[LAU] Linux Audio podcast. episode003: commenting replies

Fons Adriaensen fons at linuxaudio.org
Sat Aug 17 22:00:00 UTC 2013

On Fri, Aug 16, 2013 at 09:53:13AM -0700, J. Liles wrote:

> 4) Do it your own damn self. I'm dead serious here. This is
> how users become developers. 

This is also how we get EQ plugins that

* reduce you S/N to 50 dB or less when given LF input,
* become unstable for some settings of the controls,
  or when you move them too fast (good way to blow up
  your tweeters),
* display a graphical frequency response which is not 
  the actual one, in some cases not even close,

and dynamic processors that

* claim an attack time of less than a millisecond but
  are insensitive to much slower variations in level,
* are completely unusable if you care a bit about signal

and autotuners that massacre your signal, and all sorts
of processors with controls that are usable over less
than five percent of their range and/or produce massive
thumps when moved, etc. etc.

These are not 'bugs' that can be put right by a few
patches. This is would-be developers who do know just
enough about programming to modify some example code,
but little or nothing about audio nor DSP, and who
naively implement some equations from a textbook (in
the best case) or some web page (in most cases) without
even a hint of understanding what it does. This is why
at least 70% of all LADSPA plugins ever developed are
completely useless.

Sure, not all programming is DSP, and for most 'big'
audio-related apps the DSP parts may just be a tiny
fraction of the code. But in many cases the same 
careless attitude is prevalent when developing the
non-DSP parts.

One-liners are usually little more than peptalk
promoted by the prevailing topdogs, and I tend to
ignore them. But there is one that is IHMO very
wrong, and that's the popular 'release early'
(and often). Please don't. Make at least sure your
stuff works. Test it. Measure it. On nice aspect
of free software development is that you can work
without company policies, quality and marketing
departments, and supervisors looking over your
shoulder. Which in the end means that you, the
developer, and only you, have to assume your



A world of exhaustive, reliable metadata would be an utopia.
It's also a pipe-dream, founded on self-delusion, nerd hubris
and hysterically inflated market opportunities. (Cory Doctorow)

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