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maiden

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maiden is a browser-based portal for norns. It can be accessed via a norns-hosted hotspot, or if norns and your browser are on the same WIFI network.

To dive in, point your web browser at norns.local to see the maiden interface. If the site is not found, try connecting directly to the IP address shown on the norns screen, for example: 192.168.0.100.

Windows: if neither of these URLs resolve, try IP-ADDRESS-OF-YOUR-NORNS/maiden/, eg. 192.168.1.100/maiden/

The interface includes a meta-navigator in the far-left sidebar, which from bottom-to-top allows you to:

  • access the project manager, where you can manage, discover, and install community scripts on your norns
  • toggle the repl (read-eval-print-loop), where your scripts + the system both print useful information
  • toggle the file viewer, where you can view and select scripts to edit
    • note that maiden only has read/write access to files within /home/we/dust: audio, code and data – no other system files can be accessed.
    • use SFTP for accessing files outside of /home/we/dust

Let’s start with the project manager, so we can download some new community scripts!

project manager

maiden features a project manager to help you discover and download new projects. Projects contain both engines and scripts.

You can access both the base (projects from monome) and community (projects from other artists) repositories via the books icon in the left-sidebar.

installed

This tab shows which projects are currently installed on your norns.

Each entry has two actions: update and remove.

If you choose to update a project which you downloaded through maiden, please note that local modifications you have made will be overwritten. If you wish to retain multiple versions of a project, please reference the SFTP guide.

Once you update a project through the PROJECT MANAGER, you’ll see a commit number listed on the right of the project’s tile (like 34d225b). Click a project’s commit number to be brought to the project’s GitHub page, where you can learn more about the project and verify that the version you have is the latest.

If you are updating a project through the PROJECT MANAGER that was not installed by using the PROJECT MANAGER, you will receive an error that the project cannot be found in the catalog. Please delete the previously installed version and reinstall through PROJECT MANAGER, which establishes the necessary git files for future updates.

available

This tab shows which projects are available through the base and community repositories.

Whenever maiden is loaded, it automatically refreshes both catalogs. If a script is released after you’ve loaded maiden, just press the refresh all button at the top of the page and all new entries will be added.

Many projects will have informational tags like crow, drum, looper, as well as a project description. Please note that the lib tag is specifically used to indicate that a project includes both a script and an engine, which will require a device restart.

Each entry has an INSTALL action, which can be used to install the selected script.

You will have to restart norns if a freshly-installed project contains an engine

contribute & gather

The norns ecosystem was created with community as a focus. The exchange of ideas leads to new ideas.

As such, you are encouraged to share your creations with the community.

The first step is to host the sources of your script publicly, either as a git repository (e.g. on GitHub, GitLab …) or web-hosted zip archive.

Be sure you include the following block of information at the top of your script. It will serve as a brief documentation when launching it from norns.

-- scriptname
-- v1.0.0 @author
-- llllllll.co/t/22222
--
-- short script description
--
-- short usage instructions

Then, create a new thread under the norns Library on lines.

The URL in your script’s brief documentation should point to its corresponding lines Library thread. There’s a chicken-egg situation with starting a thread and uploading the project, so you may want to edit and upload your project just after creating a thread.

You can optionally declare it on norns.community, a community wiki which provides tools and a platform to create compelling documentation which helps other artists use your script.

So that anyone can do a one-click install using maiden, we encourage you to register your script in the community project repo. Please submit a pull request with the following information:

    {
      "project_name": "NAME",
      "project_url": "PROJECT_URL",
      "author": "NAME",
      "description": "WORDS",
      "discussion_url": "LINES_URL",
      "documentation_url": "DOC_URL",
      "tags": ["TAG", "TAG", "TAG"]
    },

Where project_url is the URL to the web-hosted script sources, discussion_url is a link to its lines Library thread and documentation_url is a link to its documentation page on the wiki (see norns.community).

fork

As you work with norns, you might change community scripts to integrate them into your particular toolkit. Perhaps you need to output specific ranges of MIDI messages, or maybe you’re only using Just Intonation these days.

If you wish to share your modifications with the larger community, or if you feel your changes represent a new vision, please review our living document of forking etiquette guidelines.

repl

Messages are printed in the bottom panel. There are two tabs: matron is the main lua environment, and sc is supercollider which is the engine environment.

You can use the bottom prompt to type commands which will be interpreted by the system. For example:

print("hello there")

will display the expected message in the window above.

The clear icon to the right will clear the current messages.

