Old 11-15-2018, 01:52 AM   #1
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Default Why isn't Reaper Open Source?

Heya, @devs:

Why you decided to make Reaper Closed Source?

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Old 11-15-2018, 02:20 AM   #2
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https://www.askjf.com/index.php?q=4264s
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Old 11-15-2018, 02:34 AM   #3
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Why on earth should you expect it to be?
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Old 11-15-2018, 02:54 AM   #4
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Why on earth should you expect it to be?
Well I think to wonder or ask why is not that unreasonable as Justin seems to be not against or even pro open source in general.

See e.g. WDL, LiceCap.
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Old 11-15-2018, 03:18 AM   #5
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He's got to make a living somehow though!
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Old 11-15-2018, 04:01 AM   #6
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It pretty much is.

The core may be closed, but on top of that it's almost infinitely scriptable in a way no other DAW is. Best of both worlds, I'd say. Stable official releases and unparalleled user customisability. I'd also conjecture that efficient audio processing requires a degree of organic low-level design that probably doesn't lend itself well to wide community coding. I doubt it could be improved significantly by crowd effort.

Most of the team have worked on other audio software in the past and the field is quite mature - there are just some baseline optimum ways of doing things.

Bear in mind also that the Cockos team actively monitor these forums. No other software company that I'm aware of fixes bugs and addresses user requests as regularly and rapidly. In that sense, it's almost open source, just on the level of contributing ideas rather than tinkering with the code.

And if by open source, you mean free - being uncrippled to try, it's effectively donationware.

PS I'm not sure of the legal details, but to my knowledge at least two of the four supported scripting languages are purely open source.
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Old 11-15-2018, 04:14 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jason Lyon View Post
I'm not sure of the legal details, but to my knowledge at least two of the four supported scripting languages are purely open source.
But none of the scripting language implementations/extensions in Reaper are themselves open source. One is stuck with how Cockos implements the scripting languages to be used.

C or C++ extension plugins can add new API functions compatible with the scripting languages but for example with Lua the situation isn't ideal. (Things can get quite messy to deal with, both on the C or C++ and the Lua scripting side.) In any case, it is more or less be possible to add completely custom scripting language support too, which I have been considering doing myself for Lua.
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Old 11-15-2018, 05:39 AM   #8
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Why aren't your bank account numbers open source? How 'bout your SS Id? Can you please post a picture of your drivers license and birth certificate? I can't respond to your post until you are "open source".

Geez. Really? Reaper is inexpensive and extremely accessible, more than any other DAW out there. Why don't you spend thousands of hours working on something passionately and then post all that blood sweat and tears "openly". Move on, troll.

PS: And everything Jason said.
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Old 11-15-2018, 05:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Steviebone View Post
How 'bout your SS Id?
What is that? Schutzstaffel?
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Old 11-15-2018, 05:44 AM   #10
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What is that? Schutzstaffel?
It's an ID that allows you to buy bagels and salty pretzels.
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Old 11-15-2018, 05:46 AM   #11
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But none of the scripting language implementations/extensions in Reaper are themselves open source. One is stuck with how Cockos implements the scripting languages to be used.

C or C++ extension plugins can add new API functions compatible with the scripting languages but for example with Lua the situation isn't ideal. (Things can get quite messy to deal with, both on the C or C++ and the Lua scripting side.) In any case, it is more or less be possible to add completely custom scripting language support too, which I have been considering doing myself for Lua.
Fair points. I've only used EEL and Lua myself, and I much prefer the latter. Haven't yet encountered any situations where I've needed more than the supported API.

I seem to recall one of the in-house programmers lamented the fact that Lua wasn't around, mature enough or chosen when they were coding the main program. I believe REAPER was written in EEL.
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Old 11-15-2018, 06:08 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by andyp24 View Post
Why on earth should you expect it to be?
You could try out modifications or built-in extensions and suggest them to the devs.

