[chuck-users] ChucKian greetings and updates!

Ge Wang ge at ccrma.Stanford.EDU
Tue Dec 30 10:20:43 EST 2008

Dear all,

Greetings from the ChucK team - all the best wishes in the coming year! 
I want to take this opportunity to bring you up to date on things of 
ChucKian nature, and also to address what's next.  I hope this reads
more like um cliff notes than a newsletter (because the latter can seem
really boring)!

It has been a fairly insane year for all of us at the ChucK team, ranging 
from new research, an expanding community, a new lorchestra, publications 
(including a dissertation), to ChucK helping to power a new startup making 
crazy sonic software for the iPhone.  Here is a partial summary, mostly in 
a strongly-timed ordering:

* Continuing our investigation on audio analysis in ChucK: Rebecca, Perry, 
and I have begun to explore new directions involving on-the-fly learning 
and support for MIR prototyping in ChucK.  Check out the all new sMIRk and 
publications: http://smirk.cs.princeton.edu/

* PLOrk's west coast offspring/sibling, SLOrk (Stanford Laptop Orchestra) 
was instantiated; ChucK is used as the primary platform for instrument 
design, sound design/synthesis, and teaching:

* By the way, PLOrk is about to enter a new level of insanity in spring 
2009, with an MacArthur-supported campaign that features an fully 
expanded, rebuilt ensemble and an unbelievable lineup (Matmos, So 
Percussion, and Laurie Anderson):

* PhD Dissertation: "The ChucK Audio Programming Language: An On-the-fly, 
Strongly-timed Environ/mentality" was completed, almost fatally injuring 
its author and his PhD committee in the process:

* Smule was found in Summer 2008, exploring what we call "Interactive 
Sonic Media", starting with the iPhone.  ChucK on the iPhone (ChiP) serves 
as the core platform and engine.  Perry, Spencer, Rebecca, and I are all
part of the madness:

* Meanwhile, the ChucK community continues to grow both in and out of 
academia.  We especially would like to call out the inspiring efforts of 
Kassen (sporksperson, forum moderator, and ChucKian sherpa), Inventor, 
Stephen Sinclair, Ajay Kapur, Adam Tindale, Paul Botelho, Dan Trueman, 
PLOrk/SLOrk, and others for the immense guidance, ideas, and creativity 
they provide on the forum, mailing lists, as well as in classrooms and 


>From our point of view, it has indeed been a busy year of ChucKing. 
What's next?

* One common question concerns ChucK on the iPhone.  Here is where things 
stand: ChucK has ported to the iPhone by Smule, and has served as the 
audio platform behind its products (Sonic Lights, Ocarina, etc.).  While 
ChucK is freely available on OS X, Linux, and Windows (and shall remain 
so), we have not yet opened ChiP, our ChucK on iPhone engine/port (nor do 
we license this platform currently).  While we can't make any promises, we 
articulate that the core team would like to explores ways to open ChiP by 
creating an beneficial environment for everyone (researchers, artists, 
smule, developers).  Again, we can't make any promises and it is a 
possibility that ChiP will not be open sourced for the foreseeable future, 
but we genuinely want to make it open and make it work, and are exploring 
that possibility.

* Along this line, we would like to articulate the following point: major 
general language features that are introduced as part of ChiP *will* be 
fully released in the main distribution (only iPhone/smule-specific 
features will remain proprietary for now).  This is by design when we 
structured Smule.  You see, most of us at Smule care about, use, and 
release open-source software, and we genuinely want to build an ecosystem 
where things can be as open as possible and remain mutually beneficial. 
We shall keep moving forward in this way.

* ChucK releases: it's been a while since the last release, so perhaps 
not many are holding their breath for the next release.  It's coming, for 
better or for worse!!  File IO is finally in place, along with several 
other features.  miniAudicle MAUI for Windows and Linux are nearing 
completion as well.  Stay tuned!

* ChucK research, development, and pedagogy continues in full, at 
Princeton, Stanford, and with quite a few other institutions and 
individuals.  Rebecca leads the charge on MIR/on-the-fly 
learning/analysis-based performance, new features/uses are developed
by Perry, Dan, researchers and students at Princeton, and by us at CCRMA, 
and now at Smule.  At Stanford, we are also working on new systems based 
on ChucK, code, and interaction to provide new ways of working with 
audio. Stephen Sinclair, Kassen, Inventor, Ajay Kapur at CalArts, and 
Adam Tindale in Calgary continue to contribute code and ideas. 
Admittedly, incorporating contributions has been an issue, and this is 
squarely my fault for not having better coordinated due to cycle 
shortages.  For what it's worth, I am just going to accept that the load 
not going to get any better and will endeavor to re-organize!

Well, that's all I have for now - and it's amazing if you read this far! 
Please send all thoughts, complaints, suggestions to the chuck-users 
list, forum, or just email us!

>From all of us on the ChucK team, we wish you a wonderful new year and 

All the best,
Ge, on behalf of ChucK team

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