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Per-user plugins directory on *nix

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Per-user plugins directory on *nix

Richard Ash (audacity-help)
Currently (and since 1.2.x) audacity uses ~/.audacity-files as a place
for users to put plug-ins and the like for audacity to find and load.
Seeing as we now have ~/.audacity-data/ with everything else
audacity-related in it, does it seem a good or a bad idea to make the
place for user plug-ins to go ~/.audacity-data/plug-ins/ ? To me it's
the logical place (as ~/.audacity-data/ will be created by running
audacity), but on the other hand most of the other files in there
shouldn't be messed with by users.

Opinions from anyone else?

Richard


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Re: Per-user plugins directory on *nix

Gale Andrews

| From Richard Ash <[hidden email]>
| Mon, 11 Feb 2008 20:05:51 +0000
| Subject: [Audacity-devel] Per-user plugins directory on *nix

> Currently (and since 1.2.x) audacity uses ~/.audacity-files as a place
> for users to put plug-ins and the like for audacity to find and load.
> Seeing as we now have ~/.audacity-data/ with everything else
> audacity-related in it, does it seem a good or a bad idea to make the
> place for user plug-ins to go ~/.audacity-data/plug-ins/ ? To me it's
> the logical place (as ~/.audacity-data/ will be created by running
> audacity), but on the other hand most of the other files in there
> shouldn't be messed with by users.
>
> Opinions from anyone else?

Apart from the possible objection you state, mightn't it be preferable
to keep the plug-in location consistent on all platforms?  We couldn't
change it to Application Data on Windows (even if you were suggesting it)
because that directory is hidden by default on most Windows systems.


Gale  

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Re: Per-user plugins directory on *nix

Richard Ash (audacity-help)
Gale Andrews wrote:

> | From Richard Ash <[hidden email]>
> | Mon, 11 Feb 2008 20:05:51 +0000
> | Subject: [Audacity-devel] Per-user plugins directory on *nix
>> Currently (and since 1.2.x) audacity uses ~/.audacity-files as a place
>> for users to put plug-ins and the like for audacity to find and load.
>> Seeing as we now have ~/.audacity-data/ with everything else
>> audacity-related in it, does it seem a good or a bad idea to make the
>> place for user plug-ins to go ~/.audacity-data/plug-ins/ ? To me it's
>> the logical place (as ~/.audacity-data/ will be created by running
>> audacity), but on the other hand most of the other files in there
>> shouldn't be messed with by users.
>>
>> Opinions from anyone else?
>
> Apart from the possible objection you state, mightn't it be preferable
> to keep the plug-in location consistent on all platforms?  We couldn't
> change it to Application Data on Windows (even if you were suggesting it)
> because that directory is hidden by default on most Windows systems.

There is no per-user plug-in directory on windows - the piece of code I
was looking at is only compiled for wxGTK (it could be for OS X, but
isn't). This could be viewed as an omission, but as you point out there is
no sensible place to put such a directory in the windows file structure
(logically it should be in the windows profile somewhere (ideally in the
roaming part), but that means application data which most users can't
find.

The comparison with windows application data isn't really valid - both are
hidden files on Linux since they start with dots, and really my point is
that it's unusual for a Linux application to use more than one dot-file or
folder in the user's home directory. I'm anticipating confusion from users
who have to keep user chains in one dot-directory and plug-ins in another,
as well as people who don't realise this and get confused when one or the
other doesn't work.

Richard


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Re: Per-user plugins directory on *nix

Gale Andrews

| From "Richard Ash" <[hidden email]>
| Tue, 12 Feb 2008 08:23:29 -0000 (GMT)
| Subject: [Audacity-devel] Per-user plugins directory on *nix
|  > Gale Andrews wrote:

> > | From Richard Ash <[hidden email]>
> > | Mon, 11 Feb 2008 20:05:51 +0000
> > | Subject: [Audacity-devel] Per-user plugins directory on *nix
> >> Currently (and since 1.2.x) audacity uses ~/.audacity-files as a place
> >> for users to put plug-ins and the like for audacity to find and load.
> >> Seeing as we now have ~/.audacity-data/ with everything else
> >> audacity-related in it, does it seem a good or a bad idea to make the
> >> place for user plug-ins to go ~/.audacity-data/plug-ins/ ? To me it's
> >> the logical place (as ~/.audacity-data/ will be created by running
> >> audacity), but on the other hand most of the other files in there
> >> shouldn't be messed with by users.
>>
> > Apart from the possible objection you state, mightn't it be preferable
> > to keep the plug-in location consistent on all platforms?  We couldn't
> > change it to Application Data on Windows (even if you were suggesting it)
> > because that directory is hidden by default on most Windows systems.
>
> There is no per-user plug-in directory on windows - the piece of code I
> was looking at is only compiled for wxGTK (it could be for OS X, but
> isn't). This could be viewed as an omission, but as you point out there is
> no sensible place to put such a directory in the windows file structure
> .... that means application data which most users can't find.
>
> The comparison with windows application data isn't really valid - both are
> hidden files on Linux since they start with dots, and really my point is
> that it's unusual for a Linux application to use more than one dot-file or
> folder in the user's home directory. I'm anticipating confusion from users
> who have to keep user chains in one dot-directory and plug-ins in another,
> as well as people who don't realise this and get confused when one or the
> other doesn't work.