If you need to restart the matron/crone environment for any reason (ie, the menu system is not accessible), you can issue a command via the REPL:

;restart

This will disconnect maiden, but once matron has restarted you can reconnect.

installing scripts from GitHub

Sometimes, scripts don’t make it into the community catalog. To fetch a script that’s only hosted on a developer’s GitHub:

  • copy the URL of the lone project (eg. https://github.com/tehn/test-update)
  • in maiden’s REPL, execute:
;install https://github.com/tehn/test-update

eg.

If the fetch was successful, you’ll see:

starting...
installed "test-update"!

You will have to restart norns if a newly-installed project contains an engine

If the fetch was unsuccessful, the cause is that a script is already installed with the same name. You’ll see:

starting...
install failed: project test-update already exists in /home/we/dust/code

In which case, you just need to remove the redundant script and re-fetch.

troubleshooting

Along your norns journey, you may encounter errors printed to the norns screen like:

  • error: load fail
  • error: missing <EngineName>
  • error: SUPERCOLLIDER FAIL

These errors are straightforward to address when their cause is known – but since the norns screen is only 128 x 64 pixels, robust error logging must find a different avenue. This is where maiden’s matron (which manages the Lua scripting layer) and supercollider (which manages the synth engine layer) tabs come into play:

If you run into any errors using a script (either your own or someone else’s), maiden will print messages to each of these REPLs, depending on which layer is experiencing an issue. This extends beyond the script’s initialization – if a variable is miscalculated during play and causes instability within a script, for example, maiden will present these errors as well.

collecting logs

If an error occurs during play, it can be easy to assume others will know what’s wrong if you describe the general message (eg. “I’m excited to play with this script, but norns says ‘error: SUPERCOLLIDER FAIL’ when I try to run it”). However, those who want to help will only be able to if you share a more complete report of errors with them. To help collect all the debugging information required, we’ve included a simple logging mechanism directly on norns!

To export the matron and supercollider error text for the previous boot:

  • navigate to SYSTEM > LOG on your norns
  • press K3 twice to create a log file at dust/data/system.log
  • copy the log text to your computer via maiden or downloaded the file via SMB or SFTP

nb. If you are experiencing the issue for the first time, power-cycle your device before attempting to gather logs.

This system.log export can be more helpful than copying/pasting errors from maiden, as it will also include system configuration information which might be causing trouble which the maiden errors wouldn’t include. It’s also helpful if you don’t have maiden running at the time of the error, or you’re unable to connect to maiden for some reason while reproducing the issue, or you’re experiencing an error that repeats in a loop and can’t catch it.

Providing this information will make it easier for others to understand the specific causes of the trouble you’re experiencing and empower them to suggest helpful next steps.

example reading

While you collect this information, you might also find that certain situations produce very clear messages – for example, here’s the supercollider REPL’s output during a common occurrence of error: SUPERCOLLIDER FAIL / error: DUPLICATE ENGINES:

compiling class library...
	Found 738 primitives.
	Compiling directory '/usr/local/share/SuperCollider/SCClassLibrary'
	Compiling directory '/usr/local/share/SuperCollider/Extensions'
	Compiling directory '/home/we/.local/share/SuperCollider/Extensions'
	Compiling directory '/home/we/norns/sc/core'
	Compiling directory '/home/we/norns/sc/engines'
	Compiling directory '/home/we/dust'
ERROR: duplicate Class found: 'Engine_PolyPerc' 
/home/we/norns/sc/engines/Engine_PolyPerc.sc
/home/we/dust/code/other-stuff-i-installed/PolyPerc.sc
ERROR: There is a discrepancy.
numClassDeps 1517   gNumClasses 3032

While the first 8 lines may not mean much (they get printed every time SuperCollider loads on norns), there is a cluster of errors which can be deciphered:

ERROR: duplicate Class found: 'Engine_PolyPerc' 
/home/we/norns/sc/engines/Engine_PolyPerc.sc
/home/we/dust/code/other-stuff-i-installed/PolyPerc.sc

When chunked, we can better notice the information presented by SuperCollider:

  • there’s a duplicate of PolyPerc
  • the first one is at /home/we/norns/sc/engines/, named Engine_PolyPerc.sc
  • the other is at /home/we/dust/code/other-stuff-i-installed/, named PolyPerc.sc

It may help to remind that maiden accesses and manages files and folders within /home/we/dust/ (audio, code and data), but not any other system folders. So, the /home/we/dust/code/other-stuff-i-installed/ location must have been created when another script was installed. Also, PolyPerc is installed by default on norns at /home/we/norns/sc/engines/, which is a location we cannot access via maiden.

