waiting for professional grade

mac suemac at empire.net
Sun Dec 6 14:17:07 GMT 2009

On Sat, 2009-12-05 at 18:48 -0600, Lindsay Haisley wrote:
> <snip>
> I pretty much agree with this in general.  The "appropriate response"
> that I mean is an answer to the charge, voiced usually by people who
> don't understand F/OSS, which goes something like "If Linux people want
> to get more market share.... etc., etc."  Linux isn't about market
> share.  Generally, F/OSS progresses by virtue of effort in a gift
> economy, and developers rightly don't care about market share.  So your
> point is well taken in that the appropriate answer to "this software
> should ...." is "then jump in and make it ....".
> On the other hand, for people who are looking for a tool to do a job,
> and are not programmers, and are not satisfied with a F/OSS A/V package,
> getting involved with development may not be a realistic option, and for
> them "go buy Pro Tools" is not flippant, but very possibly good advice.
> It's not the responsibility of F/OSS developers to program according to
> the specs dictated or required by users.  Those who do get caught up in
> development are often involved in what all too often is a perpetual Work
> in Progress, which is one of the pitfalls of F/OSS development.  Some
> projects, which are well managed, are usable and mature, even in
> unstable or SVN versions (I work on the Bluefish HTML editor, which is
> one such project thanks to Olivier Sessink's capable leadership).
> Others have a perpetually unfinished feel, even in stable versions.
> ALSA was a wasteland of arcane data structures, bad or absent
> documentation, bugs, incompatibilities and other gremlins for years.  It
> seems to be a bit better these days, but it took a _long_ time.

Let me state for the record, I'm not flaming anyone or anything. So, let
me play devils advocate for a bit:

To paraphrase a lot of this thread: "F/OSS is for software geeks and
tinkers, so if you want to do creative work, that does not involve
learning or creating software, then go buy ***software application for
whatever creative art you choose*** (i.e. protools, photoshop, Adobe
studio, etc.)"

With this in mind, let's pop over to a home page, for just about any
major app under Ubuntu, for exampl let's choose Ubuntu Studio. The page
announces: "Let your creativity fly..." in big bold letters. Later it
says: "It's easy. Just...". And below that it lists: "Audio, Graphics,

Software development, system level tweaking, and learning Linux are
mentioned NO WHERE.

<devils advocate mode off>

Now I searched for the lawyer speak, in small print where it says:
"General knowledge of Linux system admin, software development,
understanding of xwindows, and other geeky stuff may be required before
successful creativity in audio, graphics, or video can be achieved." 

Couldn't find it.

Maybe this clause should be there...isn't that what's being implied by
this thread?

Basically, what's said over and over in countless forums is: if you just
want to use F/OSS because you believe it's a better way (i.e. because of
the philosophy) and you can't, for whatever reason, help make it
better(i.e. jump in and write code, fix bugs, write documentation,
etc.), leave us alone. And certainly don't point out bugs or

Side Note: there is a reason software companies have QA departments that
don't write code and all they do is point out bugs and deficiencies. I
kinda see the user base of any F/OSS app as being this department.

I guess my point is: if this stuff is only for people who have skills
and/or plenty of spare time to help in other ways, then state that up
front and scare all the other folks away immediately and don't waste
their time.

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