[linux-audio-user] Finale for Linux

ricktaylor at speakeasy.net ricktaylor at speakeasy.net
Tue Jul 13 16:01:37 EDT 2004

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chris Pickett [mailto:chris.pickett at mail.mcgill.ca]
> Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 05:06 PM
> To: 'A list for linux audio users'
> Subject: Re: [linux-audio-user] Finale for Linux
> RickTaylor at Speakeasy.Net wrote:
> > On 12-Jul-2004 Chris Pickett wrote:
> > }  Just a clarification: everything is copyrighted, unless it is explicitly 
> > }  released into the public domain.  That's why these licenses work.
> > 
> >  I'm familiar with copyrights. :} Artists have been using them since, maybe,
> > before programmers.
> You did say, "linux audio... copyrighted stuff to
> pretty much excluded," and later, "Much of that software is
> copyrighted," so I don't think that was particularly unfair.
> > }  The truncated paragraph said:
> > }  
> > }  "However, non-free software companies often want to create vendor
> > }  lock-in, and they've shown a good way to do this is to decrease
> > }  interoperability between programs and flexibility in the system.  They
> > }  allow for only one box per program, and furthermore make one subscribe
> > }  to their whole subsystem of boxes to get something usable.  It's like
> > }  when Lego started making wall pieces instead of just individual blocks
> > }  to build them."
> > 
> >  You mean like the idea that Jack works with only a select set of programs?
> I wasn't aware that Jack not operating with all programs was a
> competitive thing, and involved money or patents or nasty licensing at 
> all ... I thought it was because other apps simply hadn't caught up yet. 
>   I guess I'll have to read about it a bit.

 Don't get too serious about it... I just tossed that out as an example. It's probably a bad one. It "is" simply for the sake of discussion. I'm not sugggesting that there's anything evil afoot. 

 Why do other programs need to "catch up" with a program that's designed to enable them?

> > }  I realize the Lego analogy is a little broken.
> > }  
> > }  Anyway, at the end of the day, if Linux Audio started to need non-free 
> > }  stuff to be good, I'd just buy a Mac.  For me, the core of what makes 
> > 
> >  Linux has always included a large number of non-free programs. If you're
> > obsessive like I am and run around checking out every available program that
> > a given platform has to offer... Linux can include a very large number of
> > traditionally copyrighted and commercial programs. I think linux needs to
> > include a number of large commercial offerings like those solutions provided by
> > Oracle and IBM. {Money... and all of the benefits that might be derived from
> > it.}
> I think those kind of things can help corporations who have more money 
> than time to throw at a problem, but am unclear as to the benefit that 
> the ordinary user derives from them, although it probably exists.

 :} Trickle down software economics.

 In this case I think it has some basis in fact:

 "Sgi has a fairly large corporate structure in place... they devlop software. They have the means to make software that is "Sgi-like" {for lack of a better word.} If they give you their software {which is a unique product of their capabilities, market and experiences.} and you give them yours in return... everyone benefits."

 You use their tools to make a buck... you benefit. 

 You both benefit at different levels.

> >  To me... the variety of choices available on linux is much more important than
> > the open source thing... The copyleft idea strikes me as a really usable and
> > actually somewhat noble alternative to a traditional corporate structure... The
> > idea of an entirely open source strikes me as a bit dillettante and maybe a bit
> > too high minded and idealistic to be practical. It's simply too open to
> > politics, cliquishness and similar sorts of abuse {even racism... see Elvis} to
> > be practical. {:} 'Course I sometimes feel this way about the internet itself.
> > I'm probably wrong in those feelings. I don't think I am in my feelings about
> > "open source".}
> To my knowledge, my system is entirely open source, with the exception
> of acroread and flash, and it runs well.  On the desktop, I think 
> paid-for corporate involvement can help with unification efforts, 
> packaging, and hardware support issues, but that it's better if the 
> changes are freed eventually.

 I'm thinking that both flash and pdf are pretty nice additions to linux. I don't think the changes can help but be "freed" occasionally. {Regardless of license.}

 Maybe we need to specify what we mean by "open source".

> > }  the whole thing tick and even worth using at all (ignoring the wonderful 
> > }  unix-y benefits that Macs now have too) is that it's free.  I think the 
> > }  reaction, "Everyone else is releasing free stuff, you can bloody well 
> > }  release free stuff too!" isn't entirely unjustified.  As for music 
> > 
> >  I think it's totally unjustified and that it's that very attitude that is at
> > the heart of the problem I described above.
> I give away free time to F/OSS, and have made less-than-profitable 
> career choices (i.e. grad school) so that I could hack on free software, 
> why should I be expected to receive with open arms people who want to 
> build upon this free base and not give back, let alone _pay_ for it?

 Because you made that choice?

> > }  shareware developers, frankly I think they'd have a better time writing
> > }  for OS X anyway, as a real shareware community actually exists.
> > 
> >  Then they should just go away?
> I think corporations are the only ones really willing to pay for
> individual applications on Linux.  I'm personally not shelling out for
> shareware when I can read, test, and contribute to free software.  Time
> is money, I guess, and that's how I'd like to pay, even if it costs me 
> more after the conversion (which indicates "libre" is more important 
> than "gratis" to me).  I think other people feel the same way.

 I had the impression they have nothing to do with each other

> So, yes, from a business perspective, shareware developers for Linux 
> should go away and target OS X instead.  From an ethical perspective, as 
> long as I'm not forced to use it and there always exist alternatives, I 
> guess I don't mind.  I start to mind when everybody just uses the 
> non-free stuff and this results in the death of otherwise good free 
> projects.
> Like Tim just said, I think we're just gonna have to agree to disagree, 
> since I'm not likely to convince you that 100% free is a good and 
> realistic thing, and you're not likely to convince me otherwise (I know 
> _I'm_ starting to repeat myself).  I hope at least we can see a little 
> where the other is coming from now :)

  :} Tim's message was first in the queue. I answered this there.

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