To resolve the issue, we’ll either want to delete the one installed in the /home/we/dust/code/other-stuff-i-installed/ folder or delete that whole folder altogether.

file viewer

The bulk of the file viewer is dedicated to the EDITOR, where you can view and edit the code of a selected script.

This panel lets you select the text you’re editing in EDITOR.

There are top bar icons for various actions: New, Delete, Duplicate, New Folder, and Rename.

nb. If you rename a file, make sure to retain its extension (eg. .lua) as you replace the filename. Otherwise, maiden will not know what type of file it is and will not load it as expected.

The >’s can be expanded to reveal a file tree. When you select a file, it will show in the EDITOR:

editor

This is where you can edit the selected script.

To the right there is a bar with three icons: disk is SAVE, PLAY will run the current script, STOP will stop and clear the currently running script.

These actions are bound to the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • CMD/CTRL-S : save

  • CMD/CTRL-P : play

  • CMD/CTRL-. : stop

The editor can be configured for various modes (default, vim, emacs) in addition to tab size and light/dark mode. Click the gear icon at the bottom left of the screen. For more about maiden’s keybindings, see the docs in the maiden repository.

realtime line evaluation

maiden’s editor also supports realtime line evaluation, which opens up new avenues for live coding from maiden.

To evaluate a line of code, place the cursor on the line and (on your keyboard) execute:

  • command + return: Mac
  • Ctrl + Enter: Windows / Linux

To evaluate many single lines of code at once, highlight each line and execute the eval key combo – maiden will automatically register the line breaks as discrete commands.

Want to give it a try? Open a new file in maiden and paste this in, then start executing:

engine.load('PolyPerc') -- load the PolyPerc engine

base = 440 -- controls the base frequency, which can be modified as the sequence runs!

-- execute this entire block:
function notes()
  while true do
    engine.pan(math.random(-1,1))
    clock.sync(1)
    engine.hz(base * math.random(3))
    clock.sync(1/3)
    engine.hz(base / math.random(6))
    clock.sync(2/3)
    engine.hz((base*3) / math.random(6))
  end
end
--- ^ that will randomly create notes if it's part of a clock coroutine, which is next!

seq = clock.run( notes ) -- start a seq clock and assign it the 'notes' function
clock.cancel(seq) -- cancel the last-started 'seq'

params:set("clock_tempo", 94 * math.random(3)) -- speed up / slow down

-- play with 'base'!
-- try canceling the clock and redefining the 'clock.sync' values in 'notes'!

programming reference

The bottom left ? icon can be used to navigate to the onboard programming reference.

You can manually open the API reference at norns.local/doc.

Also see the scripting reference.

advanced access

If you prefer to integrate norns into your existing IDE workflow, you can load maiden’s REPL and manage projects through more bare-metal tools.

terminal REPL

To access maiden’s REPL from a terminal session, SSH or screen into norns and execute:

maiden repl

Command Line Interface

Nearly all of the project management operations exposed in the maiden web UI can be accomplished on the Command Line Interface (CLI).

To access:

ssh we@norns.local
...
maiden/maiden
web editor for norns scripts

Usage:
  maiden [command]

Available Commands:
  catalog     manage the script catalog
  help        Help about any command
  project     manage dust projects
  repl        matron/crone repl
  server      run the backend server for maiden
  version     print maiden version

Flags:
      --config string   use specific config file
      --debug           enable debug logging
  -h, --help            help for maiden

Use "maiden [command] --help" for more information about a command.

The maiden backend server also has sub-commands:

ssh we@norns.local
...

#
# the catalog sub-command is useful for updating the "we" and "community"
#
~/maiden/maiden catalog help
manage the script catalog

Usage:
  maiden catalog [command]

Available Commands:
  init        init an empty catalog file
  list        list projects
  update      update configured catalogs

Flags:
  -h, --help   help for catalog

Global Flags:
      --config string   use specific config file
      --debug           enable debug logging

Use "maiden catalog [command] --help" for more information about a command.
#
# the project sub-command is installing and updating project directories
#
~/maiden/maiden project help
manage dust projects

Usage:
  maiden project [command]

Available Commands:
  install     install a script/project
  list        list installed script/project(s)
  push        push a git based project
  remove      remove a project dir
  update      update a script/project

Flags:
  -h, --help   help for project

Global Flags:
      --config string   use specific config file
      --debug           enable debug logging

Use "maiden project [command] --help" for more information about a command.
Have further usage questions? Visit the [norns: maiden](https://llllllll.co/t/norns-maiden/14052) topic on lines.