Category Archives: Zong! Development

Xenoage Utils released under MIT license

As a first step to release the whole Zong! project under an open source license, I released the Xenoage Utils project under the MIT license today. I spent the last two days by cleaning up the project and separating it from the Zong! project, where it will now be included as a git submodule. Maybe it will also be useful for other projects, I especially recommend to have a look at the utils-pdlib project which includes persistent and functional data structures.

The next steps are to clean up the Zong! project itself, including the Editor, Webviewer and Android app, which were closed source so far. After that we will continue development on all modules.

Don’t let Sibelius die!

Sibelius is a great piece of software. It really hurts to hear that AVID wants to move its development to Ukraine instead of continuing with its spezialized team in Finsbury Park, UK. AVID has financial problems, but the better alternative would be to sell it back to the original authors. Please help to save Sibelius and sign this petition.

A note about the current state of Zong!: Currently I’m working on my first really big project as a freelance developer. When this is finished (late autumn), I plan to continue the development of Zong!. However, there is good news: We think about moving the whole project to a free software license, including the Android part and the Editor part. Stay tuned 🙂

Iteration 61 finished

Yesterday, we pushed Zong! p0.5.61 to our git server. Among the new features of this iteration are the support for 64bit operating systems, styled text for lyrics, directions and any other text elements, export as WAV, MP3 and OGG and text editing in the Editor. Furthermore, the Zong! Server was extended to support the generation of sampled audio files, which lays the foundation for playback in the HTML Web Viewer (coming soon). The next iteration already starts today 🙂

Why Zong! is currently paused

Sorry for not posting during the last months. There are mainly two reasons for that:

  • I’m currently finishing my final project for my computer science studies. It is called “SimView” and is a traffic visualization tool, which is part of the simTD project and which I’m developing for the chair of traffic engineering and control of Technische Universität München. See the screenshot below. Originally I wanted to work on this project in early 2012, but due to time constraints I had to do it now, so I could not work on Zong! as much as I wanted.
  • I’m preparing for my future life as a freelance software developer, which will basically start in November 2011, but finally in March 2012 when I’ve finished my very last lecture and when I’ve been awared a M.Sc. degree. Zong! is an important part of this plan, although I’m currently not expecting to earn money with the project in the near future 😉

So stay tuned, Zong! will be much more active again starting in the following month! I can hardly wait to continue with this fun project 🙂


Zong! is coming to Android

There are two exciting news about Zong!:

  • The Zong! Viewer is currently being ported to the Android platform. All the MusicXML loading, layouting and rendering is done on the device, no internet connection is needed. Expect a first public alpha version in April.
  • We are also working on the Zong! Web Viewer which allows to embed scores on web pages, without requiring any plugins like Java, Flash, Silverlight, ActiveX or something else. It uses pure HTML and JavaScript. The rendering is done by our server, which can be accessed for free. We are also experimenting to integrate audio playback 🙂 There will also be a public alpha version in April.

Here is a first screenshot of the Android viewer, just a proof of concept:

Ribbon and Online Converter

Version p0.5.56 is out! There are mainly two new features included: Ribbon for the Zong! Editor and a new subproject, the Zong! Converter.

The Zong! Converter is free software, based upon the Zong! core, layout and renderer projects. It allows the conversion from MusicXML files into PDF files (much more formats will follow later) and presents no GUI, because it is launched from the command line. This for example allows to provide an online converter on a webpage, so that MusicXML files can be converted without having to install software on the local machine. A first prototype is available on our server (but note, that many files are not supported yet and the layout is often bad. Of course, this will get better in the future).

The Zong! Editor (which is not free software, so don’t look for it in our source code repository) now includes a completely revised user interface, based on the Flamingo ribbon component and a custom L&F, Substance. We are still discussing about the best way to arrange all items, but here is a first screenshot:

I’ll take an exam break for the next three weeks. The next version of Zong! will probably be released on March 5.

Welcome back, Editor!

Today, according to schedule, version p0.5.55 was released. It contains the new JOGL 2 library for OpenGL rendering and some MIDI playback enhancements, and after more than a year of inactivity the Zong! Editor is now buildable and runnable again.

I was a little anxious if it was hard to adapt the editor’s tools and commands to the new functional core. It turned out that it is now much easier than before to temporarily change the document’s layout for preview the user’s actions, and undo is really a one-liner:


Using the functional core, this can be done for nearly every command and tool, while the mutable core required lots of defensive copies and sometimes confusing undo algorithms for achieving the same thing. This is amazing, and only possible because of the great work of the pcollections project. I can really recommend having a look on this library to all Java developers. Together with a little experience gained in any functional language (like Haskell oder ML), it can (it will!) totally change the way you work with data structures in Java.

Roadmap for v0.5 development

Today I created the roadmap for Zong! version 0.5.

It will be released on 2011-09-30 and will include the following features:

  • The Zong! Editor to create, modify and playback musical scores
  • Edit all important musical notations like notes, articulations and ornaments, clefs, time signatures, key signatures, barlines, lyrics, directions and tuplets
  • Support for selections, copy & paste, undo & redo (the last one is trivial to implement thanks to the new functional core :-))
  • Create and modify instrumentations
  • Input using the mouse, keyboard or MIDI instruments (stepwise input)

During the v0.5 development process we will publish alpha versions from time to time. One of the next things is an Online Converter for MusicXML to MIDI, PDF and image formats.

Zong! 0.4 released

Yesterday, we pushed version 0.4 (aka p0.4.54) of Zong! onto our servers. From the view of a user there are not many new features compared to the alpha version released on christmas 2010, but the overall architecture has changed dramatically, as described in the blog posts during this year.

The next days we will create a detailled plan for version 0.5. We want to release a usable beta version of the Zong! Editor in October 2011. Of course, one of our main goals is also to improve MusicXML loading and musical layouting during the next months, to make Zong! a competitive viewer for MusicXML documents.