LFE for livecoding!

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Robert Herman

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Apr 25, 2016, 2:05:26 AM4/25/16
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Is LFE amenable to do livecoding? I was inspired to ask this by the Perlin noise generator I saw implemented on Twitter today. Is it fast enough, and would the distributed model actually work against it, or for small, quick sessions of graphics and audio piping?

A bit on livecoding: Livecoding here means coding music usually, and sometimes graphics, or both together in an improvised fashion. You may use samples, or have one-trick ponies memorized, but it is to me the 'jazz' for programmers as performers. Sam Aron, creator of Sonic Pi, a Ruby front end for Supercollider, works on it. I favor Extempore from Andrew Sorensen for its Lisp/Scheme language, and the fact that it is not built on top of Supercollider, but implements its synths all the way down in its scheme-like libs (ugens) [1,2,3]. You can do sound and opengl graphics in it too, and it is getting play with the HPC crowd due to its semi-managed memory, and great temporal handling for realtime work.

I think the pinnacle of a livecoding interface for performing though, was, and still is fluxus by Dave Matthews [3]. It is like an old champion boxer, still not dethroned for my money. It is built on top of Racket, and with Fluxa, allows you to do audio with your livecoded graphics. A lot of the older examples on YouTube, are just fluxus reacting to an audio input, basically live-coded visualizations, so I thought it was graphics generation only in the past. Fluxa may not be as powerful as Supercollider; I am not sure what it is based upon. Unfortunately, fluxus has not seen much love for a while. The killer feature for me however, is fluxus' GLEditor by Dave Griffiths, It allows you to type code in an openGL window with your graphics in the same view. You can change the size and transparency of the fonts, and the animated cursor. There is an openFrameworks addon that has re-implemented it [5].

I am all across the board with my Lisps and APLs ;)
I am learning LFE by trying to follow along with Duncan's tutes, and by reading the 'The Handbook of Neuroevolution Through Erlang', but it is slow going, and honestly, I am getting bogged down.
I always reach out for Extempore or CL to do some livecoding as a distraction, or an attempt to build a game or game tools. Extempore is very cool, but difficult for a novice. I sometimes find myself in C, just because...

Now, if LFE could implement GLEditor, and either interface to Supercollider for audio, or like Extempore, create its own, it would be the bees knees!

If you tell me this is possible, and feasible, I may just stop dilly dallying with all those other distractions and stay in the Erlang/Beam/OTP/LFE world, and try to help this happen if I am at all able. Oh, what a wonderful world it could be!

Rob


  [2]  https://vimeo.com/37293927   old demo, but still cool, and more in line with my fluxus bullet points.

Eric Bailey

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Apr 25, 2016, 2:41:56 AM4/25/16
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What follows is a brief answer with some link spam. As a lifelong musician, a recent LFEvangelist, the idea of combing music and LFE is VERY appealing.

Joe has done some experimenting in vanilla Erlang that might prove useful/informative:


My time is somewhat limited these days and I'm distracted with lots of other projects (Lodox, LFE-mug, et al.), but it'd be happy to help however I can, even if that's just encouragement.


Keep us posted on your findings!

Eric




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Robert Herman

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Apr 26, 2016, 7:01:06 AM4/26/16
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Yes, I had seen those. He is using OSC to talk to other programs/processes. You can do a lot with that already, triggering sounds in SuperCollider with graphics done in Processing, and others. I am thinking more along the lines of new or existing libraries for the manipulation or generation of sound or visuals, whether sampled or newly created. I am also playing with Tidal, which is Haskell-based, and a lot easier to get started making 'noise' with than Extempore. However, Extempore is everything: A programming language (xtlang), libraries of routines to create and manipulate sound and graphics in realtime, created for performing live. Although, now it seems to be able to do more general stuff too.

My question about LFE, was that maybe spawning a lot of sound processes, and video processes for realtime, may not be in line with what I perceive Erlang/BEAM/OTP and LFE are really for. I don't have the time behind the wheel with them yet. So far the exercises I have done in LFE have not shown any hiccups, but I am just doing the odd tutorial and LFE-specific stuff right now. Maybe it will require wrapping a Lisp lib, and doing a smoke test ;)

Thanks!

