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Convert from Max to Cocoa, please!

Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:44 am
by slip
Hi All,

I've owned the SoftStep for many months and I _love_ the hardware itself. The software, on the other hand, is, and I hate to put it so bluntly, horrible.

I know this is something you've heard before, since the most viewed thread on this board is about the amount of memory the app takes, but I wanted to put it into perspective:

Here I have an assortment of apps sorted by the real memory they are occupying:

https://img.skitch.com/20110331-89cx2cx ... 8afh87.png

Here are my apps sorted by virtual memory:

https://img.skitch.com/20110331-qb2ynmk ... eu6ru6.png

You can see in the first image that the SoftStep app is consuming 942.8MB of real memory and another 1.07GB of virtual memory. This is *TEN TIMES* the amount of memory as Adobe Flash CS5. *FIFTEEN TIMES* more than Xcode. It consumes more memory than VMWare running an entire Windows XP partition.

This is just insane and completely unacceptable.

To put it into even more perspective, I have a Logidy UMI3, which is a simple three switch midi foot controller. It also comes with a translator - you can't see it in the activity monitor because it is taking 9.6 MB of real memory and 52MB of virtual - SoftStep.app is consuming almost 100x more real memory.

Please, please, please pay someone to convert your app from a gui wrapper on top of Max patches to a real bona-fide Cocoa app. Contact the Logidy folk and see if they can give you a head start.

And please understand that I am not trying to be confrontational or belligerent. I sincerely love the form factor and promise of the hardware. You owe it to yourselves, your customers, and the killer piece of gear you've created to scrap your Max patches and rebuild the software from the ground up.

Sincerely,
Ian

Re: Convert from Max to Cocoa, please!

Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:28 am
by mocker
+ 1 !

I said it before but this post sums it all. Cocoa please.

Or at least, make every operation possible in standalone mode.

Re: Convert from Max to Cocoa, please!

Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:05 am
by kostianix
+1 !

absolutely love the hardware. but the software is a nightmare :(

Re: Convert from Max to Cocoa, please!

Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:19 pm
by Keith
Hi,

I understand your comments and appreciate the mem hit the SoftStep Application/Editor/Display program causes. But we have a specific set of priorities and schedule that makes this now the case.

1. Cross-Platform: cocoa is not Cross-Platform. It is Mac only.

2. Ability to add features and functions. We are pretty responsive to user requests for features and functions. this can be done because we have a development environment (Max) that makes this possible.

3. Standalone: We specifically created Standalone to reduce the memory hit to zero.

While efficiency and memory hogging is always on our list of concerns, the ability to roll all of the functionality into a cross platform app that we can rapidly add features and function trumped that goal.

We will also be adding conversion from Hosted to Standalone Scene saving to help make Standalone more powerful. I long for the day when we have all of the user function/feature requests in place and we can focus on memory use. But for now we recommend Standalone.

-Keith

Re: Convert from Max to Cocoa, please!

Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:14 am
by mocker
Thanks Keith for your answer.
Two things :

1. It doesn't seem to me that Cocoa developers cannot respond quickly to users requests. Most of them do actually respond as fast as you guys do so far.

2. You're recommending Standalone and I do agree, it's the best way of using the Softstep. But it's still too limited compared to hosted mode and a lot of users won't get what they need using it.

Sorry if it has been said before and… once again, I'm a Softstep fan, the footswitch :-)

Re: Convert from Max to Cocoa, please!

Posted: Sun May 08, 2011 8:50 pm
by ChrisLavender
Hello there! Count me as another one on the "stoked about the hardware not about the software" list.

As a performer-programmer this foot-switch is a major problem solver for me on many levels. I've had the unit for close to a month now and I am excited about the possibilities. Unfortunately, whenever I need to make any edits with the software I find it more frustrating than anything else. I have the most problems if I'm trying to use it along side one of my own Max patches or with Ableton Live when using Max4Live. Problems I've had include mixed up MIDI ports, inexplicable computer sluggishness, and even relatively reliable software crashes. Presumably this is due to the the editor software IS a Max patch but doesn't run in Max so there's some resource sharing issues when running them both? (I'm guessing there)

It's great to read that you guys are aware and actively working on the issues. What I would LOVE to see an API for this unit. Any hope for that?

Thanks!
Chris L.

Re: Convert from Max to Cocoa, please!

Posted: Tue May 31, 2011 10:04 pm
by jengel
+1 on the API

From the looks of it +9l0% of your user base on the API.

With the release of Max for Live, the masses are much more OSC literate. If I could have an API to talk directly to the soft step with OSC or sysex, it would be very helpful. I haven't bought one yet specifically because of this "closed" nature, and the midi cross talk issue. Once these are solved I'd buy one in a heartbeat.

I know you've heard this feedback a lot, and look forward to the upcoming beta release. I just wanted to put one more voice saying, the more you open up the access to the software side of things, the easier your life will be and the happier we all will be.

Re: Convert from Max to Cocoa, please!

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:36 am
by Axel
+1 on an API

Why would you want to work so hard when there are people out there who would building stuff for free, right away?

Personally, I work in SuperCollider. I've made a class that gets midi from the SoftStep (in standalone mode) and controls my selfmade looper. I've just setup a key to send a noteOn msg to which SC responds by selecting between 3 different input sources. Now, after years of waiting for it (I even thought about starting a company to build one at some point), I have a foot controller that has programmable leds and a display and I can do nothing with it. If I could send OSC (or at least Midi) to the SoftStep to control its functionality, I could write 3 lines of SuperCollider code and would have it display all the information about the selected input source I needed.

Is this a sound argument? What do you/others think?

Cheers,
Axel

Re: Convert from Max to Cocoa, please!

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:45 am
by Axel
I just found the Max developer kit. I feel left out. Is there a way to get into the game via SuperCollider?

Re: Convert from Max to Cocoa, please!

Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:57 am
by TJ-Shredder
Yes, simply run this application, which is a Max standalone and then operate entirely in Supercollider via MIDI...
Inside everything is explained to even get rid of the little tool...;-)

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/288305/St.epInit.zip

Stefan