Re: [linux-audio-user] Opening up the discussion

From: Mario Lang <mlang@email-addr-hidden>
Date: Mon Jul 25 2005 - 16:46:45 EEST

Christoph Eckert <> writes:

>> That is the point, I absolutely dont feel reading up on
>> something is necessarily a bad thing.  My hair stand up if
>> I watch a typical no-clue windows user more or less
>> randomly hitting buttons in the interface until "something"
>> works.  I do feel this "it has to work out of the box
>> without me having to know anything about it" attitude is
>> childish.
> There are two different things we should divide. There are
> users who simply have no idea what they want to do. This is
> the type you mentioned above and you're right.
> OTOH, there are users who already have knowledge about a
> certain task. These users will first try explore the UI
> before reading docs.
> Be honest: Do you read documentation when trying out a new
> webbrowser or text processor?

When I learned Emacs, the first thing I did was launch the
interactive tutorial, so yes, I do read docs, and it pays off later when
I am getting really productive with a tool.

> Certainly not. You know what
> these tools are for, and you know how to deal with text
> processors or web browsers.

But many tools have a certain viewpoint on things, and
reading the provided documentation actually helps to get that
viewpoint into the users head. The alternative is that the user
has a slightly diffrerent idea of things than the program, which leads
to pain in the users ass for (supposed) unknown reasons.

IMO, the day computers went strange was the days someone came up with
the idea of having a GUI on screen which shows all the features available
to the user at a glance. This day, users started to assume they dont need to
know a thing about the computer, which is flat out wrong. Would you
want people to drive cars without knowing a thing about driving a car? Or at
least about the rules on driving cars? No, we dont.
But if a computer user sits down and wants to get stuff done without any
mental preparation, we assume the software engineer was at fault. Thats flat
nonsense IMHO.

That said, if I honestly look at what I had to go through to get stable
audio on Linux with the tools I use, I can see that
there is currently a problem for those who are not really
interested in the nitty gritty details. Without realtime-preempt,
the xruns I am getting on my chipset are extreme, even though
I have a 2.2GHz CPU and use NO GUI AT ALL. This is obviously
a problem, and a good reason for newbies to start of with a
distribution that has been optimized for audio from the start on.
I guess we are all waiting for acceptable low latency performance
in standard kernels, but until that happens, we have a dillema.
Users will assume standard distros should actually work with low latency
audio, which simply is not the case currently.

Received on Mon Jul 25 20:15:12 2005

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