Jump to content

API for 3rd party development HX Edit


Recommended Posts

I was curious if there is a developers kit that would allow for interfacing with HX edit.  I'm considering writing a librarian utility for my preset management and it would be cool to go the extra mile and be able to integrate with HX edit directly.

I doubt a programmatic interface with HX Edit would be worth having given that HX Edit itself is just a simple visual interface to the embedded functionality in the Helix.  In terms of a librarian utility, the presets themselves are stored in a standard data description format which could easily be manipulated directly.  Short of that the only open source interface that would be worth having would the the programmatic interface that's used my HX Edit to interface with the Helix units.  But as Shanecgriffo points out, that may not be something Line 6 would want to risk having out there for the possibility of it causing problems with Helix units due to poor programming or insufficient testing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've done a significant amount of work on a tool for analyzing IR usage in a 'backup' which at that time meant an organized collection of preset files and IRs as exported from the Helix app. An API like you're describing would have been enormously helpful, but my inquiries to various Line 6 folks about that were never responded to, no doubt for the reasons discussed above, and lack of desire to spend dev hours documenting and supporting such a thing if it exists, and creating it if not.


When 2.30 came out, I took a step back on my project, because the new Backup functionality in the editor is so superior to previous strategies that it's no longer reasonable to work from individual preset and IR files (to the extent it ever was). A tool like that really needs to read actual backup files, among other reasons because rational users will stop using 3-digit prefixes on IR names to track IR locations, and that's the only way for an external app to know that info from an exported set of IR files.


Unfortunately, 2.30 backups are binary files that I don't know how to read, yet, hopefully. Earlier versions appeared to be using gzip internally. I never got to the bottom of unpacking those, but I was willing to use the plain preset and numbered IR files instead. As of 2.30 I really think I need to read full backups, but there's no obvious evidence gzip is in play, and haven't had more than a few minutes to investigate.


If anyone has figured out how to unpack post-2.30 backup files, ideally in Java or ColdFusion, please ping me. Once I know how to read that binary data, it should be relatively easy to migrate my app to work from there, assuming the internal structure of a preset hasn't radically changed. That wouldn't mean my app is "done", but it would be a great help.


Of course the next step after analyzing IR usage is to let you reorder your IRs (like to get rid on unused ones and compact the used ones together to make room for new), while adjusting your existing presets for the new locations. Since preset files are simple JSON, that wouldn't be super hard for individual preset files, but post 2.30, it would require rewriting those binary backup files. No idea how hard that'd be until we know how to read them.


Just to say it, analyzing backups is pretty risk free, worst you can do is be wrong. *Writing* backup or preset files is a whole other thing, since there's some risk of corrupting the data, and worst case, locking up a Helix. I don't mean to be FUD-ing here, just realistic. Examining the data is a necessary first step, then we can think about the risks of creating or modifying it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't think loading a corrupt backup would brick a device such that a hardware factory reset (Holding switches 9 and 10 while powering up the device) couldn't fix.


You should ask Line6 for those specs.  Let them know you'd be willing to sign on non-disclosure if that is what it takes.  Then report back here.  It would be interesting to know how forward thinking of a company Line6 really is. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I appreciate it. I'll still be pushing for line 6 to at the very least release some good schema info on the presets so those of us that want to tinker at least know the boundaries of the format.

Sorry to rain on your parade, but you may as well be asking the CEO for a video of his last colonoscopy....most of the time they won't admit what time it is, let alone divulge anything they consider even remotely proprietary.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...
On 12/11/2017 at 5:53 AM, shanecgriffo said:

i very much doubt it..

there was a discussion about open source stuff a while ago but the thread didn't last long, i just can't imagine it would be something that would happen.. imagine if a piece of 3rd party software bricked everyones helix..


The problem with this argument is that if it is open source, any pull request with changes to source code that would brick anyone's Helix, let alone everyone's, would almost certainly be exposed and either declined or changes requred before it could be merged back into the master branch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...