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Finish August report, add more screenshots

Signed-off-by: falkTX <falktx@falktx.com>
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falkTX 2 weeks ago
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Signed by: falkTX <falktx@falktx.com> GPG Key ID: CDBAA37ABC74FBA0
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</p>
<p>
Hello all, another one of those monthly reports about the KXStudio project is here.<br/>
This month we had
This month as you might have seen we had
<a href="https://kx.studio/News/?action=view&url=carla-232-has-been-released" target="_blank">not one</a>
but
<a href="https://kx.studio/News/?action=view&url=carla-plugin-host-v240-is-here" target="_blank">two Carla releases</a>.<br/>
Mostly bugfixes as expected, the new stuff was all very minor compared to past releases.<br/>
A few additonal things were added/fixed in Carla already since then, but all still very minor.<br/>
Whatever things are ready by next release day (October 15) will be what gets in next, just to get a nice page of releases going.
Whatever is ready by next release day (October 15) will be what gets in next, just to get a nice page of releases going.
</p>

<h3>More (final?) DPF updates</h3>
<p>
DPF got a lot of attention once again.<br/>
It is now on a state where I can focus on bugfixes rather than new things, even though I still want to try official SVG support.<br/>
Everything that was in the previous DPF (that is, the git master branch) should now be in the develop branch.<br/>
I am confident enough in this that made a new "main" branch to be the default clone target (I will keep the old master branch untouched, as there are a few minor things that can't be made backwards compatible).
It is now on a state where I can focus on bugfixes rather than new things,
even though I still want to try official SVG support.<br/>
Everything that was in the previous DPF (that is, the git
<a href="https://github.com/DISTRHO/DPF/tree/master/" target="_blank">master branch</a>)
should now be in the develop branch.<br/>
I am confident enough in this that made a new
<a href="https://github.com/DISTRHO/DPF/tree/main" target="_blank">"main" branch</a>
to be the default clone target (I will keep the old master branch untouched, as there are a few minor things that can't be made backwards compatible).
</p>

<h4>Fixing high-dpi support</h4>
<p>
Something that got a fair bit of attention was high-dpi support.<br/>
Previously DPF read the scale factor from the host (if provided, most do not) but now it can also figure it out on its own as fallback.<br/>
There was a lot of back and forth until it was verified to work on all major OSes and formats.<br/>
There was a lot of
<a href="https://github.com/DISTRHO/DPF/pull/301" target="_blank">back and forth</a>
until
<a href="https://github.com/DISTRHO/DPF/issues/308" target="_blank">it was verified</a>
to
<a href="https://github.com/DISTRHO/DPF/issues/311" target="_blank">work on all major OSes and formats</a>.<br/>
I also updated the DPF-Plugins project so that all plugins contained within it support this.<br/>
Even though some being bitmap-based causes their UI to look blurry, at least they will appear in the correct size.
Even though some being bitmap-based causes their UI to look blurry, at least they will appear in the correct size.<br/>
You can see them in the screenshot below.
</p>
<p>
<img src="/screenshots/news/dpf-plugins-big-2021-08.png" alt="dpf-plugins-big"/>
</p>

<h4>sofd improvements</h4>
<p>
More work that is worth mentioning is some care given to the sofd module used by DPF as fallback X11 file browser dialog.<br/>
It has served us well, because it generally works fine, but never looked that great in my opinion..<br/>
So I spent some time to change its colors a bit to follow a more traditional/usual approach (plus dark theme).<br/>
Some care given to the
<a href="https://github.com/x42/sofd/" target="_blank">sofd module</a>
used by DPF as fallback X11 file browser dialog.<br/>
It serves us well enough because it generally works fine, but never looked that great in my opinion..<br/>
I spent some time to change its colors a bit to follow a more traditional/usual approach, plus a dark theme because yes.<br/>
And then on top make it work nicely for high-dpi setups too.<br/>
Not everyone uses dark themes, so this needs a light theme option too, not sure yet if it can be chosen automatically.<br/>
Personally I think it looks much better, but tastes are subjective. Anyway, the differences can be seen below:
Not everyone uses dark themes, so there needs to be a light theme option too, not sure yet if it can be chosen automatically.<br/>
Personally I think it looks much better, but tastes are subjective. Anyway, the differences can be seen below:<br/>
(will submit the changes upstream after all the DPF file dialog stuff is finalized and stable)
</p>
<p>
<img src="/screenshots/news/sofd-compare-2021-08.png" alt="sofd-compare"/>
</p>

