[linux-audio-dev] New form of GPL licence that protects Linux from proprietary world [was: New powermacs?]

rm async at cc.gatech.edu
Mon Jun 23 01:38:00 UTC 2003

On Sun, Jun 22, 2003 at 11:25:58PM -0400, Ivica Bukvic wrote:
> > I don't care about Linux.
> So what in the world are you doing on a _linux_ audio dev list?

i wouldn't mind this being free-audio-dev list. although i think it
would lose some of the technical focus on the particular intricacies
of developing audio systems on linux. (to a large extent alsa and jack
have made many of the issues moot. we are really down to which release
is best for scheduling and how the whole permission/capability issue
sucks, and in all truth abandoning linux for drawin would probably cure
those :D).

> And who will fund such a development? How do you think the Linux kernel
> is being developed so fast? 

if i remember my history correctly there was a boy and his pc and an
ftp and some other folks who were bored. and *then* the corporations
came. i didn't really notice a huge amount of change in the speed of
development before and after companies came into the picture (mostly
because their focus was on things i don't use, and progress in audio
on linux has been glacial as ever (i feel). though jack seemed a huge
move forward).

linux was here before the money and it will be here when the money's
gone. and then something better will come along and linux will be
assigned to the scap heap. don't get too attached, it only makes one

but to answer the original question, if history is a guide, i guess
the taxpayers of finland will fund the development.

> So, in short, yes, I am interested in seeing larger adoption of Linux.
> It's on my agenda because I believe. And I would love to see its greater
> deployment in the academic circles since this is what my
> domain/profession is. The reason for this discussion is because I am
> trying to come up with a way to strengthen the case for Linux in
> academic audio studios. 

fair enough.  

> As it stands right now, for a good number of musicians/studios out
> there the Linux has less and less of advantages over its competitors
> (obviously in part because they fail to understand its greatest
> strength -- its freedom), and a steep learning curve working against
> it. 

i think if you're not a developer, free software doesn't make a lot of
sense with respect to why it's good and what you gain (unless the
product is outright better). for a developer, you gain a lot; you can
basically do anything you want (and are capable of), but when you are
just a lowly user, it might appear that you are merely trading one
master for another. instead of being subject to the whim of a company
that doesn't listen, you are at the whim of developers who often times
don't listen and tell you that you whine too much and should start
pulling your own weight. (and yeah that's a caricature of the actual

i would love to see wider adoption, but for a user coming from logic,
pt, cubase, and whatall, right now, it doesn't make sense. it makes
sense as a philosophical move or for technological freedom, or for
curiousity's sake, but i honestly don't see it making sense in terms
of productivity. heck, for most folks, switching sequencers is a huge
investment in time and effort.

so we are back at the original question: what do you do to drive wider

if you assume what i'm saying two paragraphs up is in some way
accurate, then it makes sense that you should make software so good
that it will make people want to switch (and once they switch to the
audio software and are happy, motivating a switch to linux is easy).

how do you fund it? convince redhat that audio is the next big
industry for linux to take on and get them to hire all of us. or keep
regular jobs to pay the bills. or go to school and con your advisor or
your prefered funding agency into giving you money to do it (or
something near enough to it: e.g. ask DARPA for a grant to develop a
system that kills puppies *while* making music...DARPA is all about
the puppy killing). or start a company and attempt to find funding for
it (vc or by starting really small and getting bigger). or start a
company to do something else entirely and then funnel some money into
moving into the audio application space. or convince someone (nat.
endowment for the humanties/arts, education dept., lots of national
governments with money out there) that the linuxmusic-for-schools idea
i mentioned before is such a great idea that they should grant a
relatively small amount of money up front for you to develop an
application suite which will pay huge dividends later. or sell
cookies. or start an audio effects house to do sound and music for
movies and then develop custom tools for doing that. start a music
hardware company building linux based gear and develop custom tools. 

i mean if one were super motivated, one could just start a company,
build a product, and then sell it and support.  easy no?  (no).

by the way what is your particular research bent/area? it seems like
that would in the short term be the easiest and most likely way of
doing it (ie grants to fund development of a foundation and set of
applications which have much greater flexibility and appeal to more
users (than say Csound, et.al.) might without the high cost and
inflexibility of proprietary solutions).

Robert Melby
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta Georgia, 30332
uucp:     ...!{decvax,hplabs,ncar,purdue,rutgers}!gatech!prism!gt4255a
Internet: async at cc.gatech.edu

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