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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Linux as a music workstation
Getting Started With Linux
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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:23 am    Post subject: Getting Started With Linux Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm starting this thread as a placeholder for links, how-to's, etc for getting started with a Linux Audio Workstation (LAW? I like that...I think I'll use it from now on Smile So in this I'll try to hit on (and explain) a few keywords for those new to linux.

1st things first: Linux is, at it's core, a complete operating system, coded by a community of programmers (not a single company or entity) over several years. It began as a "Unix for PC's" port, largely led by a man named Linus Torvalds (http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/linus/). He has somehow remained an iconic figure, and is largely responsible for signing off on what features get included in the latest kernel releases.

The Kernel: The kernel (www.kernel.org) is the "core" of the operating system. Forget what you "see" on the screen (windows, mouse pointer, etc). The kernel is behind the scenes: It allows many different programs/tasks to run on your 1 single processer. It does this by scheduling the tasks to each have a time-slice of the processor...so the processor handles 1 task for a few milliseconds, then task 2 for a couple milliseconds, etc. It's when 1 task gets "greedy" and doesn't return control to the OS that makes you feel like your system is sluggish. "Real-Time" operating systems give more power to the OS/Kernel, and the scheduler runs on a very time-based frequency. This allows things to happen, say on a sample clock rate. Latest Linux Kernels have not only support for "Real-Time" options, but also for pre-emptive tasking. This means a task that is more important, ie-higher priority, can stop a less important one, and do it's thing. This is very important for audio, since you don't want your audio recorder to loose it's turn to operate to a window drawing mechanism. 2.6 is the latest kernel, though there are patches for the 2.4 kernel to add pre-emptive & real-time features. All Linux Kernels are "released" with even decimal version numbers, "in-progress" kernels have odd versions (2.6 is released, 2.7 is the in-progress kernel until it is ready to be released as 2.8 ). The kernel also provides the mechanism for the programs to talk to hardware (via drivers)

GUI: The Graphic User Interface. Windows & MAC users don't think about this much, since there is a basic default installed, and you don't have a choice really to change it. In the Linux world, you always have choices. So, if you run into descriptions of GNOME or KDE, they are refering to the most popular graphic interfaces. GTK and Qt refer to toolkits that are used to build windows, and graphical elements. It's safe to install both on a single system, and you can switch between them. GNOME is completely open sourced freeware. KDE is free, but the licenses have certain restrictions, since it was originated by a commercial entity. As most situations in life that have more than one correct answer, (I call this art), "religions" ensue, and people become what's called "fanatics" about which choice they have made. But it comes down to you to choose what you like best. The linux community is very democratic in this way.

Distribution (or distro): Since there are choices at every corner in the linux open source world, you can be completely overwhelmed. Which version of the kernel? What settings for the kernel? What GUI? Distributions try to gather a collection of settings, programs, and features into one package, to be installed all at once. A distro then usually contains a maintanence package, to help keep all those programs up to date. Some distros aim for stability, but don't usually have the latest & greatest (Debian). Others try to incorporate all the latest ideas, at the expense of become less stable (Mandrake). Some are made for complete performance, but take ALOT of knowledge to get them working properly (Gentoo- here you actually download all source code & compile it for your system specifically). Still others are based on only using certain licenses (Debian, again), or try to look & feel like another operating system (Lindows). And yet others provide a generic package, but offer paid support (Red Hat)(Fedora Core is a community supported spin off of Red Hat).

AUDIO: Ahhh, the most important of all. Linux has finally focused on a single standard for audio, called ALSA (see www.alsa.org). ALSA is the linux equivalent of DirectX, WDM, VxD, etc. It provides the middle-man between many different programs, and your audio hardware. Another utility, called "JACK", is a virtual audio router that runs on ALSA. It allows various programs to talk to each other, in much the same way VST plug-ins can be chained together. But rather than having to run a program (some VST host like Cubase, etc), JACK runs at the system level, so in theory, it is a little more efficient. Linux's open-source equivalent of VST/VSTi, is called LADSPA.

