, 1.0 may be there in a few years, or so. But it doesn't really matter
that much how it is called. Either it works for you, or it doesn't. And
with each new release it just gets better.

   Cu... Stefan
Stefan Westerfeld, Hamburg/Germany,

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