Rob
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Robert Virding

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Apr 26, 2016, 8:26:04 AM4/26/16
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I would say that LFE would be quite suitable for doing livecoding of music. Having a REPL in which you can dynamically create functions to do things when you need makes it easy to work with. The built-in concurrency is good for this type of system and would allow to very easily have many different "instruments" at the same time.

That Erlang, and LFE, wasn't designed for this type of application I think is irrelevant. The concurrency model, and error-handling for that matter, has been found to be much more generally useful than we originally thought. I would say most of the things Erlang/LFE is being used for today are not what we were thinking about and it has been found to be very suitable for a very wide range of problems. So if it feels right and it fits use it. Most of what Joe was writing about maps directly onto LFE. It is irrelevant which language you choose to write the libraries in as the interface Erlang <-> LFE is very direct.

So go for it,

Robert

Duncan McGreggor

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Apr 26, 2016, 10:00:11 AM4/26/16
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Hey Robert,

Lots of good answers already -- I'll just make a few comments (below).

On Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 1:05 AM, Robert Herman <rpjh...@gmail.com> wrote:
Is LFE amenable to do livecoding? I was inspired to ask this by the Perlin noise generator I saw implemented on Twitter today. Is it fast enough, and would the distributed model actually work against it, or for small, quick sessions of graphics and audio piping?

This has two answers :-)

1) The non-ASCII graphics you saw in that post were done with Erlang's egd, which is pretty slow, is only intended for small images, and I've found easy to crash when doing anything too complicated or large :-) (there is an open ticket to support netpbm which would allow for large image sizes and rendering done via any number of tools that support netpbm)

2) A better approach would be to integrate a third-party library/framework with LFE (via Erlang ports), perhaps adopting a similar language-agnostic architecture as supercollider.
 

A bit on livecoding: Livecoding here means coding music usually, and sometimes graphics, or both together in an improvised fashion. You may use samples, or have one-trick ponies memorized, but it is to me the 'jazz' for programmers as performers. Sam Aron, creator of Sonic Pi, a Ruby front end for Supercollider, works on it. I favor Extempore from Andrew Sorensen

I'm a huge fan of both Extempore and Andrew. We hung out a bit after an OSCON talk he gave -- he gave a hugely popular talk:
* http://oubiwann.blogspot.com/2014/07/oscon-2014-theme-song-andrew-sorensen.html
 
for its Lisp/Scheme language, and the fact that it is not built on top of Supercollider, but implements its synths all the way down in its scheme-like libs (ugens) [1,2,3]. You can do sound and opengl graphics in it too, and it is getting play with the HPC crowd due to its semi-managed memory, and great temporal handling for realtime work.

I think the pinnacle of a livecoding interface for performing though, was, and still is fluxus by Dave Matthews [3]. It is like an old champion boxer, still not dethroned for my money. It is built on top of Racket, and with Fluxa, allows you to do audio with your livecoded graphics. A lot of the older examples on YouTube, are just fluxus reacting to an audio input, basically live-coded visualizations, so I thought it was graphics generation only in the past. Fluxa may not be as powerful as Supercollider; I am not sure what it is based upon. Unfortunately, fluxus has not seen much love for a while. The killer feature for me however, is fluxus' GLEditor by Dave Griffiths, It allows you to type code in an openGL window with your graphics in the same view. You can change the size and transparency of the fonts, and the animated cursor. There is an openFrameworks addon that has re-implemented it [5].

I am all across the board with my Lisps and APLs ;)
I am learning LFE by trying to follow along with Duncan's tutes, and by reading the 'The Handbook of Neuroevolution Through Erlang', but it is slow going, and honestly, I am getting bogged down.
I always reach out for Extempore or CL to do some livecoding as a distraction, or an attempt to build a game or game tools. Extempore is very cool, but difficult for a novice. I sometimes find myself in C, just because...

Now, if LFE could implement GLEditor, and either interface to Supercollider for audio, or like Extempore, create its own, it would be the bees knees!

If you tell me this is possible, and feasible, I may just stop dilly dallying with all those other distractions and stay in the Erlang/Beam/OTP/LFE world, and try to help this happen if I am at all able. Oh, what a wonderful world it could be!

