Clarifications and background information

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Clarifications and background information

Filipe Coelho-2
Hi.
I want to clear up some recent accusations towards me and give some
background information.

Since Jonathan is temporarily banned from the list, I will do my best to
avoid personal opinions or thoughts, and just write down facts and history.
I already wrote some of this in another mailing list [1] but not
everyone is aware of it, so a few things are repeated here.


1. I "declined to answer" inquiries because I had mail filters setup so
that I would not receive more unsolicited and undesired emails (they
often contain verbal abuse). On occasion there were multiple per day,
and not just to me.


2. Taking "control of basically all the important projects and channels
of communication in Linux Audio" is a long stretch, depends on what one
finds important.

On JACK, some years ago Paul Davis publicly said he wanted to stop
maintaining JACK1. [2]
I volunteered to help maintain the code, in the case someone would take
care of other non-coding parts. [3]
Some discussion happened on that email thread, but there was no one else
that stepped up and said they wanted to maintain it.
A few months after this I met Paul in person while he was traveling
across Europe, we briefly discussed the JACK1 situation, and I mentioned
again that I would be okay with taking maintenance of JACK1, assuming it
would be for bug-fixes only.

JACK2 was a tricky situation. Nedko basically stopped doing any linux
audio development [4][5], and Stephane was too busy to keep attention to
JACK2.
At the time (around 2017) I had already studied the code quite a bit
because the company I was working for (MOD Devices) used it as its audio
engine. So there was commercial interest on keeping JACK2 alive and
working well.
It was actually other people (like Bart Brouns aka magnetophon on this
list) that suggested me to talk to Stephane to give JACK2 to me, as they
were hungry for new releases but everything was just stale. [6]

So basically taking over JACK was a result of no one else stepping up
for the job.
Kjetil Matheussen has offered to take care of the Windows side of things
for JACK2, but I disagree with his ideas on how JACK should be handled
on Windows [7], so this is purely technical.

I "took over" other things because I package a few applications for the
KXStudio repositories[8], so I have an interest to keep them running.
This has happened with dssi-vst [9] (which I gave up on due to DSSI
limitations and working Carla bridges[10]) and WineASIO [11].
There are other projects where the author did not respond to a
pull-request, so I ended up maintaining a sorta fork/PR.
For example https://github.com/nicklan/drmr/pull/12 and
https://github.com/falkTX/protrekkr/.

This is nothing new, other distribution packagers often do the same
where they have interest on keeping an application working, so they
patch the sources to make it build and run again, in a way creating a fork.
For example, https://github.com/surfacepatterns/synthclone/pull/24

All of this happens when someone is active after many years.
So your name starts to appear in things like Calf[12][13],
ZynAddSubFX[14], qjackctl[15], LMMS[16], Surge[17], etc.
This is the result/effect, not the cause.

The same thing that happens here, happens in communication channels too.
So eventually due to current maintainers either getting tired or simply
not wanting the role anymore, they give up and pass the torch to someone
else.
It is whoever it is currently active and trusted by the community in
question that ends up with these "positions".
That way I am a moderator of the #lad and #jack IRC freenode channels.
But I have no role on the mailing lists since I am not active there.

There is no hidden "agenda" here, it is purely out of wanting to do
something useful, that will benefit people and is generally appreciated.


3. The situation regarding the fork of NSM is best described by Nils
here https://linuxmusicians.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=21772&p=121745#p121745
I am not involved with the fork in any kind of leader position, Nils is
pretty much the one in charge at this point[18].
I gave my approval and suggested many possible names, also said I would
help with porting the original NTK GUI to pure FLTK.

This fork came to existence after many years of failed attempts at
working together with Jonathan in the official NSM (Unfortunately I
can't give references here because most of the discussions happened on
github tickets or pull requests and the issue tracker is now switched
off and many comments on pull requests have been deleted).
This was especially frustrating for Nils (as you can read on the
linuxmusicians.com link above) as he was quite actively trying to make
things work.

