• Weeks 173-174

    25 April 2016

    A really good couple of weeks for both my primary projects.

    Selworthy has gone into deployment at one of its clients, which is hugely exciting: it’s taken a very long while to get here, but I’m glad we have. I’m hoping they get some good use out of it. I spent a moderate out of time deploying it onto their servers, fettling the install, and resolving some exciting issues unique to nginx.

    As a result of the project moving into its next phase, I also spent some time beginning to hand the codebase over to new developers, and working with a sysadmin on handing over the administration of the standalone environment. That’s all going well, and all this should hopefully allow me to step back from the project – later than planned, but in a good place for the work.

    And Twinklr’s in a really good place too. I began week 173 following earlier defeats by porting the sound library to Beads, and that’s been very successful. I managed to get everything running on the Pi, with audio out of the USB interface, and with no glitching or errors. Some simple round-robin code gives us a fixed 16-voice polyphony, which I think should be enough for most people.

    I then continued porting the rest of the UI to a new library that, whilst not as fully-featured as ControlP5, is much happier on the touchscreen. And to cap it all, I implemented the MIDI output in The MIDI Bus.

    By the end of week 174, the software was feature-complete, and all working on the Pi in a remarkably stable manner. On Sunday, I sat playing with Twinklr on my laptop, as it happily sent data over cables to an analogue synth on my desk.

    This was hugely exciting because of how I felt. All of a sudden, I wasn’t wrestling with making it work, or wondering if it every would; I knew it did. And, as I fiddled with it, I realised I definitely wanted it off my laptop, and onto a desktop object I could put next to this synthesizer to play. For the first time, I really desired the finished object itself (rather than just desiring finishing it). That felt really good, and is some great momentum for the next week.

    I also began laying out a rear PCB for the case. That’s going to be need to be sent off to have made soon, so I’m trying to finalise it, double-and-triple checking it, and working out what remains to be tested on the Pi.

    Good progress, then, in a couple of busy weeks. But we can’t rest yet. Onwards!