A virtual ModularSynthesizer

https://vcvrack.com/

Pretty cool to play with. FreeSoftware

In particular, I was impressed with how straightforward, and reasonably well documented it is to create modules for this.

Yes, you have to write CeePlusPlus. But compared to the VST standard and other plugin standards I've looked at for music software, I think the developer has done a really good job of making writing modules

Criticism

This is a shame. Here's someone who developed a some free modules, but seems to have had a bad experience with the original creator / founder of VCVRack.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=27032669

https://aria.dog/barks/why-i-will-never-create-modules-for-vcv-rack-anymore/

It's a little bit hard to tell just from this account. Some of the criticism is that the guy is rude and doesn't handle criticism well. That might be because the guy is a full-blown asshole. Or might be the guy just feels overwhelmed with the amount of feedback and demands on him, and tried to shut everyone up to find some space.

Online, there's a thin line between being a real monster vs. being a stressed person who isn't always aware how your words come across.

The second issue is about the status of VCVRack. It's GPL-ed FreeSoftware. There's also a commercial spin-off. And the original developer has strongly discouraged people from making free forks that compete with his business model.

I have some sympathy here. I have no doubt that, especially these days, there are a great many young people who start projects and genuinely just would like a) for them to be properly free-software and inclusive communities, b) would like to earn a living from working on them, and would like to figure out a defensible business model niche, and feel some sense of "ownership" over the project.

But then find that the requirements of the two are incompatible, pull them in different directions, and lead to blameworthy decisions.

This is worth criticism, but again I don't think it's necessary "nefarious". That someone who creates a project like this is setting out to deceive and take advantage of the community.

The final issue is that the project seems to aggressively allow 3rd parties to claim ownership and take over accounts / projects belonging to someone who seems to have abandoned them. After a ridiculously short time.

Which might actually be a good policy in some senses. It encourages communal code ownership, and doesn't let the catalogue get cluttered with abandonware.

But when accounts are often in the personal name / brand of an individual. And there seems no way for them to raise an objection / veto this appropriation of their brand, then this is clearly not a good policy.

VCVRack need to allow a longer time before a project is considered "abandoned". And give the original creator a veto. Or at least force a change of name. Etc. This seems to be a problem that VCVRack could and should have handled better.

In summary, though, right now, I'm chalking this up to a tragedy of misaligned expectations and failure of communication, rather than true deliberate fuckwaddery.

But I'll keep paying attention.

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