IIRC, at OSCON, Andrew mentioned that Joe Armstrong had talked to him and was quite excited about the potential of Erlang as a "backend" for a live coding framework. As much as I life Extempore, though, I think supercollider is more ready for LFE integration.The graphics side of things would have to be integrated, though ... to the best of my knowledge, there's nothing like the Overtone/Shadertone combo in the Erlang/BEAM world ... that being said, one could integrate with JVM graphics libs using JInterface or even Clojang :-)

d
 
  [2]  https://vimeo.com/37293927   old demo, but still cool, and more in line with my fluxus bullet points.

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Robert Virding

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Apr 26, 2016, 10:38:40 AM4/26/16
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A quick comment:


On Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 4:00:11 PM UTC+2, Duncan McGreggor wrote:
Hey Robert,

Lots of good answers already -- I'll just make a few comments (below).

On Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 1:05 AM, Robert Herman <rpjh...@gmail.com> wrote:
Is LFE amenable to do livecoding? I was inspired to ask this by the Perlin noise generator I saw implemented on Twitter today. Is it fast enough, and would the distributed model actually work against it, or for small, quick sessions of graphics and audio piping?

This has two answers :-)

1) The non-ASCII graphics you saw in that post were done with Erlang's egd, which is pretty slow, is only intended for small images, and I've found easy to crash when doing anything too complicated or large :-) (there is an open ticket to support netpbm which would allow for large image sizes and rendering done via any number of tools that support netpbm)

2) A better approach would be to integrate a third-party library/framework with LFE (via Erlang ports), perhaps adopting a similar language-agnostic architecture as supercollider.

There is an Erlang interface to SDL which can directly be used by LFE. I have only used it for very simple things, moving 200o space-ships (squares) around a window, so I have no idea how useful it would be for you.

Robert

Duncan McGreggor

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Apr 26, 2016, 1:40:50 PM4/26/16
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Oh, nice ... looks like it's ports-based, too (no NIFs), I should play with this sometime ...

d

Robert Virding

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Apr 26, 2016, 2:40:32 PM4/26/16
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I don't think so. The one I have used, esdl2, seems very NIF based. But it works. It was written by Loïc Hoguin of cowboy fame.

Robert

Duncan McGreggor

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Apr 26, 2016, 5:19:58 PM4/26/16
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Right, esdl2 is NIF -- but esdl uses ports; it is the latter I was looking at.

d

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Robert Virding

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Apr 26, 2016, 5:27:08 PM4/26/16
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If it is the old esdl then it does use ports but they are implemented using linked-in drivers in C. Pest eller kolera?

Robert



On Tuesday, 26 April 2016 23:19:58 UTC+2, Duncan McGreggor wrote:
Right, esdl2 is NIF -- but esdl uses ports; it is the latter I was looking at.

d
On Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 1:40 PM, Robert Virding <rvir...@gmail.com> wrote:
I don't think so. The one I have used, esdl2, seems very NIF based. But it works. It was written by Loïc Hoguin of cowboy fame.

Robert


On Tuesday, 26 April 2016 19:40:50 UTC+2, Duncan McGreggor wrote:
Oh, nice ... looks like it's ports-based, too (no NIFs), I should play with this sometime ...

d

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Duncan McGreggor

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Apr 26, 2016, 5:33:18 PM4/26/16
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On Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 4:27 PM, Robert Virding <rvir...@gmail.com> wrote:
If it is the old esdl then it does use ports but they are implemented using linked-in drivers in C.

Oh no! I hadn't dug further than open_port ... this is sad news :-(
 
Pest eller kolera?

Ha! Indeed ... :-/

d

 


Robert



On Tuesday, 26 April 2016 23:19:58 UTC+2, Duncan McGreggor wrote:
Right, esdl2 is NIF -- but esdl uses ports; it is the latter I was looking at.

d
On Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 1:40 PM, Robert Virding <rvir...@gmail.com> wrote:
I don't think so. The one I have used, esdl2, seems very NIF based. But it works. It was written by Loïc Hoguin of cowboy fame.

Robert


On Tuesday, 26 April 2016 19:40:50 UTC+2, Duncan McGreggor wrote:
Oh, nice ... looks like it's ports-based, too (no NIFs), I should play with this sometime ...

d

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Robert Herman

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Apr 28, 2016, 8:13:57 AM4/28/16
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Well, guys as usual, I take a small respite from the internet, and I have amazing answers and directions from the rock stars of LFE!

I would prefer SDL2, since it is a BIG improvement over SDL1.2, and that takes care of graphics. So Pest eller kolera? SDL1.2 is ports-based, but esdl2 is NIF-based, but works? How do NIFs get you into trouble, or better yet, how will I probably break it even though Loïc Hoguin wrote it?

