Unless you're interested in a long-winded rant mostly about me and my
perspective on LAD in general, skip this one. Otherwise, here goes:
On Tue, 2011-02-22 at 22:31 +0100, Philipp Überbacher wrote:
Maybe not true with blinders on, pretending that this community is
actually a significant portion of musicdom and not the tiny niche of
nerdery that is really is.
How many music events have you been to? At how many did you see Linux
How many albums have you listened to? How many were produced with Linux?
How many music producers do you know? How many use Linux?
For the vaaaaaast majority of music people out there the answers to each
of these are "lots" and "almost none" (or "what's Linux?").
Sure, people here obviously care - but people here are an insignificant
shred of musicdom, and designing tech exclusively for that insigificant
shred of musicdom is... well, insignificant.
Maybe you'd consider LAD a success because some bedroom nerd made a bonk
he thinks is neat. Fair enough - most of us, myself included, are such
bedroom dorks. If, however, you're going to invest a LOT of time into
this (like, "dedicate my life to" kind of time), the bar needs to be set
a little higher to justify it:
I will consider LAD a success when going to a show and seeing it being
used isn't an extremely unlikely and noteworthy occurrence like it is
I want to see/hear Ardour on a regular basis - not Ableton and Logic.
I want to see innovation in Ingen on a regular basis - not Max/MSP.
I want to see/hear LV2 plugins on a regular basis - not VST and AU.
I have no problem describing the current situation where the
overwhelming majority of music producers have absolutely no idea what
any of this technology even is as "nobody cares". I love Lignux nerdery
as much as the next guy who grew up in it, but in the greater world of
musicdom, we are, alas, still nobody.
Do I personally want to deal with porting things to OSX or Windows? Hell
no (though I may start soon, for the reasons below). Is it important to
be sure that somebody can, and would it be a good thing if they do? Hell
Also, from the perspective of a developer trying to actually support
themselves doing this, a handful of bedroom Linux audio nerds do not
donate enough to pay the rent ;). Convincing yourself that working
exclusively for the handful of nerds on this list is unsustainable (both
economically and psychologically). Former LAD developers working in
cubes on Enterprise Java do not write LAD software any more :)
> I do agree however that portability (==OS independence)
Bingo. LV2 is competing with audio plugin APIs that /are/ portable, and
it will never successfully compete with them unless/until it is as well.
Lignux will never replace OSX as The music production platform until our
plugin technology is at least as capable. A plugin that only works on
Lignux is a plugin you're probably never going to hear, is a plugin that
nobody cares about. Likewise for the plugin specification itself. The
end goal may be to get everyone here, but portability is a necessary
step along the way, or they'll just stick with what works. Right now,
though it pains me to say it, using Lignux to become a successful
producer is like trying to win the Tour de France on a plastic tricycle.
We're getting better all the time, which is definitely exciting, but
we're still a long way away.
Shouldn't we be working to make people care? Shouldn't we be working to
make the above a reality, replacing those closed and limiting
technologies with open alternatives, liberating artists? I sure think
so. I support some are more into programmatic wankery, or convincing
themselves they're super cool for running Unix since 1980, or...
whatever. Fair enough; enjoy your superior irrelevance.
All I know is that we now have real, actual, working plugins with MIDI
in/out, GUIs, waveforms, etc. and soon we'll have plugins doing things
VST couldn't dream of. Every single solitary line of code put into those
improvements to the LAD platform came out of non-hierarchical
cooperation of many people, and nobody had to cram anything down anyone
else's throat to make it happen. The proof is in the pudding.
Of course, the pudding is never perfect. Right now we have a little
toolkit compatibility problem in practise, and that's going to be solved
with more of the same thing. That same thing that is the entire reason
we have a free OS at all - despite the peanut gallery.
We'll get there, sooner or later. Help, or - please - get out of the
Apologies for taking things a bit meta and personal here, but at least
it's not a big pathetic ego war :) A little optimism and hope sure as
hell isn't going to hurt this place anyway. Anyway, talk is cheap, and
at the end of the day the ratio between actual decent work done and
amount of time spent irritating people on mailing lists says a lot about
any given developer. Mine has taken enough of a dent for one day; I'll
get back to that doing thing now.
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