picture here

<h4>External UI</h4>
<p>
As a final thing to mention for DPF, the last item that needed attention before the rework being in feature-parity with old branch, is external UI support.<br/>
The old branch didn't support this fully, but there was some experimental stuff in place.<br/>
Now it is back again, with a little more documentation and better support - it should eventually be an official DPF feature.<br/>
You can follow its discussion and progress ..here.. and because everyone likes screenshots, here is one as a quick test of mpv running as the external UI:
The idea being that we can reuse DPF APIs and plugin export support but do the UI stuff completely separately - be it separate process or a custom implementation.<br/>
As long as it is in a way the plugin host expects things (ie, X11 window on Linux) things should just work..
</p>
<p>
The old DPF master branch didn't support this fully, but there was some experimental stuff in place.<br/>
Now it is back again, with a little
<a href="https://github.com/DISTRHO/DPF/blob/main/distrho/extra/ExternalWindow.hpp#L37" target="_blank">more documentation</a>
and better support - it should eventually be an official DPF feature.<br/>
You can follow its discussion and progress
<a href="https://github.com/DISTRHO/DPF/issues/313" target="_blank">here</a>
and because everyone likes screenshots, here is one as a quick test of mpv running as the external UI:
</p>
<p>
<img src="/screenshots/news/external-ui-mpv-2021-08.png" alt="external-ui-mpv"/>
</p>

picture here

<h3>ProM revived</h3>
<p>
One little plugin I made quite some years ago but left it aside due to difficulties in packaging was ProM.<br/>
ProM is basically projectM in plugin form, on top of DPF.<br/>
One little plugin I made quite some years ago but left it aside due to difficulties in packaging was
<a href="https://github.com/DISTRHO/ProM/" target="_blank">ProM</a>.<br/>
ProM is basically
<a href="https://github.com/projectM-visualizer/projectm/" target="_blank">projectM</a>
in plugin form, on top of DPF.<br/>
It allows you to have old-school milkdrop-like visualizations on your DAW/host, it is an audio plugin after all.<br/>
After a little fighting over building projectM correctly (directly in ProM source, aka "vendored"), I can now say it builds and runs on at least GNU/Linux, macOS and Windows.<br/>
Taking from last month's automatic build setup, binaries are automatically generated for these 3 OSes directly from GitHub.<br/>
To make Linux distribution packagers happy, the option to build against system-provided libprojectm is still present, and should work even better now as it finds the shared data prefix to use via pkg-config.
After a little fighting over building projectM correctly (directly in ProM source, aka "vendored"),
I can now say it builds and runs on at least GNU/Linux, macOS and Windows.<br/>
Taking from
<a href="https://kx.studio/News/?action=view&url=kxstudio-monthly-report-july-2021" target="_blank">last month's automatic build setup</a>,
binaries are
<a href="https://github.com/DISTRHO/ProM/actions" target="_blank">automatically generated for these 3 OSes directly from GitHub</a>.<br/>
To make Linux distribution packagers happy, the option to build against system-provided libprojectM is still present,
and should work even better now as it finds the shared data prefix to use via pkg-config.
</p>
<p>
<img src="/screenshots/news/prom-revival-2021-08.png" alt="prom-revival"/>
</p>

<h3>Website updates</h3>
<p>
Worth of a little note, I updated the kx.studio website to better work in smaller screens, or vertical ones, or both like in mobile phones.<br/>
The content itself is mostly unchanged, still need to tackle that (specially documentation, there is a lot of old stuff there).<br/>
They typically call this "responsive design".<br/>
They typically call this "responsive design" I guess.<br/>
The news part I didn't update, as otherwise it would break RSS readers, and the top menu needs to become of one those "hamburguer"-style things when width is low. A task for later.
</p>
<p>
A final website update worth mentioning is the addition of the board and development pages.<br/>
A final website update worth mentioning is the addition of the
<a href="https://kx.studio/Board" target="_blank">board</a>
and
<a href="https://kx.studio/Development" target="_blank">development</a>
pages.<br/>
As people sometimes wonder what I have been doing lately (specially important for those that give out donations, thanks for that by the way!)
the board view is now integrated into the site. I added color descriptions there too.<br/>
Hopefully that makes everything more clear, and more visible too of course.


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