Forging a new path.

Susan Cragin susancragin at
Sun Apr 12 13:01:57 BST 2009

Actually, I would agree with all the points here. All the technical points, and everything else. In spades. 
Distros that do everything end up doing nothing. Dump the non-professional audio and the people that want to use it. Make this about the best audio possible. 
Linux and open source should be about user choices. But having said that, it is also about user responsibility. Open source means you can modify, you can start your own offshoot if that appeals to you. You shouldn't expect others, especially volunteers, to solve your problems. 
Volunteers do what they do because they have a personal interest, and an itch to scratch, not because they want to be customer service reps for whatever they create. 
I love installing a lean distro, and I have some technical knowledge and patience. A good basic system with a good real-time kernel, and wine (and a couple of other apps) from source or even a git repository. 
Having said that, professional linux audio is needed for amateur and professional musicians. My neighbor just got back from Africa, where he spread AIDS-awareness messages by attracting local singers to a small recording studio he set up. I use it to run speech recognition software. 
(Many of the world's courts run on Linux, not Windows, and that's the trend of the future. What price justice?) 

>I'm going to sound fairly ruthless here, but i got into UBstudio at
>Gutsy, and apart from the graphics adventure we all seem to have at
>one point or another, the install was ok, and lean. I'd definitely
>side with Susan here and dump pulseaudio. That's an extra challenge in
>a dedicated audio/video distro that we don't need. One only has to
>trawl through the mailing list to see how many times this came up, and
>for what? So users could have skype/rthymbox/etc?
>It seems that Ubstudio has tried to be all things to all users, and as
>i understand it, we have Ubuntu generic for that.
>Perhaps the reverse should be true.
>Build a really lean, dedicated audio/video distro, and let the user
>draw from that specialist repo, over the top of a generic ubuntu base.
>It's up to them if they face challenges with pulseaudio/jack/etc...,
>as a result, and they can sort it out with the main ubuntu team. I
>don't know what the regulations are for building with Ubuntu, nor how
>far you can step forward into a state of the art distro, in terms of
>developed apps, but i get the impression that it's an uphill battle to
>include recent versions of apps, because of the 'greater good' of
>Ubuntu in general. (and no criticism intended here.)
>And perhaps the question you ask Cory is the valid of all.
>What do we actually want in a dedicated audio/video distro?
>Scott made a good point, imho, about jack.
>In the current linux audio world, jack lies at the heart. It's ability
>to bring together multi app setups so effectively puts it above
>anything else we could expect to use. As an orchestral writer it has
>the elements that are missing from other OS's, who frankly should have
>built their sound systems in the 'jack' way in the first place.
>(multiple unlimited audio/midi ports, etc..)
>It's what we have, and it does it's job very well indeed. (imho)
>I will admit i got kinda irritated the day it was announced that pulse
>would be included in ubuntu by default. It felt like the concept of a
>professionally useable distro was playing second fiddle to a domestic
>user requirement, something they already had in ubuntu main anyway. I
>still don't see the reasoning behind this, and i think the inclusion
>of pulse has only contributed problems, not solved any. If devs are ok
>with coding with Jack/Alsa, and nearly all of our useable apps are
>Jackable now, with an option to route OSS and ALSA apps through Jack
>with efficient plugins, and the mighty .asoundrc option, then there's
>little need for anything else.
>We have to draw the line somewhere, and although there will always be
>those who don't like it, they do have other options, with a bit of
>elbow grease on their part. Can't please everyone, and i think UBS has
>tried to do that, to it's detriment. (And no offence to the UBS team.
>I think they've done a great job, under a lot of pressure.)
>Can i respectfully suggest the UBS project gets back to basics, which
>is something it did really well?
>Great kernel for realtime use.
>Minimal set of requirements to run the OS itself.
>Up to date audio and video apps.
>No games, no pulse, no extra players, utilities, skype, or anything
>else that isn't absolutely essential to a dedicated audio/video distro
>for making music and images.
>Give the user the option to include what they want from main repos,
>but refer them to the main repos if something goes wrong with their
>In these halycon days of multiboot, cross-platform options, UBS
>doesn't have to include all the rest of the crap. It can stick with
>excellence, and performance, and let the user reboot if he or she
>wants something outside of a pure DAW environment.
>I sound a bit hard here, but from my perspective, it seems to make
>sense to re-evaluate to a less complicated level. Users have other
>2 roubles worth, and a big thank you to the UBS team for all their
>hard work, and determination. UBS was my first distro, and as a
>composer and musician, it got me going in Linux, and helped me realise
>just how many options, and great tools, we have.
>I've become a 'source install junkie' since then, but i don't forget
>where all this started.

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