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Forum for Tune Smithy, Bounce Metronome and other software from Robert Inventor
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Author Topic: Plans for upgrade of Tune Smithy to 4.x  (Read 4525 times)
Robert Walker
Full Member
Posts: 165

« on: February 01, 2011, 01:26:10 AM »

I thought it might be good to share with you my thoughts about how I might do the upgrade to version 4.x of Tune Smithy.

Any thoughts or ideas about this do have your say!


You may know that FTS has been stuck at version 3.x for some years now while I work on Bounce Metronome (mainly). The reason is - not really because of Bounce Metronome takes up so much work though it does take a lot of coding. But the thing is that I have introduced many innovations and improvements while working on Bounce Metronome.

These will help a lot with Tune Smithy when I do the upgrade, but also means that the upgrade is going to be a fair amount of work as there is a lot to do to update the whole program in that way.

Hope to update this year

I plan to update Tune Smithy to version 4.x some time this year - time permitting as it is a large task which will require several months of work.

What takes the time

What takes the time is to make sure all the new work I've done with Bounce Metronome including tempo dial, Bounce effects, 3D visuals, skipped beats etc. work properly throughout Tune Smithy. I also have to make sure that they work with the fractal tunes particularly and that it is backwards consistent with FTS 3.x. That's going to be well worth the work for algo-comp and fractal tune enthusiasts as once it is done, you'll be able to use all the new rhythms and rhythm features of Bounce Metronome with the fractal tunes.

Before then though I also plan to release some more of the Tune Smithy tasks as separate programs in their own right like Tune Smithy - it's a good way to check through the program one task at a time, and upgrade it to 4.x rather than to try to do the whole upgrade in one go. I also plan to make all the on-screen keyboards in Tune Smithy multi-touch playable under Windows 7.

If you allow say a month for each major feature in FTS, then that would be one month each for:

  • Music Keyboard and Composition retuning
  • Midi file retuning
  • Lambdoma Music Therapy
  • Fractal Tunes
  • Analyse Recordings and Midi Instruments
  • Audio Pitch Tracer (I think this could be made much easier to use)
  • Find Notes in Recording
  • Use Windows 7 multi-touch to make on-screen playable keyboards with alternative layouts like Janko, hexagonal, diamond, also split keys etc.
  • Chord Player
  • Scales Composer
  • Play from pc keyboard

Though the last three would probably not involve so much work because I expect the FTS 3.x coding to work fine and the programs in 3.x are reasonably okay apart from need to improve the User Interface - maybe one month to do all three. Though I could easily spend one month on each to do a more thorough job of it.

Also not sure if the multi-touch capability for the keyboards will take that long, as I have a fair bit of the actual coding for it already, that's more like it would be nice to spend a month on it and do it properly probably introduce new ideas and see if there is any easy way to add volume sensitivity and / or aftertouch as well with any of the available multi-touch hardware (some vendors might supply a way for programmers can use to access things like the size of the touch region, and time dependent raw data before the touch, that sort of thing which you could perhaps use to add volume sensitivity or aftertouch).

Anyway, if I do it that way then that's an nine month job to update the whole program to 4.x. Plus add say a week gap between each one to tidy up and prepare for next one. So realistically at least eleven months of work and taking account of other stuff likely to need to do for my other programs so can't dedicate myself to it 100% then at least a year perhaps two years more likely to do the whole program if I do the upgrade more like half time instead of full time programming, and spend rest of the time on keeping up to date with my other programs such as Bounce Metronome, the Lambdoma music therapy task, Lissajous 3D and Activity Timer and other related tasks.

Noadays I like to work in short "sprints" of a few weeks, say a month, as in some forms of Agile software development. This task based approach would be ideal for that. I'd take one of those tasks, and spend a month say, with the main goal to get it ready for release as version 4.x including testing to make sure everything is working okay.

In that month I do as much as I can, so basic goal is to just get the FTS 3.x task up to date and check it is bug free and to simplify the UI and release as a separate program. If it takes a long time to do it that might be all I do. And if it takes a very long time I might leave out the newer features so basically I just release an updated and fixed version of the 3.x task and leave out many of the new things introduced with Bounce Metronome.

If it goes quickly then can also do things like make a new searchable wiki dedicated to the program, add new features, and so on.

Anyway realistically then it is probably unlikely I'll do the complete upgrade in 2011 unless it goes really quickly. Not if I do everything I want to do.

Another idea is to do a one month sprint to just try to get the whole of FTS up to date at some point. Then the aim would be not to get the whole lot a better user interface etc. like Bounce Metronome. But - just to make sure the whole thing is consistent, integrate the new code into the other tasks. Just make sure it all works.

It would be a tough challenge to do it in one month right away.  But if I do say the two or three most important tasks as one month sprints - then do an FTS 3 to 4 upgrade as another one month sprint, that seems feasible to do. That makes the whole thing possible well within an easy one year time frame.
In that case my to do list would be perhaps:

  • Music Keyboard and Composition retuning
  • Lambdoma Music Therapy
  • Fractal Tunes
  • Midi File Retuning
  • Make first consistent upgrade of the whole of FTS 3.x to 4.x
and spend one month on each and one week extra after each project, total of six  months work perhaps.

So anyway that seems reasonably feasible, so - provisionally that's my plan.

The first of the tasks I'll work on is the Lambdoma Music Therapy mainly because it is in demand for Barbara Hero and her colleagues working with the Lambdoma based music therapy, and an upgrade is needed soon there.

It is also a good task to do first because it introduces some of the main things I have to make sure works throughout FTS in an area which exercises many of the main areas of the program - but at the same time doesn't have quite the full complexity of the program - single tuning system, single keyboard layout (the diamond / square keyboard), only one tuning for all the parts, and so on.

After that could be the music keyboard and composition retuning or the fractal tunes, both seem likely as both have very enthusiastic supporters who use the program some of them pretty much full time for nearly all their music. Also on commercial level, probably the top two selling tasks I'd imagine though hard to tell until I release as separate programs as I don't have any way at the moment to know why someone bought or downloaded Tune Smithy, which task interested them particularly.

Do say if you are interested in a particular feature or task for the upgrade process. Especially also if you are interested in beta testing it do say.

« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 06:35:43 AM by Robert Walker » Logged
Robert Walker
Full Member
Posts: 165

« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2011, 03:01:28 PM »

You can get an idea of what the new version of Tune Smithy will be like when ready if you look at Bounce Metronome Pro.

Basically, that's the new version of the Metronome and Polyrhythms task in Tune Smithy.

Many of the other tasks could be upgraded in a similar way.

If you want to be told when a beta of FTS is ready let me know - and say which tasks interest you particularly and I'll let you know when a beta of those tasks is ready.

Same thing, if interested to know when a release is ready for any of the tasks let me know.


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