-Michael
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Old 11-15-2018, 06:11 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Steviebone View Post
It's an ID that allows you to buy bagels and salty pretzels.
Where I can make it? I obviously need this.
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Old 11-15-2018, 06:50 AM   #14
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I have the impression some may assume Open source = free (as in free beer).
E.g. Ardour has a model where they ask to pay for the compiled version, but not when you build from source.

https://community.ardour.org/download_form

Also e.g. JUCE is (partly) commercial but Open source.
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Old 11-15-2018, 06:59 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Steviebone View Post
Why aren't your bank account numbers open source? How 'bout your SS Id? Can you please post a picture of your drivers license and birth certificate? I can't respond to your post until you are "open source".

Geez. Really? Reaper is inexpensive and extremely accessible, more than any other DAW out there. Why don't you spend thousands of hours working on something passionately and then post all that blood sweat and tears "openly". Move on, troll.

PS: And everything Jason said.
SSID and bank account numbers aren't code. Nothing to do with source, open or closed. And, fyi, bank account numbers are open.

You're also confusing "open source" with free, as in "gratis". There are numerous open source projects out there that make money, either by selling the software, selling support, or selling services.

But I can understand why Reaper isn't completely open source. If it was, it wouldn't take long for some unscrupulous business person to recompile it with a different name and sell it as his own for 50$, or even for 500$. That would be illegal, but it's expensive and a lot of hassle to drag it through court. If that was even possible. And I'd rather see Justin coding and making music than wasting his time on legal matters.
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Old 11-15-2018, 07:10 AM   #16
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it wouldn't take long for some unscrupulous business person to recompile it with a different name and sell it as his own for 50$, or even for 500$. That would be illegal
Depending on the open source license used, it could be fully legal to do. For example the GPL license would allow it, but any changes made into the software by that
new distributor would also need to be open sourced under the GPL license.
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Old 11-15-2018, 08:24 AM   #17
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The real question is, why don't other software developers have the same honourable discounted/commercial license system? (coughAdobecough)
I used to make Adobe suite dance in my hands for a living. Nowadays I see it installed in fewer and fewer professional workplaces - music, video, publishing, you name it. They've mostly moved on - in my experience, it's just the "gotta have" semi-pros that still stick with it.
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Old 11-15-2018, 08:28 AM   #18
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I used to make Adobe suite dance in my hands for a living. Nowadays I see it installed in fewer and fewer professional workplaces - music, video, publishing, you name it. They've mostly moved on - in my experience, it's just the "gotta have" semi-pros that still stick with it.
Do you mean they've moved on to other software suites, that they've given up on producing content altogether, or what?
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Old 11-15-2018, 08:41 AM   #19
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What business model would you propose if it was open source? GIMP and Audacity could be even better if they weren't open source. This is an incredibly small niche, far smaller than image manipulation. Open source can work well, for certain things, but there's no support contracts to sell here, and there's no product/service that could be upsold through it being made open source.

Reaper works just fine without being open source. If anything, at this point, I personally feel that going open source would do more harm than good, and I used to relate to Stallman's free software mentality. However, if you wish to participate in capitalism and have tools suitable for participation, it takes proprietary code, and money.

Yes, there are projects that are sold and are also open source, but they aren't sustainable. We did marketing for one of them, it was a sorry state of affairs with how few people are willing to actually make a contribution, either in a monetary capacity, or in terms of a pull request.
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:19 AM   #20
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I once came to rely heavily on an open source GUI development kit while developing a C++ project. In a sweating-blood, time-crunch situation, I attempted to access a pivotal feature. I got a message box "Still working on this one! Will finish up when I get some time! Feel free to push this code forward!"
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:20 AM   #21
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I'm a bit torn on software licensing. I really like the general spirit of free software licensing and the possibilites of free learning, sharing, and collaboration. At the same time, it seems that developers who maintain control over the direction and development of software tend to produce better-to-use software.

Is there a solid middleground to be had?

