Why can't i access /dev/dsp or /dev/snd on my XO

Albert Cahalan acahalan at gmail.com
Sun Jan 20 05:18:33 EST 2008

On Jan 20, 2008 3:27 AM, victor <Victor.Lazzarini at nuim.ie> wrote:

> What you say does not make any sense to me. The MIDI
> standard is *one* of many, and in fact the poorest of them
> all. Besides Csound is probably the most used computer music
> language with composers of Computer Music and its
> score an integral part of it.

I know every developer wants to believe that their own
file format is a standard (and a good one too!), but come
on now. I went looking for stuff that supports csound.
I found **one** program, about 5 wrappers (at least one
of which also supported MIDI), and **zero** hardware.
The situation with MIDI is radically different; there are
a tremendous number of MIDI programs and devices.

Perhaps it will be more obvious this way:

Notice that the XO ships with a paint program. Suppose
that the author invented a nifty new image format. Would
it be good to use this format?

Notice that the XO ships with a word processor. This
word processor could use RTF, OpenDocument, OOXML,
TeX, *roff, XHTML... or a custom format that the authors
just happen to have invented. What do you think, go with
the custom format?

Notice that the XO lets you record sound. The most
popular unpatented format was used. The authors could
have invented their own sound format and used that though.
See any problems with doing that?

> But it is not the only way that
> can be used to run it: MIDI, OSC, API event calls, etc.,
> are also possible.

Excellent. You're ready to drop the non-standard stuff.

> If anything we should promote better standards than limit
> ourselves to a very poor one.

MIDI looks damn good to me.

If you really think you have it beat though, go get an RFC and
an ISO standard. Get multiple major hardware manufacturers
to start building your new standard into their hardware. See if
you can get Microsoft and Apple to follow. Then maybe it will
be time to begin the process of slowly saying goodbye to MIDI.
Only then does the format belong on the XO.

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