LICENSING: Because Linux was developed by non-paid people, they developed many licensing schemes such that the Linux core remains available to everyone, and can never be "owned" or controlled by a single entity. This was quickly extended to the programs written to run on Linux, and has expanded ever since. The Free Software Foundation (www.gnu.org) is a big proponent of proper licensing, to protect free software from becoming not-free. The most popular software license is "GPL", or General Public License. It states that any software released under GPL, must ALWAYS have any derivative of a GPL licensed product to have it's source code also available. LGPL (Lesser GPL) is a bit more relaxed, and allows only those portions of a LGPL derivative product to require access to the source code as well. "Open Source" is a generic term, refering to the open sharing of the source code use to make a program. This is also refered to as "Copyleft", where the license generally protects the user, rather than "copyright", which implies protection of the creator. If you want to learn how something is done, all the code is available! Or if you want to change something to improve it...go ahead!

One last thing: CYGWIN. CYGWIN (www.cygwin.com) is a linux "library" that allows you to run many linux programs under MS Windows. Not the best for audio, since there are many herdles to jump through to talk to the audio hardware through MS windows. But, for those interested, it's a easy way to "get your feet wet" with out much commitment. Basically, CYGWIN is a middle-man that helps linux programs talk to MS Windows, and vice-versa. So it's not the most efficient method, but it's nice to have!

Well, I should get back to my paid work. More on this later.
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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Excellent, Justin. I've been using Linux for years - mostly for server functions - and I learned a lot reading this. Shocked
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diskonext



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

There is a special Linux-for-Audio distribution (based on either Debian or Redhat, your choice) called Agnula.

http://www.agnula.org/

It's a approx. 1GB download for the 3 CD-images (use one of the mirrors if you can, IRCAM is supporting one).

I'm gonna give that a go when I have some time.

-diskonext

PS. great info jk!
PS2. for direct downloads here are the mirrors, they only mirror the debian versions, though:

http://freesoftware.ircam.fr/mirrors/agnula/ (IRCAM, Paris)
http://ccrma.stanford.edu/mirrors/agnula/agnula-iso/ (CCRMA, Stanford)

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Still playing with some LiveCD's and in particular AGNULA's LiveCD 1.1.1 (the normal distro is up past 1.2, but this works for now).
http://download.agnula.org/1.1/1.1.1/demudi-live-cd_1.1.1.iso

This is a LiveCD based on Knoppix (which in turn is based on Debian). Knoppix is probably the most famous of LiveCD distros, because it has excellent hardware detection, will mount all drives in the system (even NTFS gets mounted as Read only), and is general easy to use. The AGNULA variation comes with ALSA and JACK up & running, which is very cool.

I've come across someone who built an audio recorder that has no hard-disk (to reduce noise), and put the AGNULA livecd into a compact flash card to boot from. I use an external audio device, but it's good to see an exercise like this done: it means a nice embedded version of a keyboard soft-synth is very possible Smile
http://linuxdevices.com/articles/AT8275095591.html
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mosc
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That's pretty interesting.

What is a Live CD? Do you just boot and run right of the CD with no need to run and install?

How much memory can one get on a compact flash card these days?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Good question-- but you are right. The LiveCD uses some streaming compression (referred to as a cloop filesystem) to decompress things off of the CD as needed. It is therefore helpful to have lots of memory in your system, but not necessarily required (in which case, you can have knoppix create a dos file on you harddrive that is used as a swap file, until it is no longer needed and can easily be deleted).

The upswing is that you don't have to go through the install procedure to play. The downside (generally) is that if you need to do anything special with configuration, you need to save it somewhere else, or go through the process every time you boot. Knoppix (and many LiveCDs) will recognize USB Thumb-drives, so you could carry this config info with you, or store it on some space on your harddisk.

Compact flash cards (especially microdrives) are ~$150 for 2GB these days. Since you only need a 700-800MB CD, that leaves 1.2GB for other data. Pretty cool for a portable sampler/softsynth/MIDI machine!