Well presumably Linux users are always savvy enough not to mess with
the other folders in  ~/.audacity-data/ (or to do so constructively)? Or
with a certain number of Windows users going to the "easier" versions of
Linux is that too much of an assumption?  What else goes in
 ~/.audacity-files/ apart from plug-ins? If we keep a separate folder,
can we dream up a better name than "files" which to my (Windows)
brain does not seem distinct enough from "data"?

I presume users who don't want/need to mess with per user plug-ins on
*.nix can still use the Plug-Ins folder in the Audacity installation folder
can't they? So again, only the savvy ones would even be playing with
user-specific plug-ins, as they'd have to reveal the hidden folders in
whatever way you do it on Linux?

Just spewing thoughts out, could even Windows users have per user
plug-ins by making this a preference - specify the path to the folder
which path is then stored in audacity.cfg?


Gale  




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Re: Per-user plugins directory on *nix

Richard Ash (audacity-help)
On Tue, 2008-02-12 at 20:38 +0000, Gale Andrews wrote:

> | From "Richard Ash" <[hidden email]>
> | Tue, 12 Feb 2008 08:23:29 -0000 (GMT)
> | Subject: [Audacity-devel] Per-user plugins directory on *nix
> |  > Gale Andrews wrote:
> > > | From Richard Ash <[hidden email]>
> > > | Mon, 11 Feb 2008 20:05:51 +0000
> > > | Subject: [Audacity-devel] Per-user plugins directory on *nix
> > >> Currently (and since 1.2.x) audacity uses ~/.audacity-files as a place
> > >> for users to put plug-ins and the like for audacity to find and load.
> > >> Seeing as we now have ~/.audacity-data/ with everything else
> > >> audacity-related in it, does it seem a good or a bad idea to make the
> > >> place for user plug-ins to go ~/.audacity-data/plug-ins/ ? To me it's
> > >> the logical place (as ~/.audacity-data/ will be created by running
> > >> audacity), but on the other hand most of the other files in there
> > >> shouldn't be messed with by users.
> >>
> > > Apart from the possible objection you state, mightn't it be preferable
> > > to keep the plug-in location consistent on all platforms?  We couldn't
> > > change it to Application Data on Windows (even if you were suggesting it)
> > > because that directory is hidden by default on most Windows systems.
> >
> > There is no per-user plug-in directory on windows - the piece of code I
> > was looking at is only compiled for wxGTK (it could be for OS X, but
> > isn't). This could be viewed as an omission, but as you point out there is
> > no sensible place to put such a directory in the windows file structure
> > .... that means application data which most users can't find.
> >
> > The comparison with windows application data isn't really valid - both are
> > hidden files on Linux since they start with dots, and really my point is
> > that it's unusual for a Linux application to use more than one dot-file or
> > folder in the user's home directory. I'm anticipating confusion from users
> > who have to keep user chains in one dot-directory and plug-ins in another,
> > as well as people who don't realise this and get confused when one or the
> > other doesn't work.
>
> Well presumably Linux users are always savvy enough not to mess with
> the other folders in  ~/.audacity-data/ (or to do so constructively)? Or
> with a certain number of Windows users going to the "easier" versions of
> Linux is that too much of an assumption?
I don't think so - I'm in favour of the change, but wanted some feedback
before I did it.

>   What else goes in  ~/.audacity-files/ apart from plug-ins?
Nothing - it's there because you need Root access to modify the
system-wide plug-ins directory, and most users won't have that. It's
therefore much easier to use a directory which is under your home
directory and therefore you have control over. It also means I have my
plug-ins and you have yours (multi-user OS design).

>  If we keep a separate folder,
> can we dream up a better name than "files" which to my (Windows)
> brain does not seem distinct enough from "data"?
That was one of the reasons I wanted to change it - I started off
thinking it was a typo in the source until I realised it was much older
than ~/.audacity-data

> I presume users who don't want/need to mess with per user plug-ins on
> *.nix can still use the Plug-Ins folder in the Audacity installation folder
> can't they?
They could put them in /usr/share/audacity/plug-ins, but the'd have to
be a system admin to do so, and they would loose them from there every
time they upgrade audacity via their package manager. Other LADSPA
packages would normally install to /usr/lib/ladspa/ where audacity will
find them. In principal they can go anywhere, because you can add
directories to the search path at runtime via environment variables.
What we are messing with here is the default search list, to avoid
having to set up custom environment variables to make audacity work.

>  So again, only the savvy ones would even be playing with
> user-specific plug-ins, as they'd have to reveal the hidden folders in
> whatever way you do it on Linux?
ls -l
Whilst it used to be the case that you didn't get very far on Linux
without learning about dotfiles, these days you are probably right, most
basic users will ignore anything they can't click on.

> Just spewing thoughts out, could even Windows users have per user
> plug-ins by making this a preference - specify the path to the folder
> which path is then stored in audacity.cfg?

This makes the preferences bigger and more complex again, as well as
annoying Linux power users who have to locate a non-standard (to Linux)
way of doing things. I think they way forward may be for AUDACITY_PATH
to be searched on all platforms, so that there is a way to do custom
plug-in directories (either system-wide (define variable for all users)
or per-user (define variable for a given user)).

Richard


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