September 14, 2023
Someone asked if I would post something about programming. I wish I had something interesting to offer. The best I can do is describe an area in our current work where there's a considerable productivity drain ("technical debt", I suppose).
We're still using Windows .rc files for dialog boxes. VC6 is my preferred dialog editor, but it has a limit of something like 32k or 64k controls in total for the entire .rc file, if you exceed that it crashes. We've long exceeded that, so now we pretty much edit .rc files by hand with lots of trial and error (I don't seem to be getting any better of adding/subtracting fixed values to the Nth column of a bunch of lines). We could temporarily trim the file, do the edits, then restore the rest, but meh. Or we could write a .rc file editor lol. At any rate it's completely inefficient.
On a more specific points related to that, adding options to REAPER's preferences takes far too much work. There's the manual .rc file editing, the juggling around of options in a fixed amount of space, moving things to other tabs, etc. It's stupid and a time suck. But there's no reasonable alternative without a ton of extra work. Some day, maybe.
So anyway, it's often the case where we want to add something simple, and a good half of the work is spent with UI nonsense. Yes yes we could move all of our preferences to a list of attributes and make it all generated from data and that would be great but that would be a huge project.
People ask about making a mobile sequencer. The underlying core of a DAW would be the same, but doing the UI would require basically a separate implementation to be useable. I don't really want to maintain two DAWs. Also phones bleh (x 1000 -- the ecosystem, the lockeddownness, the lack of keyboard, the mercy of the OS, etc). :/