Those mini-ITX (and also nano-itx) motherboards are small and have very low heat (most don't need fans!). See here for more info and ideas:
http://www.mini-itx.com/


The Linux tools used to make the LiveCD are based on "mkisofs", (Make ISO Filesystem), if anyone wants to do further research.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Very interesting. It appears that the infastructure is there for anyone to make very cool products, or DIY projects. You don't need to design hardware, it's all off the shelf stuff, and the Linux software is a great, argueably the best OS. The program development environment is the best as well. The problem is that most of the software doens't run on it.

How are things going in that direction?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Lately it seems more & more manufacturers are making multi-OS programs. Hopefully it's just a matter of time before Linux becomes involved. Oddly enough, there's more Linux machines running than there are MACs. Then again, Linux folk aren't used to spending much money.

However, there is some really great development going on. Now that there are some serious drivers available, and standard APIs for audio & plugins, Linux audio is really taking off.

[url]http:www.linux-sound.org[/url] is probably the most prolific site dedicated to linux audio (and the author's book on the subject). If you check the side-bar, you can see how many options are available. There's a page dedicated to linux-audio distros, many of which are dedicated to the LiveCD format. It only takes the time to download & burn a 700MB file to try it out. I find linux now supports APCI better than windows does, and Mico$oft was in on the standard commitee for it. This is great for laptops, where IRQ managment is a pain, since you can't just move your PCI cards around to get things right.

I've been playing with a Fedora 3 install, but think I will change to something Debian. Fedora/redhat has very "heavy" kernels...patched for maximum compatibility. Debian is usually slightly dated in it's releases, but incredibly stable. However, it is also becoming very easy to tune a kernel to your system, especially with the new 2.6 kernel, since all settings of a kernel at compile time are saved in a specific file.
The difficult thing, still, is getting audio hardware to work (I have some esoteric stuff, so it's hard to find drivers that work, since the manufacturer doesn't make them). If you have an older machine, with a sound blaster or what not, it's a cakewalk to get it running though.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think mosc is moving a my post about a recent switch to linux but I thought I'd mention here as well that alsa has pretty broad m-audio support and maudio release linux drivers for all of their cards except the firewire ones.

[editor's note: see here http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-5372.html --mosc]
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If it wasnt mainly because of music production purposes I wouldnt switch entirely to Linux.

It would be nice to only have to worry about the music and not the stability of the computer. I guess the rule to never put the computer you use for music on the internet serves many different purposes.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 6:52 pm    Post subject: Any of you guys used Rosengarden?? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-5340.html


Rosengarden seems pretty cool.

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nescivi



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Another Linux Audio Distribution is Planet CCRMA:
http://ccrma.stanford.edu/planetccrma/software/

Another useful site is the Linux Audio Developers site:
http://www.linuxdj.com/audio/lad/
containing links to mailing lists for developers, users and for announcements.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:35 am    Post subject: Any of you guys used Rosengarden?? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I tried to make a Fedora 3 + Rosegarden setup.

(First I struggled a lot with Fedora itself (the Fedora 3 installer is seriously bugged).)

After several downloads of sources and binary packages, many config and build attempts, I got a half running Rosegarden; no audio, and it eventually crashed. It's very much more sparse in functionality than commercial sequencers, but looks OK for someone used to Cubase'ish sequencer.

Unfortunately the couple of attempts I've made at building a Linux DAW have failed completely. It may work for some people, but it's not working for me - And I've been programming, configuring, building and servicing computers for around 22 years (prof. Systems/Embedded developer), and consider myself computer literate... I'll make more attempts, when I can find the time (and these attempts consumes lots of that)

In my experience, as a music workstation, Linux isn't quite there yet. As much as I like Linux, it and it's applications are rapidly moving targets, and for now you really need to be a linux expert to build and maintain systems. For servers and embedded systems Linux rocks of course.

Another big Linux problem is GPL. It keeps the pros away and renders professional/commercial efforts largely non-viable.

BTW: There's also Wired and Muse, both looking a bit good...

My 2 øre,

DJ
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nescivi



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

On which points did you fail to get it together?
I managed to get everything working on my laptop, at least, that which I need. The most time I spent at the start was to get the Windows partition working again...
I agree that you still need to have some clue of what you're doing, but then again, there is a lot of support from other users, to help you with solving problems.


