[LAD] Experience driven design and Linux Audio

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Tue Sep 30 21:47:05 UTC 2014

On Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 5:03 PM, Fons Adriaensen <fons at linuxaudio.org>

> I don't think that is a valid analogy. True, quality and ease of use
> have gone up dramatically, but:
> * that is mainly the result of fierce competition (and environmental
>   regulations which have drive manufacturers towards high-tech solutions),
>   while today's world of information technology and services revolves
>   about a few de facto monopolies, lots of hype, and a complete absence
>   of regulations.

You're focusing on h/w and OS vendors. The competition among
app/application developers is insane! There's absolutely no monopoly except
for a couple of application niches, and even there we've seen some upstarts
break down barriers previously thought to be monopolistic.

> * Cars have different features that fit various needs, and I guess
>   most people select the car they will buy by considering the balance
>   of features and cost. Which is an entirely different approach than
>   buying the latest iphone because it is the latest iphone and even
>   if you don't need it.

Again, the items on one side of the analogy are software applications, not
hardware. And people will indeed shop around and do have considerable
choice, and a wide variety of prices (including zero cost).

> * Before cars became a commodity they were the toy and status symbol
>   of the rich, not of 'car nerds' (although those exist as well).

Photoshop was (and to a limited extent still is) a very high end tool among
image editors (were it not cracked copies, it would still abolutely be a
status symbol, a sign of being a "real professional"). ProTools was this
way for a long time too. They marked you as a professional in a way
completely disconnected from anything to do with computers per se.

> * In most places, to be allowed to drive a car you don't need to
>   RTFM but you need formal training and to pass an exam. More so
>   if you drive something that's not your avarage family car or do
>   it professionally. In other words, even if car drivers may not
>   know much about the technology that makes their cars tick, they
>   are not the typical 'dumb user'.

this is where i am not sure about the appropriateness of the metaphor
either. it works in my favor to a limited extent because i prefer to think
of software as tools that one must learn to use (and must learn the depths
of the task they are tools for), in the sense that driving is a task for
which we take a similar approach - car's require training and even
certification to use. but it works against my view because of the total
separation of understanding how the car *works* versus what you do when
using a car (more or less; a bit less for a manual gear shift).
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