[LAD] Experience driven design and Linux Audio

Len Ovens len at ovenwerks.net
Thu Oct 2 04:40:10 UTC 2014

On Wed, 1 Oct 2014, Paul Davis wrote:

> Here's an interesting counterpoint or follow up point or whatever. I've queued it to
> start at the right time, listen till about 31:00 (or longer if you want). The key point
> I wanted to highlight was Gerhard's point about saying "No" to user requests. But, being
> Gerhard, he has other interesting points to make as well.
> src="//www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x26axz5?start=1530" allowfullscreen></iframe><br

An interesting chat. In his case the reasons for saying no to user 
requests might be different, though not by much.

I also realize maybe I am taking the original question off of what it was 
asking. The original talk was about something that is perhaps not 
understandable in the context of creation rather consuming. Many of the 
newer DEs are frustrating for developers (not just SW development), but 
developers even though there are many, are a very small percentage of 
computer users. Most are consumers, games and browsing are almost all that 
happens. From that POV win8, unity, gnome3, OSx, Android, etc. all make 
sense. From a developers POV (POV meaning personal use), they don't. 
Someone who is creating music, video or graphics is a developer and their 
needs are not the same as the consumer. Once that difference is pushed 
out of the way and one looks at the user experience from a developer's POV 
the "experience" that is expected is different but it is still there.

I remember having 4 or more terminals open for creating sw: One to edit 
(or more), one to try different configurations, one to compile and one to 
test. I hated the full screen way that a lot of consumer based people 
worked. Now we have a GUI with all of these things built in. Many audio 
programs have done the same thing. We have the DAW that takes a full 
screen and does everything. Linux audio has been different with separate 
tools connected together. As many of us started with tape... this makes 
sense to us. Even a home studio had many boxes wired together. If you 
wanted to add effects to one channel a separate box was used outside of 
the mixer. A sequencer was a separate box. Each synth was a separate box. 
Because of physical limitations, the wiring configuration was changed for 
each project or song... maybe more than once. Soon it was figured out that 
these routings might be changed not only to get around limitations, but 
also for artistic reasons. I think some of us miss that ability to be able 
to wire things as we wish in the monolythic SW blob. One who has worked 
with physical boxes for everything finds a simple interface difficult to 
use. They have to go looking for the bits they want. It is like having 
someone come into the studio and take any box that is not in use right now 
and put it in storage... across town, in different warehouses according to 
categories a herbalist would use.

For the newcomer who has started on a DAW based all in one box, all is 
fine, they only use the tools that are visible... Your clip says only for 
the first few months... but it does agree that the tools shape the music.

What I expect has changed, but it is still based on experience that covers 
a lot of technical advancement. I grew up in a house where all the 
electronics used tubes. I was given a transiter radio at 8 and I think 
this was the first solid state device we had. monochrome TV was pretty 
standard.... we actually got one in the house when I was 10 or so. The 
first personal computers had a row of switches on the front like a pdp8. 
An Apple computer had a 6502 in it and no mouse.

In all I am pretty happy that the consumer use of computers is as 
widespead as it is. This means that HW is relatively cheap. Really most people use 
computers in a way that could as easily (maybe better) be satisfied with 
and Xbox or Wii and a keyboard/mouse. I am glad people have not figured 
this out yet. Or may be that "set top boxes" havn't taken over.

Perhaps what I am saying is that I am quite happy to be using my computer 
in a niche market and I am glad there are enough people who think the same 
to be able to persue music the way I do.

Often people have a blurb here saying this was sent from a <Brand> mobile 
phone. perhaps I could say sent from Pine (or is it Alpine these days?) 
with a minimal text editor...

Len Ovens

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