Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ardour Session File Issue Fixed-Open Source Keeps No Secrets

Yesterday I established that what was breaking my Ardour session files was giving a send the same name as an existing bus. As bugs/unwanted features go that one is pretty easy to work around.

Assuming it was a bug and not something the developers thought was a good idea I thought I should file a bug report with Ardour's issue tracker at http://tracker.ardour.org/. Before doing so I decided to do the responsible thing and make sure nobody else had already reported it. I logged in, clicked "View Issues" and searched on "bus name." Click the link below to see what I found.

http://tracker.ardour.org/view.php?id=2474


Not only was my problem a known bug but it was confirmed fixed in a newer version on May 1, 2010, about six weeks ago. Technically, the reported bug was that sends could not share a name. Apparently they could not share a name with another send or a bus.

Finding the closed bug report makes me happy for a couple of different reasons. First, how cool is it that the open development process has fixed this problem before I figured out what it was? Pretty cool.

Second, if this were a proprietary product how would I have known whether or not it was fixed? The short answer is that I probably wouldn't. I could have posted to a support forum and hoped that somebody with access to the development team read my post, found the answer and responded. Spend a few minutes on the forums at Apple, File Maker or any other closed company. This is the exception, not the rule. The support people who help out in the forums usually can't say more than "it will be fixed in an upcoming release" and that's on a good day. Patches may come out with a list of fixed bugs but there is no way of knowing how complete the list is.

So, when Ardour 2.8.8 shows up in the Ubuntu repositories I'll upgrade. Until then I will append numbers to my send names. In the mean time I will enjoy the fact that I'm using software that keeps no secrets.

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