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

Dominique Michel dominique.michel at vtxnet.ch
Wed Feb 6 03:27:23 UTC 2013

Le Tue, 05 Feb 2013 09:58:14 -0500,
Dave Phillips <dlphillips at woh.rr.com> a écrit :

> Greetings,
> 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.

Every OS is different. The main difference between linux and the other
OS is than we don't have, on linux, big tools that make every thing but
the coffee. We have instead a huge collection of tools, each ones of
them making one thing, and sometime we have duplicated tools, which
make possible to follow different ways.

That imply we need documentation to guide a newbie or a non geek
musician trough all those tools, showing them which tool can make
what and how to set up those tool, and at least as important, which
tool, or which chain of tools, can be used to make a given task.

I also think we must have in mind than most peoples are not rational.
They are more receptive to publicity than to rational thinking or
technical concepts. Musicians and the like are not exceptions. This is
why at the first place, they feel bad instead of fell free when they
show different (audio optimized) distributions, different GUI, WM,
desktop, sound servers, plugins API, ... And this is true also with
linux audio. Sometime (often), we have different ways to make
a task, and many peoples new to linux feel very bad with this
situation. But that's what GNU/linux is about: freedom like in free

We don't make publicity. The only way to address that lack of publicity
is to make easy to follow documentation which explain how to do things,
and explore the different possibilities an user can encounter to make
a given task, so they will eventually begin to feel free and fly on
the linux audio world.


> 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.
> <aside>
> 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.
> </aside>
> 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.
> Best,
> dp
> _______________________________________________
> Linux-audio-dev mailing list
> Linux-audio-dev at lists.linuxaudio.org
> http://lists.linuxaudio.org/listinfo/linux-audio-dev

"We have the heroes we deserve."

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