[linux-audio-dev] Re: linuxaudio.org
tim at orford.org
Wed Jan 14 17:29:28 EST 2004
Thanks for replying. I do hope you find this thread constructive.
While we have a different emphasise on some things, i think our
aims are broadly similar, and i dont mean to harangue you:-)
actually i hesitate to send this mail as i guess it is preventing
you from making your case properly. I think i made my initial point
re open discussions, and the thread has mostly moved onto other areas
that i dont have such strong feelings about. But anyway here goes..:-)
On Wed, Jan 14, 2004 at 05:27:07PM +0000, Daniel James wrote:
> > the problem for me is that it purports to represent linux pro audio
> > in general
> Only as far as it represents its members - what's wrong with that?
> I am trying to work with everyone here. However, the feeling I'm
> getting is that certain LAD mailing list members believe they have
> some kind of proprietary ownership over the whole area, by virtue of
> membership of a mailing list alone. That I find bizarre.
i dont see that. I think people are just expressing concern over
developments which undermine the list. Its not about 'ownership'
or 'rights', just about respect and building a commons. but I can
understand some of the more serious players finding the list relatively amateurish,
and desiring to move to a more serious front, but i hope that
doesnt backfire. Personnally i would hate to see development
fragmented any more than at present. I imagine this list is a good
way to draw in new or potential developers.
> > sound engineers are not organised as either projects or companies.
> > So can i join?
> We'll have to find some way that individuals can get involved. I'm
> very open to suggestions.
> > You cannot work with a corporation on an "equitable basis". You
> > lick their asses till they hand over the money.
> Well, that's not the way I usually work, personally speaking. I'm not
what do companies have if not money and resources?
> sure you can divide corporations into good and bad so easily. Let's
> bear in mind that many of the companies working on Linux audio are
> very small.
ok, i'm possibly using the word corporation wrongly. I will
use the term large company instead. I have nothing against
small companies, only large ones. And i agree that there is
indeed some chance of an equitable relationship with a small
company that doesnt have a large market share (and corresponding
lack of influence).
but i'm not clear which companies you are trying to court
> > > So far, Microsoft has not asked
> > > to join.
> > I'm not sure what we are sposed to make of that statement.
> File under attempts at humour.
i'll try and lighten up:-)
> > pro audio is way behind mainstream linux concerns.
> Quite. Let's see what we can do to help change that.
> > I dont see it
> > happening, but i dont want eg Steinberg here.
> If they want to produce a Linux based product, I'm afraid they can do
> it without your permission - that's libre software for you.
of course. But the question is not whether it will happen but
whether it should be encouraged.
> > Both the scale and the principle are different. OSDL and CELF are
> > 'selling' their 'product' to large-scale enterprises and hence need
> > a corporately acceptable face. With the exception of some media
> > companies, audio users are either individuals or companies of less
> > than 10.
> Most businesses are small, audio or not. Windows got to where it is
> today on the small business desktop, not through the 'enterprise'.
> Besides, just because professional-quality audio tools exist on Linux
> does not mean that they will be used exclusively by professionals.
but large corps are where the money is. If you get a nice
contract with IBM, Disney, Germany, you are set!
so do you disagree that OSDL and CELF are aimed at large
companies? I'm asking cos I dont know.
i take it then that you want to target small companies?
> > You are presenting it as a done deal.
> No, I'm presenting the beginning of a possibility.
> > You already have
> > a web page and a large number of members
> What would you say if there were no web page and no members? 'Not much
> of a project?'
i certainly wouldnt say that.
> > who have apparently agreed
> > to some fairly strong legal commitments.
> The membership policies have little legal weight - they are just an
> expression of good faith. No-one has signed anything yet.
> > 1-project coordination. a consortium should mainly concern itself
> > with represention to the outside world. Cooperation
> > should be handled using normal open development methods, imo.
> Sure, but you have to get people to agree to do open development
> > 2-promotion. Agreed that this could be useful in the future.
> That's the main focus of what I am doing personally, taking Linux to
> audio industry trade shows.
> > Currently i believe promotion should be aimed at developers not
> > users.
> There's plenty of usable software out there now. If there are no
> users, why have developers at all?
you need developers before there can be users:-)
i'm afraid i think we disagree on how useable the software is.
Imo the really good software only covers some niches at present.
I'm hesitant to go into details as that is a v tricky area of
> Besides, the LAD conference is
> already aimed at developers.
sure but surely thats in addition to and somewhat separate from any
> > I dont see how corporate involvement will help here.
> I bet you've never booked a stand at a trade show. They are
> fantastically expensive events to participate in. Without
> sponsorship, it just wouldn't happen.
Sure they're expensive. Dont fight the 'enemy' on their own
The introduction of large sums of money can change anything,
and usually not for the better. We have better weapons.
> > Should companies that have
> > no interest in pro audio or music production be involved?
> If they have a fringe interest in audio, it could be in their
> interest. What's good for pro audio - eg ALSA - may also be good for
> more general use. However, I personally wanted to concentrate on
> supporting software like JACK or Rosegarden, which is of little
> interest to mainstream users.
neither of those two projects is completed yet, although jack
nearly is. Just out of interest, are you a Rosegarden user?
I do think that Jack is terrific, but its a hard sell against
competing systems where the wiring is almost a behind the scenes
feature of a highly polished user app. Jack is not enough.
Yes the 'infrastructure' is pretty much there. Now its time to
finish building on it. I'm afraid my experiments with Rosegarden
were not encouraging. This is partly because it uses a model which
i dont personally favour, but perhaps its time for me to give it another try...
> > For such an organisation to have respect from
> > outside, it needs to be seen as representative. And to a large
> > degree your consortium already is, having most of the major players
> > as members. Therefore it speaks for me whether i want it to or not.
> I don't quite follow that. I'm not out to exclude anybody.
my point was that if the organisation is succesful then i will
have to become a member if i want to have any infuence. If i disagree
with the aims of the organisation and dont become a member then
i will be excluded from many discussions and decisions that i
perhaps have important opinions about. That is not neccesarily
a bad thing, but i just want to see it done in the best possible
> > unless you think it through some more and seriously
> > acknowledge that your actions are underiming the egalitarian nature
> > of the community and have the potential to split it
> That's a pretty serious charge.
a bit melodramatic perhaps:-)
I just wanted to point out the potential negative effects that you
had perhaps overlooked in your enthusiasm.
> I believe there's a limited window of opportunity for Linux on the
> desktop in general, and audio/music applications are just a tiny part
> of that. Pro applications are an even smaller niche. I think there's
> a serious risk that without some organised advocacy aimed at building
> a significant user base, libre software in this area will eventually
> wither away. I don't want to see that.
i dont beleive there is a limited window. The effects of the GPL
are only just beginning! It cant be stopped. Even if it
coexists with proprietory systems, i am convinced that the
successor to Linux will still be here in 20 years, and Jamin will
be the default software in mastering houses worldwide. This will
happen not because of promotion but because it is better. Too
many people have seen the good life and cannot go back to
i am reminded of the excellent Coen Bros film The Man Who Wasnt
There. He had a good thing going but ruined it by being greedy.
Of course you can find many more films with the opposite moral:-)
anyway, the think the important isssues here are:
1-which companies are you courting and why?
2-is it yet the right time for promotion? Does the software really compete
with proprietory products enough to justify major expenditure?
(btw this is taking up way too much of my time today, so i'll
probably have to go completely offline tomorrow:-))
thanks for listening:-)
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