Originally Posted by matt thomas
I realize what Jack does, its just very "shareware" like to have to install something like this, then the actual program is half a shareware program anyway, so theres basically three parts: Jack (shareware) Ardour (shareware)
As the original author of both JACK and lead developer of Ardour, I'd just to clarify a couple of things here.
Whenever anyone considers distributing a program that relies on an inter-application audio interconnect, the question is going to arise: do we bundle the interconnect with the application, in case the user doesn't have it already, or do we tell the user to install the interconnect separately since (a) it is trivial to do (b) has uses beyond our specific application (c) helps educate the user about the potential and capabilities of their system.
If we bundled JACK with Ardour or Mixbus so that it was "invisible", you wouldn't be able to use it for its primary intended purpose - connecting to other (CoreAudio) applications. It might be nicer for the very first time use, but not long after that, users will be asking how to wire into Logic or something else, and at that point things get complex because they will now effectively have two versions of JACK that Ardour or Mixbus knows about. How to choose which one? It justs gets way to complex for most users. One other option that we could have taken would be to include JACK and install it so that its not "invisible". We did consider this for both Ardour and Mixbus, but decided for a variety of reasons that it wasn't the best choice. This is particularly true now that JACK is being forced by Apple to play catch up with Snow Leopard.
Hence the decision to tell users to install JackOSX separately. Even if you don't use Mixbus, you can still benefit from JACK on your OS X machine.
Finally, I sense a certain kind of perjorative tone in your use of the term "shareware". First of all, it is not technically correct that Ardour or JACK are "shareware". They are licensed under the GPL, which means the source code is available and there are specific license obligations and freedoms. Second, these are programs that have been worked on over many years by many incredibly skilled programmers, and have been funded by not just users but SSL, SAE, Harrison and others (I'd love to name one of the others, but there's an NDA on that). I don't know if you intend to sound derogatory or dismissive of this software, but if you did, I'd encourage you to think again. The fact that I didn't form a company to develop this software is no more significant than the fact that Linus Torvalds didn't form a company to develop Linux, and I suspect even you may be aware of the significance of that software, even if just in terms of the internet itself. I understand that you may believe that anybody who is serious about developing quality software would form a normal for-profit company to do so, but I can assure you that this is not the case in the current world of software engineering.