I would use the Supercollider server, like Overtone, for audio, and openGL from SDL2 to get a Shadertoy/Shadertone thing going (as well as be able to do games in LFE! Shoot! The Spring 2016 Lisp Game Jam starts in 15 hours. Can't use Elixir for that one ;)) You can see people livecoding in Scheme or CL using cl-collider for the Lisp interface to SC, and graphics with cl-sdl2, so maybe I just port those libs? I am no Andrew Sorensen able to adapt a scheme and write my own systems programming language that looks like Lisp (xtlang). He is a coding musical beast!

I am far from being able to implement anything yet, but at least I have a driven purpose here, which keeps me on LFE. I want to be able to brew as bad-ass of an LFE caffé latte as you guys! Now, if I can just get a windows open with LFE and esdl2 or cl-sdl2...

Rob


On Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 4:33:18 AM UTC+7, Duncan McGreggor wrote:
On Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 4:27 PM, Robert Virding <rvir...@gmail.com> wrote:
If it is the old esdl then it does use ports but they are implemented using linked-in drivers in C.

Oh no! I hadn't dug further than open_port ... this is sad news :-(
 
Pest eller kolera?

Ha! Indeed ... :-/

d

 


Robert



On Tuesday, 26 April 2016 23:19:58 UTC+2, Duncan McGreggor wrote:
Right, esdl2 is NIF -- but esdl uses ports; it is the latter I was looking at.

d
On Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 1:40 PM, Robert Virding <rvir...@gmail.com> wrote:
I don't think so. The one I have used, esdl2, seems very NIF based. But it works. It was written by Loïc Hoguin of cowboy fame.

Robert


On Tuesday, 26 April 2016 19:40:50 UTC+2, Duncan McGreggor wrote:
Oh, nice ... looks like it's ports-based, too (no NIFs), I should play with this sometime ...

d

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Duncan McGreggor

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Apr 28, 2016, 10:52:39 AM4/28/16
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On Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 7:13 AM, Robert Herman <rpjh...@gmail.com> wrote:
Well, guys as usual, I take a small respite from the internet, and I have amazing answers and directions from the rock stars of LFE!

I would prefer SDL2, since it is a BIG improvement over SDL1.2, and that takes care of graphics. So Pest eller kolera? SDL1.2 is ports-based, but esdl2 is NIF-based, but works? How do NIFs get you into trouble, or better yet, how will I probably break it even though Loïc Hoguin wrote it?

Looks like, underneath, they are both essentially NIFs. The problem with NIFs (generally speaking) is that if they crash they bring down the VM.

That being said, SDL2 from Loïc sounds like a very solid and trustworthy choice :-)

d
 

I would use the Supercollider server, like Overtone, for audio, and openGL from SDL2 to get a Shadertoy/Shadertone thing going (as well as be able to do games in LFE! Shoot! The Spring 2016 Lisp Game Jam starts in 15 hours. Can't use Elixir for that one ;)) You can see people livecoding in Scheme or CL using cl-collider for the Lisp interface to SC, and graphics with cl-sdl2, so maybe I just port those libs? I am no Andrew Sorensen able to adapt a scheme and write my own systems programming language that looks like Lisp (xtlang). He is a coding musical beast!

I am far from being able to implement anything yet, but at least I have a driven purpose here, which keeps me on LFE. I want to be able to brew as bad-ass of an LFE caffé latte as you guys! Now, if I can just get a windows open with LFE and esdl2 or cl-sdl2...

Rob


On Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 4:33:18 AM UTC+7, Duncan McGreggor wrote:
On Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 4:27 PM, Robert Virding <rvir...@gmail.com> wrote:
If it is the old esdl then it does use ports but they are implemented using linked-in drivers in C.

Oh no! I hadn't dug further than open_port ... this is sad news :-(
 
Pest eller kolera?

Ha! Indeed ... :-/

d

 


Robert



On Tuesday, 26 April 2016 23:19:58 UTC+2, Duncan McGreggor wrote:
Right, esdl2 is NIF -- but esdl uses ports; it is the latter I was looking at.

d
On Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 1:40 PM, Robert Virding <rvir...@gmail.com> wrote:
I don't think so. The one I have used, esdl2, seems very NIF based. But it works. It was written by Loïc Hoguin of cowboy fame.