Quote:
Another big Linux problem is GPL. It keeps the pros away and renders professional/commercial efforts largely non-viable.


hmm... i don't see the GPL thing as a problem. Sure, it needs other business models, more focused on service than on selling items.
But the GPL is what keeps evolution going (much like Kassen's point in the copyright debate). As a developer you can improve programs, use old code that works well, and build from there, instead of having to reinvent the wheel.
You can also fix bugs in programs, especially if the maintainer has no interest in doing so, someone else can easily take over. With closed source software of firms that are no longer, this is not possible.

There are some very good programs already, which compare to professional commercial software, or even improve on it, or bring new ideas. (Jack is moving in that direction).

And slowly, Linux audio workstations are getting into the academic world; after all, it is much easier for students to work with a freely available system, then to have to pay for expensive software. And once they're hooked.... Smile
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DrJustice



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

nescivi,

It would fill many pages if I were to mention all the problems; for Rosegarden the usual stuff, e.g. dependency within dependency revealing itself, ending in an almost unresolvable situation. Tried several builds (no go) and binary packages. It was a mess and I have wasted too much time. For most musicians it is of little help that some linux experts (just about?) /manage/ to to get things working.

With a gazillion different distros and versions of everything, drivers continually changing, unpaid programmers that can't possibly go all the way... it's just too much. Music software is especially trublesome, whereas e.g. an ftp daemon is the easiset thing in linux.

I find that multiple booting is no problem at all, Win XP has fine, easy to use multiboot handling(!). Better than using LILO or Grub IMHO.

Linux is a fine free server OS, and a fun thing for IT bods, but as an end user DAW it is not ready. And end users don't see the beauty of being able to fix bugs in GPL'ed software - however all too frequently they get to see the resulting mess...

It's good that you personally don't see GPL as a problem, but those that are in a position to make commercial/professional products very often do. Open source is nice in principle, and in practice it is a good model for a lot of software. But it *is* a killer for some.

I know this almost sounds counter linux - it is not meant to at all! All my machines have linux installed. I really want a linux DAW, but ATM the Windows alternative wins both in terms of ease-of-use and even stability(!) - and I no longer have unlimited hours to hack around with linux in the hope that one day maybe I will manage to get something working on it Smile

Sorry - I don't view this through rose tinted glasses I'm afraid... (oh and just to be clear, M$ looks ugly too!)

DJ
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nescivi



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm not saying it is perfect yet for professional work. But it has come quite close to it and for me it is usable.

the reason I chose Linux as a platform was twofold: on one hand I wanted to use SuperCollider (which does not work yet as well on Windows), on the other hand, I wanted to be able to program my own stuff and I was most familiar with programming on Linux (though I started doing some Python as well, which is cross platform).

I used the Debian distribution and anything that I need, I first try to get from their packaging system. As Agnula is based on Debian, a lot of audio software is available as Debian packages.
For those things where I want to have the most up-to-date software, I download the source and build it myself.
Again, most libraries needed are found in the Debian packaging system, which is easily accessed with a graphical interface. I just click on what I want to have, download it and it gets installed. I do not even need to reboot my system Smile

I am not much into using sequencing programs or notation programs, so I did not try out Rosegarden. But I did find a good sound editor (Rezound), a multitrack editor (Ardour), a bunch of plugins (the LADSPA ones) and some nice toys like TerminatorX, to name but a few.
Most of them just downloaded and installed from the Debian servers.


I am programming on the Linux platform, but still I don't think that I'm an expert per se...
I am much for ease of use.

I have to search a lot less for programs on the internet to try something out; I don't have to look for ways to try some program out before buying it. I can just download and install; with a repository of programs that is huge and covers a lot of areas.
Yes, drivers change and get updated, but mostly for the better. And you do not *have* to change your system if you don't need it. Windows drivers also change and get updates.


the problem I had with keeping the windows partition intact had to do with not correctly resizing the ntfs partition (I found out the hard way how that works). But with some Live-CD I got it working again and everything's fine now. GRUB works smoothly.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey nescivi - I read about the linux audio conference. How about raising the issue of really getting some kind of unified stable/pro/commercial user friendly linux for music out there, with a complement of tested and configured music packages. I know there are a few attempts at music distros already, adding to the "every man and his distro"-problem. Alas there's nothing to help me, and I've spent my time budget and irritation quota for some time to come....

