Short attention span blues: Java and Csound

I wanted to find a small program I could run to give me statistics about audio files. I can get the data from Sound Forge but thought it would be nice to be able to run a custom app. After a lot of research, I thought I would give Java a try.

All the tools you need to develop it are free (similar to many Gnu tools and Microsoft Visual Express systems). But Java appeals to me since it’s pretty open, mature and runs pretty well on all platforms. And the clincher is that there are Java wrappers for the Csound API. There are a couple sample programs in the Csound distribution but (once again) the documentation is nonexistent. I hit on a website of a guy writing a modular synth program in Java to run Csound underneath it, and the excellent blue composition environment appears to be in Java. So there is some precedent that can be mined. Hopefully I’ll be able to provide some pointers for people who want to do this.

Update on 28 Aug 2009

Well, like 1000 other things in my life, I have put this on the back burner while occupying myself with other more interesting things in life. I still would like to revisit this project though.

Anyway, I wanted to add that my researches indicate that there are two major free development environments for Java: NetBeans and Eclipse. Both have their own strengths and weaknesses, and a little research should unearth some papers comparing them. For my purposes, NetBeans seems perfectly serviceable, so I downloaded it and started experimenting with it. Nothing significant to report yet.

Netbeans can be downloaded here: http://www.netbeans.org/downloads/ and Eclipse coincidentally enough here: http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/

Although the more I look at Java the more convoluted a language it seems to be. There’s a humorous essay about how to shoot yourself in the foot in numerous programming languages. It’s all over the web but I tracked an early (original?) version down to here: http://www.fullduplex.org/humor/2006/10/how-to-shoot-yourself-in-the-foot-in-any-programming-language/

The problem with Java (after you’ve worked with simplistic syntaxes like Perl) is that it’s terribly convoluted. One comment to the above article suggested this construct for how to shoot yourself in the foot using Java:

Foot foot = new Foot();
Gun gun = new Gun();
gun.bullets.Add(10);
gun.fire (foot);
Result:
NullPointerException at : gun.bullets
or
java.lang.OutOfMemoryError at: gun.bullets.Add(10);
ClassNotFoundException at: Gun gun
-You have placed the Gun.class in the classpath?

This sort of gives you the flavor.

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