Robert


On Tuesday, 26 April 2016 19:40:50 UTC+2, Duncan McGreggor wrote:
Oh, nice ... looks like it's ports-based, too (no NIFs), I should play with this sometime ...

d

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Duncan McGreggor

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Apr 28, 2016, 1:11:34 PM4/28/16
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Alrighty, Robert! I got Loïc's "Hello SDL" example running in LFE for ya :-)
 * https://github.com/lfex/sdl2-examples

Screenshot is included ;-)

I've opened a couple of tickets for the sdl2 lib, and Loïc is helping me make updates so it's easier to use from LFE. For now, though, the sdl2-examples repo points to a fork that perfectly integrates with the LFE rebar3 toolchain.

This has piqued my interest, so I may hack on more examples every now and again ...

d

Duncan McGreggor

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Apr 28, 2016, 1:12:18 PM4/28/16
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Alrighty, Robert! I got Loïc's "Hello SDL" example running in LFE for ya :-)
 * https://github.com/lfex/sdl2-examples

Screenshot is included ;-)

I've opened a couple of tickets for the sdl2 lib, and Loïc is helping me make updates so it's easier to use from LFE. For now, though, the sdl2-examples repo points to a fork that perfectly integrates with the LFE rebar3 toolchain.

This has piqued my interest, so I may hack on more examples every now and again ...

d

On Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 9:52 AM, Duncan McGreggor <dun...@mcgreggor.org> wrote:

Duncan McGreggor

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Apr 28, 2016, 1:38:35 PM4/28/16
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Sorry for the double-post -- Gmail flaked-out on me with some errors (saying it wasn't sent).

d

Robert Herman

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Apr 29, 2016, 10:41:20 AM4/29/16
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Many, many thanks (bows)!
And you served me up a whopping Lamda Latte to boot!

I will take a look at it first thing tomorrow morning (8 hours from now here in Java, Indonesia!).
I am immersed in SDL2, CSFML, LFE, Chez Scheme was just opensourced (distraction, no BEAM ;)). I don't care if I finish a game in 10 days. The journey is it for me, so thanks for joining me on the road once and a while.

BTW, I just noticed the 'Mark as complete' on Groups. I only close stuff on Github. Is this just for you to track your own examples, or should I be marking this? 

Rob


Robert
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Duncan McGreggor

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Apr 29, 2016, 10:55:11 AM4/29/16
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On Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 9:41 AM, Robert Herman <rpjh...@gmail.com> wrote:
Many, many thanks (bows)!

/me returns bow
 
And you served me up a whopping Lamda Latte to boot!

I will take a look at it first thing tomorrow morning (8 hours from now here in Java, Indonesia!).

Last night I started on porting Loïc's "bullet engine" (I believe he is playing on the word "bullet" as in a document's bullets) to LFE. It's really helping me get to know SDL a bit better. I hope to continue that today sometime ...
 
I am immersed in SDL2, CSFML, LFE, Chez Scheme was just opensourced (distraction, no BEAM ;)). I don't care if I finish a game in 10 days. The journey is it for me, so thanks for joining me on the road once and a while.

BTW, I just noticed the 'Mark as complete' on Groups. I only close stuff on Github. Is this just for you to track your own examples, or should I be marking this? 

I'm not sure -- I don't know what that is ...

d

 

Rob


Robert
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Robert Herman

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May 1, 2016, 5:04:11 AM5/1/16
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I understand your code in general, but I don't know enough of Erlang/LFE to figure out some of the boilerplate, but I'll get there.

Bullet engine - whew, for a second I thought you meant the Bullet physics engine, which along with SDL2, would be another great thing to port.

Thanks again!

Rob

Rob


Robert
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Duncan McGreggor

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Dec 1, 2020, 8:33:42 PM12/1/20
to Lisp Flavoured Erlang
Resurrecting an old thread here ... ;-)

In 2016 I mentioned that I felt SuperCollider would be more ready for LFE -- that was due to its Open Sound Control support via UDP or TCP.

However, as a user experience, I always favoured Extempore for live coding music. After digging back into the project after so many years, I see now that the canonical way to integrate with Extempore is via a TCP server where you send xtlang or Scheme bytes to the compiler. This is a phenomenal fit for LFE, and in fact I have created a ticket to support this in the undertone project here:


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