[LAU] Proposal: OpenDAWS (long)

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Wed Jun 6 13:05:58 EDT 2007

On Wed, 2007-06-06 at 18:21 +0200, Nick Copeland wrote:
> It seems a bit sad that any Linux advocate should be backing this operation, 
> it would cost about $1500 per year to get access to any kind of support for 
> the SDK or advice on best practices and cosiderably more if you really want 
> to participate. You could stump up $175 per year yourself to propose changes 
> as long as you can find somebody paying the full price or more to back you. 
> It is a commercial directive not an open movement. From a perspective of 
> Linux audio it is already a pain that the Midi Manufacturers Association 
> want cash for their specifications.
> So is the argument for this specification will be 'the professional 
> applications will be using it' hence it becomes the standard?
> The whole specification is delivered outside of a GPL, products using its 
> specifications are expected to pay royalty licensing and as such should not 
> be advocated as a part of any open source movement.
> The proposal here was for an open format, not a closed consortium format, 
> the difference may be subtle and is apparantly lost on some people.

I'm not entirely sure what your objections are. I have the whole AAF
spec in front of me, downloaded for free. The BBC has been pushing AAF
towards more and more open sub-standards over the years, including its
soon-to-be-released adoption of XML rather than a totally ugly AAF-only
format for the file itself. There is no licensing fee, no license, no
patents. I am almost wondering if you are looking at the same thing I
am. I've gotten excellent support from the main members of the steering
committee, who happen to work for the BBC and are quite involved in its
open source work (Dirac and more).

I am not going to spend time on supporting a "new" (i.e. LA-specific)
interchange format when the vast majority of ardour users need
interchange with proprietary applications, several of which already
support AAF (not AAF-XML, yet). It has the industry more than a decade
to get the rather pitiful state of affairs that AAF represents already,
and I don't hold out hope of any magic bullets. There is a lot of
collective wisdom that went into its design, even though it does smack
of design-by-committee.

IMO, the real problems with AAF as it currently stands is its horrendous
complexity and its inability to be filesystem neutral.


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