Re: [linux-audio-user] Poll about linux music audio app usability

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Subject: Re: [linux-audio-user] Poll about linux music audio app usability
From: Joseph Zitt (
Date: Mon Jun 10 2002 - 11:33:14 EEST

On Mon, Jun 10, 2002 at 04:18:58PM +0900, Patrick Shirkey wrote:
> Yes it's true that for a lot of people getting things working in Linux
> is not fun or challenging just a PITA. I have begun to believe that
> either way if you are serious about Linux as a viable alternative then
> you should should be prepared to go through the motions.

Hmm. This may get into wider issues than the list's focus...

But I did a tour a few months ago, on which I was using my laptop
running PD under Linux. I was pleased to be able to tell people about
Linux, and that the entire process was done via Free Software. I hoped
that some people might have been encouraged to try to put together a
similar setup themselves. (Some were taking notes.) Now: how will the
much greater trouble that they would have getting things working under
Linux help them to believe it is "a viable alternative"? Should I have
warned them that unless they were deeply into munging about with the
deep juju of the kernel, they should stick to Windows?

And about a month ago, I changed from RedHat 7.2 to 7.3 -- a disastrous
process, in which bugs in the installer itself (and unconscionable
design choices made in its error reporting) left no choice but to wipe
the Linux partitions clean and install from scratch (the bugs finally
requiring me to install 7.2 then get as far as I could into an upgrade
to 7.3 as I could be for the installer crashed again).

Since then, while I have most of my stuff working again, I've been
unable to use my USB-audio interface, which had been working fine
previously. I've also been unable to get my USB-MIDI keyboard working.
I've gotten patches, READMEs, and FAQs galore, and haven't been able
to get things working. And there are no users groups around here to
get help with sitting down with the machine and banging on it until it

Facing a deadline, I implemented the PD patch for the new project under
Windows 98. (I made sure that I didn't use any Windows-specific
externals, so if I ever get the Linux audio stuff working again, it
should run identically there.)

I would love to be doing this under Linux, and to be able to continue
to evangelize about doing it. But my experience is showing that this
is proving to be a problem.

So: are the apps there? Yeah, in the abstract. But, returning to what
the poll asks: without the guts working, the apps are irrelevant.

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