Ardour Development Bible

Wouldn’t it be cool if one day a book concerning Ardour development is released.
That would definitely give Ardour code contribution a boost.
Is such a book viable and what will be the structure of this book?
Will it have to contain introductory text on digital signal processing or will this make the book too ambitious? What programming language experience and other knowledge will you have to have?
Overview of ALSA and Jack? The architecture of Ardour. Explaining the codebase.

Would love to hear what the developers think about this idea and the amount of time this will take.
In terms of money what will this approx cost to fund a writer for this effort?
Would the book be sold or be creative commons? (I would not mind paying for such a book)

Given that there isn't even a book for Ardour users, the idea of a book for Ardour developers seems ... unlikely.

Most of the developers who have contributed more than 1 line fixes to Ardour have reported finding (most of) the code fairly easy to understand. You cannot expect to dive into a program of this magnitude and instantly grasp its structure. The best documentation for Ardour developers is the existing code, which has the huge benefit of always being up to date. A book written about Ardour code design in 2010 would already be severely out of date in several important areas.

in the winter of 2008/2009, I did prepare some slides that walked through the overall high level design of objects in Ardour. that's about as close to any "design" documents as you will find. They can be found here as part of the course I was teaching at the TU Berlin. Note, however, that many important bits of information (especially in the "Tourist's Guide to Ardour data structures") is now completely incorrect with respect to the current code.

Thanks for the reply Paul.

Hi Paul-

I have been trying to find out how I can contact you directly, regarding this post: I appreciate this is unsolicited - I would like to discuss some of the concepts around the UI concepts, and welcome the opportunity to talk to you more offline if possible.

If you see this, it would be amazing if you could contact me, either through this site or at my email which is mettafort, and its a gmail account.

Many thanks,


I’m sorry, but I really do not have the time to get into something like this. If you’re wanting to discuss improvements to the design of Ardour, then IRC is the best place to do that. If you want to just learn about Ardour’s current design, then the source code is your best and almost only resource, although sometimes someone will try to be helpful about questions on IRC. We have a tiny set of resources available, and it is important that they be focused as much as possible on work that benefits our user community.

OK Paul, no problem. Appreciate your timely response anyway.