It would be nice if any capable person could jump in to fix bugs and address annoyances, but the original developers could maintain direction and development of the project. But it seems that software licensing tends to be at one extreme or the other. If the code is free licensed, anyone can fork the project and potentially dillute efforts of the original developers. At the other end where the source is closed, there is no possibility for anyone outside of the development team to address bugs and annoyances, where users are dependent upon the original developers to address them (if ever).
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:50 AM   #22
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It would be nice if any capable person could jump in to fix bugs and address annoyances, but the original developers could maintain direction and development of the project.
That's similar to the concept of sustained engineering where the core dev team codes the product/features, and the sustained engineering team is tasked only with fixing bugs etc. which inevitably appear after release - the teams interface with each other but are otherwise completely separate. This could be and likely is being done in some types of hybrid scenarios.

I agree with you on the middle ground.
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Old 11-15-2018, 11:08 AM   #23
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Everybody likes free stuff, but there are almost always costs that have to be covered. Hardware engineers get paid and software engineers get paid.

I use quite a bit of free & open source software but I don't run Linux because I like running certain Windows applications so I'm willing to pay $100 for the operating system. I don't "like" paying Microsoft but I do it because I'm better-off having Windows.

And regardless of cost, REAPER has value! If it wasn't worth $60 you wouldn't have it and Cockos would be out of business.

If you find a diamond in your back yard, it has value even though there was no cost.

I use quite a bit of free & open source software but I don't run Linux because I like running certain Windows applications so I'm willing to pay $100 for the operating system. I don't "like" paying Microsoft but I do it because I'm better-off having Windows.

Apples grow on trees, but they are not free.

Most "good stuff" is produced at a profit because it's worth more (to the buyer) than it costs to produce. That's the free market! The buyer and seller both benefit! You can say that the buyer & seller both "profit" because they are both better off after the transaction. When I first studied economics & business, I didn't get that... I thought there was a winner and a looser, or I thought it was break-even. But, it's not worth the trouble of making a transaction if you just break-even. So both parties have to benefit or there's no deal and no transaction will take place.

Most people have a smart phone... Your life is better because you have a smart phone and Apple's executives and shareholders are better-off because you have a smart phone. Everybody wins!

And from a marketing point of view, customers tend to think higher-priced stuff is better... If REAPER were more expensive, it would get more respect in the pro audio world! If you give something way free, it's perceived as having no value.
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Old 11-15-2018, 11:47 AM   #24
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Jesus H. Ch%!$t...................
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Old 11-15-2018, 11:58 AM   #25
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SSID and bank account numbers aren't code. Nothing to do with source, open or closed. And, fyi, bank account numbers are open.

You're also confusing "open source" with free, as in "gratis". There are numerous open source projects out there that make money, either by selling the software, selling support, or selling services.

But I can understand why Reaper isn't completely open source. If it was, it wouldn't take long for some unscrupulous business person to recompile it with a different name and sell it as his own for 50$, or even for 500$. That would be illegal, but it's expensive and a lot of hassle to drag it through court. If that was even possible. And I'd rather see Justin coding and making music than wasting his time on legal matters.
You are confusing me with someone who GAF. And nope, I don't publish my personal info to the world intentionally. You last paragraph hits some of the nail on the head tho. Reaper is a good balance. Inexpensive, community driven/supported and largely customizable. What more could anyone ask for? Oh, yeah, FREE source code.

I am a retired coder. I would never expect anyone to spend years developing software to just give it away and I would never publish my source code for any reason. The implications are enormous on multiple levels. And relying on court action to protect software is a joke on every level, even if you're a billionaire.
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Old 11-15-2018, 12:28 PM   #26
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Open source cannot include ASIO and VST.

It seems, if one wanted to release an "open source" daw, yet still include the two above mentioned features (which one could argue, are crucial to it's success), then the Cockos model is nothing short of genius.
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Old 11-15-2018, 03:16 PM   #27
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Do you mean they've moved on to other software suites, that they've given up on producing content altogether, or what?
Oh, they're still doing what they did.

Take magazine publishers and advertising agencies. GIMP is just as good as Photoshop. There's no secret sauce - discreet cosine transforms, dither and masking algorithms, etc aren't copyrighted. Just differently implemented.

