[LAU] Jack max ports question

Gene Heskett gheskett at wdtv.com
Sun Aug 2 14:11:21 UTC 2015

On Sunday 02 August 2015 08:33:39 Paul Davis wrote:

> You're busy describing the relationship people should have with
> technology.
> One key aspects of your description is a feeling that I share with
> you, more or less: computers are tools and people need to know how to
> use the tools that are a part of their lives.
> Nobody is expecting a "a more intelligent elite to take all decisions
> for them" (well, perhaps not nobody, but not anyone i've met). Their
> perspective, though, is quite different. That perspective is that the
> *task* at hand is the important thing, and that the tool(s) should not
> intrude on the task unless absolutely necessary. From this
> perspective, a tool that requires them to understand and remember
> information about the *tool* is a worse tool than one which has no
> such requirement. From this perspective, tools that can be endlessly
> tinkered with are for hobbyists and oddballs, because the tools are
> never the goal, only the task, and if the tools requiring tinkering
> with in order to accomplish the task, that means that the toolmaker
> hasn't finished their work.
> I don't like this view, and I don't think it is very productive or
> healthy for society. But it isn't a new view, it isn't limited to
> computers or software, and it is VERY entrenched in modern industrial
> societies.
> >> And even when they click it, they find that JACK is running on
> >> their builtin hardware when they wanted it to use some USB device
> >> they have. Then they can't figure out how to change it.
> >
> > With a GUI in front of them inviting them to change it.
> >
> >> the number of people who do not even realize that you need to tell
> >> JACK which device to use is quite startling.
> >
> > With two or more sound cards, someone or something has to make
> > a choice. That's not really rocket science.
> This response and the previous one simply betray your status as a
> highly technical, highly experienced tinkering nerd (all said in a
> positive, respectful way). The issues with the presentation of JACK
> configuration options have nothing to do with things being "complex"
> (ala "rocket science", which also isn't really that complex :) but to
> do with psychological aspects of human/computer interaction.
> After you've talked (on IRC) to a dozen or more people who failed to
> identify the need to choose a device, and tried to ask them why they
> didn't see this need ... it is already too late. They already can no
> longer identify or remember why the choice was inobvious to them. This
> comes up at least once a week on #ardour, and every time I'm around
> for it, I've tried to gently quiz the user in a way that avoids me
> telling them the issue, to see if I can get an understanding of what
> their mental model was that managed to avoid "need to choose device".
> So far, I've been unable to do so. The closest I can get is that some
> users may have a model in which all audio going in and out of a
> computer, regardless of the number of devices, is part of a single,
> monolithic system, and that they will be able to make their choice
> about inputs and outputs once their are inside an application where
> this is necessary. I still don't think this fully captures the mental
> model that exists before someone realizes "oh yeah, I need to choose
> the device". But in some ways, it is a solid model for a particular
> class of users. Why should they have to tell JACK ahead of time what
> device to use? Why doesn't it show ALL the inputs and outputs on their
> computer, and just let them choose which ones to use? This is not a
> silly view of the universe.
> As for the "GUI inviting them to change it", that GUI included a
> selector labelled "Interface", and other labelled "Capture Device" and
> another labelled "Playback Device". If you wanted to change the device
> that JACK used (having identified the requirement to do so), which of
> these things do you think you might choose, as a less sophisticated
> user?

Much of what has been said here, both by Fons and by Paul, is 100% 
correct, and would seem to the non techie user as a need to relabel the 
device in the gui selection menu's.

I've no clue how universal it could be made to work, but forget the chips 
designation by model/device type unless theres more than one detected by 
the system, and come right out and say its the blue jack that is the mic 
input, the orange jack is the line output. etc etc. I've no doubt played 
mix & match with the color of the jack since I don't have that 

But you get the point.

The average musician doesn't care what chip is on the board as long as it 
works, but he will find the understanding a whole lot easier to grasp if 
the color of the jack for that function is identified in the gui he is 
looking at.  The mic input buttons background color s/b the color of 
that jack!  Ditto the +20db gain switch, headphones out etc etc.  

I have been under the impression that this coloring of the jacks is some 
sort of a standard observed by most card makers and motherboard makers 
where the board has onboard sound facilities, so this does not sound 
like an insurmountable problem for the gui's coders?

One of my itches that I am not equipt to scratch I guess since I'm 
currantly into CNC machine tools.  But we have people right here on this 
list who ARE equipt to do this.

All this of course falls flat on its face if the musician is color blind, 
something it seems to me they suffer from at a higher rate than the 
population in general.

But its a start on making this stuff comprehensible to someone who has 
taken the time and mastered some of Jimi Hendrix's stuff.

Shoot me down, if you can...

Cheers, Gene Heskett
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
Genes Web page <http://geneslinuxbox.net:6309/gene>

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