What is FOSS, and what is a feed?
Free/Open Source Software, or FOSS, is software created by developers who want that software source code to remain available for distribution and modification. This is acomplished through the use Free and open licences that leverage copyright law to create a "some rights reserved" situation rather than an "all rights reserved" situation.
These copyleft and permissive practices both ensure a shared commons of source code for developers to make use of, and helps engender cultures of participation and transparency. Individuals and businesses benefit through the aleviation of software costs, gaining access to learn from and/or contribute to the furtherance and betterment of these freely avaliable tools.
There are various open-source models tha businesses can use to generete profit by providing development services, hosting, and technical support for these projects. Further, the wider free culture movement exists to enourage sharing in science, the arts, and life in general.
Feeds are special form of web page that provide the bare "machine readble" data from a regular news/update page, without the style information. These feeds are meant to be read by other pieces of software, such as the part of this site that generates the Updates and River pages.
The main two feed types are "Atom" and "RSS". All GitHub hosted software projects have a feed like https://github.com/github/hub/releases.atom. Some information on all the feeds used by this site can be found here. This site also publishes all the aggregated software updates as a feed; libreav.org/updates/feed.
Linuxaudio.org is a not-for-profit consortium of libre software projects and artists, companies, institutions, organizations, and hardware vendors using Linux kernel-based systems and allied libre software for audio-related work, with an emphasis on professional tools for the music, production, recording, and broadcast industries. Most of the communication is done using mailing lists, though there are some discussion channels on Libre.Chat.
The Linuxaudio.org consortium organises the Linux Audio Conference (LAC) and otherwise aims to co-ordinate joint projects between members, collaborate on the promotion of Linux based systems for audio tasks, offer programs beneficial to members and subsequently its mission, and provide a single point of contact for prospective industry partners. Videos can be found here, here, and here.
The Sonoj Convention is an annual event in Cologne, Germany about music production with free and open source software. It features demonstrations, talks and hands-on workshops. Meet like-minded people, learn insider knowledge and tricks, participate in a one-hour production challenge. Videos can be found here.
The Quarterly Release Pact is is an informal developer agreement to aim for shared, scheduled software release dates, on the 15th (and just after) of January, April, July and October.
IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat, a synchronous communication medium where users /join a #channel and send messages to others mostly about the channel topic (and also lurk/idle). Some channels are relatively fast, so don't ask to ask, just ask, and some are very slow, and an answer might come after a day or two. Libera.Chat is the biggest IRC server for FOSS projects and groups.
Notable channels on Libera.Chat include:
- #libreav - regarding this site, with release update messages from a bot
- #lad (for developers)
- #lau (for users)
- #linuxmao (francophone only)
- #dataflow (Pure data)
- ##xenharmonic (microtonal)
- #modplug (OpenMPT)
Matrix is a modern federated chat system, upon which can be found the Ubuntu Studio Café community as well as support for Clearly Broken Software. Gitter is becoming part of Matrix, and there can be found the OSSIA chat rooms.
Zulip is a modern threaded chat system, which is used by the Mixxx community for development, support and more.
For e-mail software announcements, support and discussion;
Web boards and social news/media groups for discussion;
- linuxmao.org/forums - French
- audio4linux.de/forum - German
- lookmumnocomputer.discourse.group - diy synths
- discuss.pixls.us - photography
Other sites with related information;
- linuxmao.org (French)
Systems & Plugins
Advanced Linux Sound Architecture is a kernel interface and software framework for audio and MIDI functionality for the Linux operating system. ALSA has efficient support for all types of audio hardware, from consumer sound cards to professional multichannel audio interfaces, fully modularized sound drivers; parallel and thread-safe design; alsa-lib user space library to simplify application programming and provide higher level functionality, and support for the older Open Sound System (OSS) system.
JACK Audio Connection Kit is an audio server system, both daemon and API, that allows JACK client applications to receive and send audio, CV and MIDI signals in a synchronous, sample-accurate and low-latency graph. Originally written for the GNU/Linux operating system, it also runs on various *nix platforms, macOS and Windows. JACK can connect a number of different client applications to an audio device and also to each other. Clients are mostly external, running in their own processes as normal applications. Internal clients run within the jackd process using a loadable "plugin" interface. JACK was designed from the ground up for professional audio work. It focuses on two key areas: synchronous execution of all clients, and low latency operation. JACK usually run on top of ALSA (on Linux).
LV2 is a platform-agnostic Free Software plugin specification with a liberal license. It defines a minimal yet extensible C API for plugin code and a format for plugin "bundles". LV2 separates static semantic metadata from code, so information on the properties of installed plugins can be discovered without loading any modules or executing any third-party code. A property-centric design combined with audio, control, "control voltage" (audio-rate control), and event message (MIDI/OSC/control/GUI/etc.) ports for plugin control from UIs, other code or the outside world. Extensibility allows almost any feature to be possible within LV2.
PipeWire is a media system in early development that aims to greatly improve handling of audio and video under Linux. It provides a low-latency, graph based processing engine on top of audio and video devices that can be used to support the use cases currently handled by both PulseAudio and JACK. PipeWire was designed with a powerful security model that makes interacting with audio and video devices from containerized applications easy, with supporting Flatpak applications being the primary goal. Alongside Wayland and Flatpak, it is expected PipeWire will provide a core building block for the future of Linux application development.
New Session Manager is an OSC-based API, a set of frontend GUIs, and a growing ecosystem of conforming tools that work together to assist music production by grouping standalone program data into a portable session folder. Cross-application workflow becomes easy to manage, robust and fast. You can create a session, or project, add programs to it, and then use commands to save, start/stop, hide/show all programs at once or individually. At a later date you can then re-open the session and continue where you left off. The current NSM project is the community version of the original "NON Session Manager". Actively developed front-ends are Agordejo and RaySession.