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

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Subject: [linux-audio-user] Re: [linux-audio-dev] Poll about linux music audio app usability
From: Paul Davis (pbd_AT_op.net)
Date: Mon Jun 10 2002 - 08:46:51 EEST

>I think this raises some questions.. My feeling is that most people
>aiming to write music on this OS is expecting to have apps with super
>easy and intuitive interfaces, where you only go trough displays,
>knobs, sliders and paintabe areas.
>Why we dont have apps such as Reason, Reaktor, Sonar, Sound Forge,
>etc? I dont mean full apps, but at least projects aiming for that kind
>of thing.

Because they are really, really, really hard to write (well) and they
take a long time either way. They are classic examples of the 80/20
rule (also known as the 90/10 rule): 80% of the functionality takes
20% of the time, but the remaining 20% takes 80% of the time *and*
covers 80% of the most visible and cool features :) Ardour could
record 24 tracks of audio simultaneously more than 2 years ago - what
I originally thought was a major milestone turned out to be a tiny
pebble on the beach.

This is not like Apache, which though its ancestral line to httpd,
actually *invented* HTTP service, and was in turn connected to the
various FTP servers before it. We don't have *any* open source
examples of these kinds of programs to study. We have to (re)invent it
all as we go, and that takes time. Thats partly why MusE and Ardour
are so important - even if they ultimately are not the best tools for
Linux, they (and many other tools) start to provide large pools of
code for other programmers to see "how its done (so far)". "it" is not
the simplistic kind of playback offered by the many soundfile players,
but the complex stuff done by non-linear, EDL-based engines used by
the most desirable proprietary programs.

>We do have very powerful tools, but i have to admit that for most of
>them we have to learn some script programming.

Some people think this is a good thing because the tools are
ultimately more capable and less limiting. Others disagree.

>Do we lack good APIs? Alsa MIDI api is the best I have seen for it's
>kind. Also, sould linux apps really take this windows approach of
>making huge bloated interfaces with lots of eye candy, or should we
>try to improve on making our apps intercommunicate between eachother,
>while still giving some importance to ease of use?

Part of the point of JACK was not being forced to make this choice.


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