The K Desktop Environment

1.2. Using This Manual

This manual is intended to provide comprehensive documentation on aRts for users at different skill levels. Depending on whether you are a casual user of multimedia applications that make use of aRts or a multimedia application developer, you may want to take different paths through the manual.

It is suggested that you first read the Downloading and Building aRts chapter if you need to get aRts initially installed and running. If you already have a working system, likely bundled with your operating system distribution, you may choose to skip this section.

You should then read the sections in the aRts Tools chapter, especially artsd, artscontrol, artsshell, and artsdsp. This will help you make the most effective use of aRts.

If you are interested in going further with aRts, read the chapter on artsbuilder and go through the tutorial. This should give you an appreciation of the powerful capabilities of aRts and the provided modules that can be used without the need to be a programmer.

If you want to know more about the internals of aRts, either to develop multimedia applications or extend aRts itself, read some or all of the chapter aRts in Detail. This should give you an understanding of all of the concepts that are prerequisites to aRts software development.

If you are interested specifically in the MIDI capabilities of aRts, you should read the chapter on MIDI.

If you want to develop aRts-aware multimedia applications, the aRts Application Programming Interfaces chapter covers the different APIs in detail.

If you want to extend aRts by creating new modules, read the aRts Modules chapter.

If you are modifying an existing application to run under aRts, read the chapter on Porting Applications to aRts.

You you can find out how to help contribute to the aRts project in the Contributing to aRts chapter, read about upcoming aRts development in the chapter on Future Work, and find links to more information in the References section.

We have also rounded out the manual with some additional material, including answers to frequently asked questions, a list of contributors, the details on aRts copyright and licensing, and some background material on digital audio and MIDI. A glossary of terms is also included.


This manual is still very much a work in progress. You are welcome to contribute by writing portions of it, but if you wish to do so, contact Jeff Tranter first to avoid duplication of effort.