[linux-audio-dev] Linux and Standards

Frank Barknecht fbar at footils.org
Sat Oct 30 13:19:15 UTC 2004

Ivica Ico Bukvic hat gesagt: // Ivica Ico Bukvic wrote:

> Finally, just a couple days ago I was invited to serve as one of the panel
> members on Matthew Wright's discussion titled "Standards From the Computer
> Music Community" that will take place on Saturday November, 6. He wants me
> to present the Linux audio community's angle on standards and considering
> that this conference encompasses faculty as well as researchers and
> programmers from all across the World, I feel that this is a perfect
> opportunity to voice out our angle on the given topic and perhaps that way
> further expose the strengths that Linux can offer.
> I would like to share with you a short overview of my thoughts on this issue
> and would like to encourage those of you who may have additional thoughts to
> please send me your suggestions and/or corrections. 

One rather important thing to add would be, that for Linux (and
practicylly all open source software) it is crucial, that other
manufacturers adhere to standards in existance and that
standardization efforts need to be open. 

Some examples should illustrate what I mean: Things like Midi, VST,
mLan, mp3 or USB audio are all standardized. But they are different in
how the standards are created. Some of these follow open development
models, for example the USB audio specification. Others are not really
open, some aren't even fully available to open source developers, like
mp3 (which is patent protected) or Vst (is this still true?).

Using a standard thus must be possible for developers of free software
as well, which unfortunatly isn't always the case (also think
proprietary standards like several file formats etc.)

The other thing is, that even if there is a standard, manufactures
especially of hardware must follow this. Otherwise it will be hard or
impossible to support their products. Unfortunatly too many
manufactures don't follow written standards, but follow what can be
called "market standards", which often just means: "But it works on MS
Windows!" M-Audio's USB devices were such a sad case, but there are
lots of others. Every deviation from a standard to please a "market
standard" will make the work of free software developers unnecessarily
hard. This of course is intentional if some company like Microsoft is
involved (or Digidesign?), but I'm sure, several manufacturers aren't
fully aware of this issue. 

 Frank Barknecht                               _ ______footils.org__

More information about the Linux-audio-dev mailing list