[LAD] [LAU] Release: New Session Manager Version 1.3

rosea.grammostola rosea.grammostola at gmail.com
Tue Jun 23 22:24:33 CEST 2020

Ok, the cooled down version. My apology for the whitenoise.

On 6/18/20 10:09 PM, Hermann Meyer wrote:
> If you are still interested in the future of Linux Audio Session
> Management you should really be happy that the Session Management is now
> in the hands of linuxaudio.org 

It's positive that people are still working on it indeed. It's also a 
good thing that people who prefer a QT gui, have a option to use 
Argodejo (new GUI for NSM). It's positive that nsmd and a gui (argodejo) 
will be easier accessible for regular Linux users and that it's chosen 
to be the session manager to focus on and to recommend for Linuxaudio. 
It's positive that they stick with the original NSM design, not 
reinventing the wheel.

I'm not positive about the renaming to new-session-manager though. 
Non-session-manager is around for many years now, renaming it, adds 
confusion, also in relation to the existent documentation around on the 
Internet. I would really reconsider whether this change of name is 
needed and a wise thing to do. This part is also the 'hijackish' part 
for me, I know, it's free software, but still, it's a bit too much 
claiming NSM now with a whole plan behind it.

It was Jonathan himself who suggested to put nsmd in it's own 
repository, so it would be easy to package Argodejo with nsmd for the 
variety of Linux distributions (the dependency on NTK and using waf made 
it difficult to get it in distros like Debian). It would be better to 
settle around with the original developer on how to organize this. But 
with a bit more patience, this drastic approach was not needed I think. 
If a fork turned out to be the only workable option, it might have been 
better to just fork nsmd and rename that, and don't touch the 
non-session-manager (GUI) at all. The version available on the new 
github repo is not a fair replacement for the original GUI at the moment 
anyway. It has problems with the graphics. It's also not the intention 
to develop it further, so why fork and rename it.

The most important change is the change of the maintainers/developers of 
course. All though I'm sure it has positive sides in some aspects of it, 
don't forget we have NSM because of the work of Jonathan. He has come up 
with a session manager that works better then previous attempts, all 
though technically less complex it seems. Quite a accomplishment. It 
might sound good to have it labeled under 'linuxaudio' now, and aim for 
a more community driven development, but being nice and easy to each 
other isn't always good for the software. In fact, one of the reasons 
why NSM works, is because the original developer didn't make all kinds 
of compromises, for the sake of being a nice and friendly community.

So, a new way of maintaining the software, isn't success guaranteed. If 
I compare Carla with the NON tools for instance, it's a totally 
different approach to software development. Where NSM is minimal and 
restricted, Carla has lots of features, even quite some experimental 
ones. I'm not judging about which approach is better, I'm happily using 
both of them, but I'm convinced that NSM is a success because it's 
minimal, restricted and without compromises. So for session management a 
minimal approach is surely a better one imho. Also building a GUI for 
NSM, is different coffee then actually judging about if and which 
features should be implemented in NSM and how that should be done.  So, 
I've to see how this different maintainer-ship will turn out, but the 
original developer has proven that he 'gets it' when it comes to session 
management, for the others it's something we'll have to wait for and 
see. But not having the original designer of NSM as maintainer for 
whatever reason, I see it as a loss, not as improvement.

Anyway, at the end of the day, the real important thing which improves 
user experience significantly at the moment is adding NSM support to 
applications. Hacking around applications without NSM support, without 
adding NSM support itself as I also see happening, is time spending on 
the wrong things and adds only to a more confusing, less stable and a 
worse user experience imho. I'm glad this Argodejo/NSM project doesn't 
seem to take this path and I hope it keeps that way.

It has been said that there are not enough applications adding NSM 
support. I think a list of +- 30 applications isn't that bad at all 
actually, with quite some important ones included. For myself I've just 
a short list of applications that would have been nice to support NSM: 
Radium (in next release), Seq64/66 (work in progress), Hydrogen (work in 
progress), Carla-single (in roadmap), Muse (possibly maybe), Rakarrack, 
Sooperlooper, (Luppp needs a bugfix).

In meantime, the original Non-Session-Manager with the NTK toolkit is 
still available, easy to build and as I prefer it above Argodejo myself, 
I'll still be heading to the NON project and more will do so most 
likely. So you can state that it will replace the Non-Session-Manager, 
but at the end the users decide I guess and for the user it is actually 
just a matter of which GUI you prefer for the Non-Session-Manager, with 
the advantage of Argodejo being easy to package for Linux distributions 
and having a more responsive and active developer.  I think this could 
have been offered to the user in a less radical way, without releasing 
'New-Session-Manager' (which has a lot of characteristics, but being new 
is not one of them).

My 0.02$

More information about the Linux-audio-dev mailing list