[PD] Re: [OT] migrating to linux

Dave Phillips dlphilp at bright.net
Mon Dec 15 22:04:22 CET 2003

Marc Lavallée wrote:

>"In the Beginning was the Command Line" (Neal Stephenson):
Hear the man. Things would be *so* much more clear if everyone read this 

I somehow missed the original post that began this thread, but I'm 
assuming it was from Ken Locarnini, yes ? To be fair, IIRC Ken really 
has given Linux audio a whirl, and I believe he's still philosophically 
inclined towards open-source software in general. However, IMO it 
remains true that some higher degree of skill with computers and/or 
willingness to work with them is required to make a successful switch to 
Linux, especially for use with audio. And I'll add this URL again for 
the doubters who seem to think that we're all just twiddling bits here 
in Linux-land :


So please, don't say there's no-one making music with Linux audio 
software. I'm really tired of hearing that one...

I was a little surprised at the harshness of some of the comments I read 
(from Ken?) re: Linux playing catch-up. That charge definitely won't 
stick when Linux the system is under consideration. However, it 
definitely applies to most Linux audio software, but I'm not going to 
apologize for that condition. The plain fact is that there are a lot of 
people working like mad to turn Linux into an outstanding audio 
platform. I don't mean to be rude by saying this, but another plain fact 
is that if you're not going to help then go away and come back when 
we're ready for you. No hard feelings, we all just want to make some 
music here, but some of us have strong feelings about things like 
ownership of our tools, the ability to fix them if they're fucked up, 
and free access to their code if we suddenly want to write in an 
improvement or two. We might also have strong feelings (particularly if 
you're not from the USA) about shoving any more cash into the coffers of 
a monstrous monopoly that seems hell-bent on destroying the free 
software movement any way it can.

Now I realize that Steinberg != Micro$oft, but you can't do Steinberg 
without paying M$, and to me that's just not acceptable any longer. So I 
dedicate a lot of my time and energies into working to provide a better 
way for others who might also believe as I do (and there are a lot of 
us). I suppose I'm guilty of an altruistic impulse, but I'll feel good 
if I can help pave the way for a better experience for the next 
generation of musicians using free and open-source software.

Geez, I'm starting to sound like RMS...!

Anyway, I'm rambling and this whole discussion is 'way off-topic for the 
Pd list. I'll end by stating the following items:

    1. I run Pd with GEM from the PlanetCCRMA release, it all works fine 
    2. Projects such as AGNULA and PlanetCCRMA are the best way for a 
newbie to enter the world of Linux audio software.
    3. ALSA, Ardour, JACK, Rosegarden, Hydrogen, and many other nice 
apps are creeping towards their 1.0 releases, indicating a first wave of 
reasonably mature native Linux audio apps.
    4. A rather large number of MusicV-related apps are already quite 
solid, e.g. Csound, Pd, Common Music, CLM, and others. Lots of good 
music gets made with those apps, even on Linux.
    5. Linux is not a perfect operating system. No OS is perfect.

Sorry for the rant. Ken, I hope you took all this the right way, no 
offense is intended. I sincerely hope everyone is doing the work they 
want to do, regardless of platform. But I actually do use Linux in my 
day-to-day music activities (composing, arranging, teaching, studying) 
and find it quite workable here, so I'm a bit prickly when I think 
someone is diss'ing the penguin... ;-)

Best regards,

Dave Phillips

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