Developer Guide

From Audacity Wiki
Revision as of 17:45, 24 April 2008 by Vaughan (talk | contribs) (Tips for New Developers: Coding standards)
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Quick Links

  • Overview of compilation on Windows, Linux and Mac.
  • Mac/Linux/Unix step by step guides for compiling Audacity
  • Designing Audacity - read and write about what goes into Audacity and how it works
  • Ensuring Quality - coding standards, submitting patches...
  • Mezzo - The future of Audacity (formerly known as "libaudacity")
  • Please subscribe to our audacity-devel  mailing list to exchange your ideas with our developers or to seek help

Tips for New Developers

  • Ask lots of questions and don't be afraid to look a divvy! It's a learning process and like I tell my students, 'if you don't understand (after a reasonable amount of effort), ask somebody who can help!'.
  • Coding standards for Audacity (don't apply to subordinate libraries):
    • The only really consistent standard we like to enforce is to use 3 spaces for indentation, and to use spaces, not tabs. (Otherwise things don't line up right on different editors.)
    • We mostly use the standard camel-case capitalization, i.e., class and method/function names start with caps, variables start with lower case. Sadly, some don't follow this.
    • Some use Hungarian notation, but not everybody.
  • Use the same tools other people are using.
  • Post error messages when asking for help, but try and select relevant bits.

Platform Specific Guides

Getting Audacity building on Linux is usually trouble-free because the right tools are there in the environment, or can be found and installed easily. The same isn't really true for Windows and the win/compile.txt file provided with the Audacity source code assumes you know quite a lot about how stuff works under the bonnet, and about Visual Studio.

Design Topics

Improving and Adding Features

Adding new features is one of the more exciting aspects of the job, but needs care so as not to destabilise what is already there. New approaches using a plug-in type of architecture can help this. Even so, there are some things that cannot always be done in an open source program due to licensing restrictions. Have a look at our Feature Requests page to see what our users most wish to see in Audacity, add your own requests, and let us know if you are interested in helping us implement the best of these.

We also have a Roadmap of planned steps in Audacity development.

More about Digital Audio

There are a few articles in our Digital Audio Technology category on this Wiki, and there is a short explanation of digital audio basics on this page  of our current Audacity Manual .

There are also articles on the internet ranging from beginners' guides on how sound is represented in a computer, to research papers on digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms. For some recommended sources, see Digital Audio Recommended Articles.