[ardour-users] A decent sound card for Ardour

John Emmas johne53 at tiscali.co.uk
Sun Feb 11 03:04:12 PST 2007

Hi Thomas,

You were right to chastise me for mixing up Linux and the particular distro
but as Andrew pointed out, this will be a common mistake for new users.  In
any case, I've tried 7 distros to date and I can't say that any of them has
been notably better than the others in this regard.

I think it's important for me to clarify that I'm not against choice - but I
do think that choice needs to be applied sensibly.  In practical terms,
upgrading a driver isn't like running an application.  People run
applications every day of their life and it's highly desirable that they
have the freedom to choose applications and methods that suit their
own personal preferences.

However, I don't see any parallel there with driver installers.  If your
distro works well, installing new drivers should be something that you only
do "once in a blue moon".  To me, this makes it desirable that the goals of
any driver installation process should be (a) to be simple and (b) easy to
remember.  Those goals are difficult to marry with unrestricted choice.
I can't see any objection to having (say) a dozen different package
managers - but why can't they all use the same basic procedure - e.g. click
on a button marked "Check for Updates", select a particular update, click
an "Install" button and sit back while it gets on with the task.  Each
package manager can manage the installation in whatever way it sees
fit - but to the user, installations would be presented as one seamless,
easy-to-remember procedure.  To be specific, it's the multitude of
PROCEDURES that I'm objecting to.  They don't serve any useful purpose.
In fact, they only serve to make a (very occasional) process considerably
more complicated and frustrating than it needs to be.

I can see how freedom of choice is essential for applictions that people run
every day.  Indeed it enhances their overall experience - but when we're
talking about very occasional processes, too much choice actually tends to
worsen the user's experience.  Who benefits from giving the user a bad
experience?  Nobody, as far as I can tell.

Like most things in the world, the art of giving people choice lies in
recognising where it results in benefits and where it results in problems.
I'm finding out that the Linux community can be very resistant to
compromises - but compromise is sometimes necessary for the greater good.

Of course, this discussion has got nothing to do with Ardour, for which
I humbly apologise... :-)



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