Everything escalated when RaySession[19] was added to Ubuntu, which
brought more attention to it.
Specially because back then, it reused the NSM protocol but in a way
that not strictly compatible with the original.[20]
The incompatibilities (in client behaviour) have been fixed or at least
improved since then, after Nils and Mathieu Picot (aka Houston4444,
RaySession author) spoke with each other. (as told me by Nils)
Worth noting perhaps is that up the to announcement of
new-session-manager, NON had not seen a release for some years.[21][22]

RaySession being promoted as the session manager to use in Ubuntu
worried the few of us (me, Nils and a few others) that wanted to see the
original NSM succeed.
We already had history with Jonathan; when we tried to do a few things
that were useful to us but not within his design, sometimes even minor
things like allowing to use 64x64 icons or having an option to export
the whole session as a tar file, we were met with insults. (these
discussions happened on the NON issue tracker which is now switched off)
We made a final attempt to get along and see what was the result, but
that did not turn out well.[23]
So Nils took the lead on a fork[24], with support and approval of me,
David Runge and a few others.[25]


4. In regards to the name, there was a discussion for several days if a
new name should be picked or whether to stick with the original.
Since the intention is/was not to break the protocol (as noted in "Stay
upwards and downwards compatible with original nsmd" in
new-session-manager README bullet points), it would make sense to keep
the NSM acronym as to not confuse users.
The idea being that you could use NON NSM or "new" NSM and everything
works the same as far as client applications are concerned.
Whether it was a good idea to name it "New Session Manager" is up to
interpretation.


5. The 1st public new-session-manager release announcement[24] did not
mention Jonathan's name.
This was an oversight, and we apologize for that.
No other name was mentioned (even Nils or me) except as e-mail
signature. Then and now Jonathan's name is in fact the only name in the
new-session-manager README.
We realize now that this README didn't have the best wording when
describing the project, why it exists, etc.
The "linuxaudio.org presents" in the header is not well placed there
either, and won't be present in future release announcements.

This is not a justification, but if I recall correctly, as a group we
were tired of the entire situation and drama and just wanted to see a
release out of the door so we could go on to focus on more helpful,
productive things.
In retrospect, the initial release was rushed to fit into the "Quarter
release pact"[25] schedule, and this should have been planned more
carefully.


I personally apologize for the way the release announcement was worded.
I didn't write it myself but I reviewed it. Might also be worth
mentioning that we (me, Nils and David) are not native English speakers.
Apologies as well for the whole noise.



[1]
https://listengine.tuxfamily.org/lists.tuxfamily.org/non/2021/01/threads.html
[2] https://lists.linuxaudio.org/archives/jackaudio/2016-January/000216.html
[3] https://lists.linuxaudio.org/archives/jackaudio/2016-January/000219.html
[4] https://github.com/jackaudio/jack2/commits?author=nedko
[5] https://github.com/linuxaudio/a2jmidid/commits?author=nedko
[6] https://github.com/jackaudio/jack2/issues/220
[7] https://github.com/jackaudio/jack2/issues/287
[8] https://kx.studio/Repositories:Applications
[9] https://breakfastquay.com/dssi-vst/
[10] https://kx.studio/News/?action=view&url=the-first-carla-20-beta-is-here
[11] https://kx.studio/News/?action=view&url=wineasio-v100-released
[12] https://github.com/calf-studio-gear/calf/commits?author=falktx
[13] https://github.com/calf-studio-gear/calf/issues?q=falktx
[14] https://github.com/zynaddsubfx/zynaddsubfx/commits?author=falktx
[15] https://github.com/rncbc/qjackctl/commits?author=falkTX
[16] https://github.com/LMMS/lmms/commits?author=falktx
[17] https://github.com/surge-synthesizer/surge/commits?author=falktx
[18] https://github.com/linuxaudio/new-session-manager/commits/master
[19] https://github.com/Houston4444/RaySession/
[20] https://github.com/Houston4444/RaySession/issues/41
[21] http://non.tuxfamily.org/wiki/News
[22] https://git.tuxfamily.org/non/non.git/refs/
[23] https://github.com/original-male/non/pull/276
[24]
https://github.com/linuxaudio/new-session-manager/commit/922e632317521fa50657af691597e2dfc745b637
[25] https://github.com/linuxaudio/new-session-manager/blob/master/AUTHORS
[26]
https://lists.linuxaudio.org/archives/linux-audio-announce/2020-June/002820.html
[27] https://libreav.org/article/quarterly-release-pact
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