[r-t] Composition Library

Richard Smith richard at ex-parrot.com
Tue Apr 14 17:26:55 UTC 2009

Don Morrison wrote:

> Am I the only one that finds it a bit odd that a supposedly "open
> source" project appears to be tied so tightly to so many
> Microsoft-only technologies?

I don't see that this is necessarily a big problem. 
Graham's website says that there are four separate 

1. A stand-alone client
2. Server software
3. Library of compositions
4. A web-based client

I think this omits an important component:

5. The client/serve wire format

Of these, #1 is written in C#, which, while a 
Microsoft-instigated technology, is not a Microsoft-only 
technology.  Mono allows C# code to be run on Linux, the 
various BSDs, and OSX, and assming Mono is stable enough 
(I'm not particularly familiar with it) the client could be 
made to run on Mono (or DotGNU or something similar).  I 
would certainly be happy to help achieve this.

I didn't notice Graham make any comment about how #2 and #4 
are likely to be implemented.  Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP would 
seem an obvious choice to me.  But perhaps Graham already 
has ideas here.

Assuming #5 uses open technologies (e.g. XML), there's 
nothing to stop anyone else from implementing clients in 
other language that talk to the server.  And that 
effectively makes #3 platform-neutral.

Certainly it is my intention to implement parts of a C++ 
command line interface (CLI) client as part of the Ringing 
Class Library.  That doesn't mean I'm not supporting the C# 
front end: I see a CLI client and a GUI client as 
complementary tools.  I can trivially script a CLI client 
and make it talk to various other CLI tools.

But of all of these components, #5 is in some ways the key 
one.  And I think it's worth taking the time to get it 
right.  If we get this right, hopefully other people will 
start supporting it in their own tools.  E.g. wouldn't it be 
nice if SMC32 could produce output that could be directly 
fed into the compositions library?

So no, I'm not concerned about the fact that it seems a 
little tightly-bound to Microsoft technology.


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