Bob Ham rah at bash.sh
Mon Nov 23 11:48:53 UTC 2009

On Fri, 2009-11-20 at 23:21 -0500, Paul Davis wrote:

> I am personally appalled by the debacle that LASH  turned into.


> Stemming from a proposal made years ago (by Bob Ham, I believe), LASH
> has gone more or less nowhere. It has never arrived at a stable,
> congruent and consistent specification, even via a header file.  The
> people working on the project have appeared to a casual observer like
> myself to be in constant turnover and/or constantly redesigning the
> entire system with a claim that this time it will be done right. The
> project is, quite frankly, a joke when compared to what has been
> managed with ALSA, LADSPA, JACK and even something like DSSI.

I think maybe the problem is in using the word 'project'.  I don't think
this word really applies.  Which seems to be what you're saying but then
I'm not sure anyone has really claimed such.  The tarballs that have
been released always seem to have been in some sense an RFC rather than
a final product.

You could argue that early ALSA et al. releases were RFCs but then those
*projects* had a constant list of maintainers and were the receipt of a
relatively uninterrupted devotion of time.  Really, the name "LASH" is
just a label for a set of source files that have been shared amongst
several different projects that have come and gone over time, with each
project having different goals, different maintainers and largely being
the work of one particular person.  Unfortunately, each project has
continued to use the name "LASH".

> Certainly session management is an important issue when using a weakly
> connected set of cooperating applications, and it remains almost
> entirely unsolved. I personally have no faith that any of the work on
> LASH has moved us notably closer to an actual solution to this issue,
> although I will grant that it has helped some developers to get a
> better grasp on what some of the issues actually are, and for that I
> suppose we must be grateful.

I think LASH has moved us notably closer.  It has crystallised the issue
of session management within the community.  Its presence has changed
the design and implementation of software; most significantly, Non comes
to mind but it has had a subtle influence in a wider sphere as well.

This doesn't mean much to the bedroom musician or the studio producer
sat behind Studio64 but it does mean something and I think it's unfair
to say it isn't noteworthy.  Before LASH, the upper limit of the Linux
Audio community's session management 'technology' consisted of custom
shell scripts.  That limit is now higher.


Bob Ham <rah at bash.sh>

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