On another note, I'm using linux as part of a musically related contraption. It is perfect as a component of that project, and I use some non-GPL'ed libraries (bless them!) to ease the work along.

DJ
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

DrJ-

If you are interested in a commercially supported, pay-for-it and it works system, you might try Studio-to-Go! from http://www.ferventsoftware.com/. I requested an eval to review it for this forum, but haven't heard back yet. So I can't tell you if it indeed does what it should.

But it sounds like something you are looking for.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Justice, those are fine points from one perspective but hold little ground in others. In most texts and textbooks on synthesis I use "Commercial" as a word caries strong connotations of "simplified" if not "dumbed down". Using the word "professional" like that is similar, you imply comparing those people to amatures while in fact what you are saying is that they are not being paid for their code (exclusively) by the users of the code. This is totally different.

A lot of research is being done on audio by accedemic institutions and the (side)products of that efford are freely available a lot of the time. For instance, Necivi here programed a interface for wave field synthesis systems, then made that free. This system is not suddenly less valuable nor is Nescivi less professional because of this (in fact she´s one of the *only* people getting paid to work in the field since the field is so small), she´s just paid by different people then is the case in commercial software.

I resent your implication that opensource software is somehow inherently inferior or it´s writers suddenly less professional because they use a different model from Magix Music maker. The internet has resulted in a situation where young people on small or no budgets can have software way more advanced, if harder to use, then the commercail stuff *for free*. This has led to and is leading to several cultural side-effects, like it or not; people are identifying with this cluster of phenomena and are using (and abusing!) lab-grade (litterally) tools for their own purposes. Instead of looking down on this and related phenomena because the average "producer" (conotations intended) can´t use it to record blues bands or chrun out dance hits I sugest you read Kim Cascone´s "The aesthetics of falure" then rethink.

Your reasoning, if taken to it´s logical extreme, would imply the electrical guitar is inherently superior to the violin and that making the electricity generated in a field to test windmils available to the public inherently makes the researchers "unprofesional". Are you sure that is a additude you wish to maintain?

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nescivi



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The two clearest efforts for audio distributions are:

Planet CCRMA, which is supported by Stanford University. It has ongoing support, and I suppose the guy maintaining is, is partly payed by his university to do so.

the other one is Agnula, which for some time (during which it was set up) was sponsored as an EU project, which enabled them to do a lot of good work on it. It is still maintained on a voluntary basis by those involved.

The issue of getting an easy-to-setup and use system for Linux Audio is a topic that is heavily discussed and worked on by a bunch of people.

As far as I know, Linux is one of the few systems, where the interconnectivity of programs is thought of from the start.
JACK is one part of this, but there are other attempts such as "session storage" programs, which store how you interconnected your programs so that you can easily get back to that. Furthermore, OSC gets more and more supported, which means that you can transfer control data between audio programs easily.
Such efforts are something that is missing on other platforms, as developers tend to be more on their own and focused on their own product.
I feel that the Linux Audio Developers are much more aware of their program being part of a larger range of programs.
Also, something which is really nice, is that the programs are more accessible, that is, controllable via text interfaces. This has an advantage not only for visually impaired people (who are basicly blocked out from using audio software on other platforms), but also makes it easy to script the use of programs, or to incorporate one program into another.

Additionally: via sourceforge you can support the maintainers by giving them money via PayPal. If you have a serious problem with some program, this may in fact help to get the problem solved sooner than otherwise.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:

Are you sure that is a additude you wish to maintain?

Kassen mate - You've got me complete bakwards, 180 degrees wrong!

Your turn this into a personal attack and unload a lot of unreasonable stuff on my person there. I'm not sure why you want to pick apart the word "Commercial" and me etc.. Suffice to say you're completely wrong about my person, and you attribute false characteristics to me.

I'm very sorry to see such a posting and also very sorry if I've somehow offended you. I will not discuss this matter further, though; it can only lead to an ugly flamefest which is the last thing I want to be a part of.

