[LAD] So what do you think sucks about Linux audio ?

Dave Phillips dlphillips at woh.rr.com
Tue Feb 5 14:58:14 UTC 2013


I've been reading a lot of negative (read: vitriolic) commentary about 
the world of Linux audio development and applications. I won't bother to 
say where, just "the usual places" will have to suffice. Of greater 
interest to me is the commentary itself - it seems to boil down to the 
following plaints and lamentations (in no particular order) :

Too many distros.
Too many audio-optimized distros.
Not enough native plugins, esp. instruments.
Inconsistent support for VST/VSTi plugins.
Too many unstable/unfinished applications.
Too many  "standards" (esp. wrt plugins).
Poor external/internal session management.
Poor support for certain modes of composition (think Ableton Live).
Lack of support for contemporary hardware.
Confusion re: desktops, and GUI toolkits.
Too difficult to set up audio system.
JACK is a pain.
Too much conflict/fragmentation within the development community.

I'm not so interested in comments on the commentary, I have my own, but 
say what you will about the list. I figure that most denizens of these 
lists already have ready replies and responses to these and other 
criticisms, many of which have been voiced here previously. What I'm 
more interested in is what *you* think is missing most or just plain 
wrong about the situation. Please, try to speak your piece without 
flames or dissing other developers and/or their work. Frankly speaking, 
I've had enough of that crap, and I'm most thankful these days for such 
forum amenities as "mute user" and autodiscard, along with the standard 
filters found in mail clients.

I'm reminded of John Cage's comments regarding the behavior of the NY 
Philharmonic when they destroyed his equipment during the premire of 
Atlas Eclipticalis, something to the effect that his concerns had ceased 
to be musical and had become social, i.e. that he had to figure a way to 
allow people to be free yet behave themselves with respect towards the 
common goal (e.g. Cage's music and property). I'm going to guess that he 
was still working on that up to his death.

So, in your honest and bold opinion as user and/or developer, what do we 
lack most and what can we do without that we already have ? Please feel 
free to expand your remarks as you like. I'm planning an article on the 
topic and will likely use selected comments, subject to approval of course.



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