[Consortium] Re: [linux-audio-dev] Re: linuxaudio.org

Marek Peteraj marpet at naex.sk
Fri Jan 23 13:33:26 EST 2004

On Thu, 2004-01-22 at 11:39, Daniel James wrote:
> > > Just to say  that obviously the consortium  is not entirely made
> > > up of corporate  "wolves"    who don't know   or  don't  care 
> > > about freedom (honestly I don't  see how one could reach  this
> > > conclusion looking at the current members' list, but anyway).
> >
> > Compare 4Front vs. ALSA
> OK, let's do that. 4Front is a company which produces both proprietary 
> (OSS) and libre software (xmms). It has a couple of staff and a 
> modest turnover. ALSA developers are employed by Novell, which now 
> also produces both kinds of software. Apart from being the granddaddy 
> of proprietary networks, Novell is a multi-million dollar 
> multi-national company which probably has thousands of staff.
> The idea that OSS is 'corporate' but ALSA is not just makes me laugh. 
> Even when it was sponsored by SUSE, the ALSA project had far bigger 
> corporate backing than 4Front. SUSE was invested in substantially by 
> IBM and other companies over many years.

ALSA is a part of the 2.6 kernel. The *real* corporate backing comes
from companies which produce audiocards(which is close to zero).
Corporate backing such as that you mentioned regarding ALSA won't help
you much if you have to beg your XY company for specifications. Very few
companies (such as RME or audioscience) were kind enough to provide
hardware and specifications or drivers. And you can forget about NDAs if
it comes to open source sw.

The ideal situation would be - companies contribute drivers for their hw
to the ALSA project. 

I'm not saying 4Front is an evil company(i don't know), but there is a
conflict of interests - alsa vs. oss. 


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