Damn!

DJ out
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DrJustice



Joined: Sep 13, 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jk, that looks very intersting indeed!

I'll chek it out in detail later. Right now I have to let off some steam instead Smile

DJ
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mosc
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
I resent your implication that opensource software is somehow inherently inferior or it´s writers suddenly less professional because they use a different model from Magix Music maker.

I'm not sure that's what Dr. Justice implied. I'm not sure there is anything to resent in his comments.

I love open source - this server and web site would be impossible without the hundreds of people behind the scenes to make the software we are using. The support is excellent; the best.

Still, opensource software is generally difficult for people who want the turn-key system. In many cases it is harder to use unless you are a programmer. This isn't always the case. I'm thinking of MYSQL, the database engine we are running. I can't believe who good it is. It is easy to install, has a great manual, it has never had a single error in three years. I would rather use it than Sybase or Oracle. The Apache web server is outstanding. PHP is superb. The list goes on and on. I don't think Dr. J. disagrees with any of this.

I understand what he's saying though, it isn't quite ready for prime time as a DAW. That's because the audio device makers and the software developers aren't targeting Linux as a platform. Some are, but the vast majority of them aren't.

I expect something will happen that will change this. Being able to run on a supercomputer of multi boxes will be compelling. But the people to convince aren't here on electro-music.com, they are at MOTU, Cakewalk, Abelton, NI, etc.

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DrJustice



Joined: Sep 13, 2004
Posts: 2044
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ahh well...cooled off some Smile

For the sake of preserving peace, I will clarify:

I love linux and I have the greatest respect for the open source community and academia. I do not look down on anybody. Quite the opposite.

My usage of the professional/commercial term is a (common) wording to describe a monetary funded development that can pay people and provide resources in a coherent environment to make products which are normally not possible in a non pro/com setting. It has nothing to do with whether open source programmers are good or are making good software or not - I might add that both the coders and their produce are generally very good!
Edit to add: said paid people are often the very same people that does opens source development in their spare time or between bouts on a payroll.

As for logical extremes, I will leave that. My points about the position of linux and GPL remains. There is more to be said about the original issue, but perhaps in a different climate.

DJ
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Kassen
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Joined: Jul 06, 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well, perhaps I did indeed take your comments the wrong way. lately I´ve been having a huge problem here trying to explain some concepts I previously believed to be self-evident and it was your phrase
Quote:
Another big Linux problem is GPL. It keeps the pros away and renders professional/commercial efforts largely non-viable.
that made me believe you too were convinced of some of the rather remarkable points of view I saw. Apologies if this was too harsh.

However, It´s still not at all clear to me how the finantial situation of the programer is supposed to influece the quality of his work or why people in the commercial field are supposed to deliver better quality then those in the accedemic world. For some reason this is a additude prevailent in the musical world, in many interviews people wish to know wether you make music "full time to earn your money", it´s a question that pops up much more often then all questions on aesthetics combined, in my experience. I find that strange and a sadening sign of the times. It´s also largely without foundation since the open source programing languages are still far, far ahead of commercial initiatives. In fact I can´t think of a single (real) form of synthesis developed by a commercial company without borowing from the accedemic world (LA synthesis does not count)


When it comes down to it; yes, I do think it´s insulting to many people to imply there is a need for "professional/commercial efforts". Perhaps I read it wrong but to me that remark implies many people for whom I have a huge respect are somehow less profesional by gpl-ing their work. Admittedly that move, by itself, need not be a part of their profession (though it may be) and perhaps you do not share the common idea that "profesionals" somehow deliver better work then non-profesionals, but I´ve grown to expect people intend such remarks in a negative way. I was strengthened in that Idea by you repeatedly mentioning more "professional/commercial" programs are needed on Linux for you to be able to do what you want.

I also think it´s degrading towards the whole community of people who are working on Linux for artistic reasons when making musical works with a additude critical of commercial mainstream culture.

If I misunderstood what you meant and none of those implications were intended then I am realy sorry. Perhaps it would help if you would indicate what we would gain by having more profesional people (in whatever sense of the word, but please indicate which one you use) and more businesses involved in Linux audio?

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