For page layout, most of the major UK and European newspapers still use InDesign, but it's starting to decline. They need the split-page networking facility, but there are workarounds for open source alternatives.

Book publishers work in PDF. They don't care if you've used Libre or Word to generate it. And if an editor needs to get at it, they're usually happy to work in ODT.

And the BBC have been using REAPER for location work for several years. It's starting to leak into studio work as well.

I vector converted something for a friend some time ago in Inkscape. No problems.
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Old 11-15-2018, 04:30 PM   #28
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blender is maybe the most impressive open source thing out there, it ended my 10 year dependency on 3dsmax

gimp sucks IMO, try krita or paint.NET... this is coming from a long-time photoshop user, so of course I'm spoiled

inkscape, natron, lightzone, Lightworks... all top notch (for open source, IME)

just a bit buggy or strange UI, but in a lot of cases just different enough to be annoying... why do they do that? I'm pretty sure keyboard shortcuts, menus, and basic UI layouts aren't copyrighted, they could at least match things up in those departments, right?
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:13 PM   #29
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^ I pretty much agree with Tomm.

Blender, Inkscape, and Krita are good, with some rough edges here and there.

I really really dislike GIMP. It has to be the worst experience that I have ever had with using software. Maybe there is an irony in the name from it's original creators. It seems to me that a piece of software couldn't provide such a terrible interface along with such a capable feature set unless it was designed that way intentionally. This is purely speculation, but I have always suspected that GIMP was created to turn people away from free software - a sort of poisoned troll offering that got maintained by others, for whatever reasons. And if it wasn't, it is that bad to arouse such suspicion.
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Old 11-15-2018, 11:31 PM   #30
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Don't think it's that bad myself - I haven't encountered GUI bugs. And remember how long it took to get used to Photoshop? It only seems intuitive because we put in the hours at some point. Actually, I had a bit of transition pain myself with InDesign, because I was a Quarker prior to that.

Some people seem to be like that about DAWs. They forget the months of tearing their hair out figuring out routing, MIDI and such in Logic or PT. Then they come on here and attack REAPER because the user experience isn't what they're used to. Those occasional "why can't REAPER be more like X?" posts...

I'm freelance these days and doing less of the publishing stuff, but a lot of people in the industry share my distaste for subscriptionware. It's convenient sure, but not always for the customer. Most of the people who work in newsrooms aren't software enthusiasts, they use software as tools. Install a significant update and you've got to retrain them all. Cost. Don't have to install it of course, but then why should you have to pay for new functionality that you're not using? Cost.

For an example of the same kind of thing, I'm still using Sibelius 6.2 because I know it well and it's all I need. For my purposes, Sibelius was complete with the introduction of magnetic layout.

Just some observations guys. Remember, almost about everything I post here comes with a big friendly implied "IMHO"...

(An old colleague of mine has been the picture desk guru on half a dozen national papers and magazines over the past 20 years. He was actually consulted in the development of some PS functionality. In fact, he showed me a lot of useful stuff, little things like how Unsharp Mask is designed to be used to best effect. He uses GIMP nowadays.)
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Old 11-16-2018, 04:02 AM   #31
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Where I can make it? I obviously need this.
(grin) as a fellow Damn Furriner, I will take pity on you. (S)ocial (S)ecurity....
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Old 11-16-2018, 04:24 AM   #32
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Why isn't Reaper Open Source?
Why don't you ask logic to be Open Source?
Why don't you ask ADOBE to be Open Source?
Reaper plays in the same league like these.
Worthless question.
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Old 11-16-2018, 04:31 AM   #33
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Incidentally, Tracktion's "Engine" just became open source. I haven't yet looked what it is possible to do with it, but seems interesting. Obviously various 3rd party bits like VST plugin hosting, ASIO, Elastique, Rewire etc require the developer using the engine to license them separately...

https://forum.juce.com/t/tracktion-e...n-source/30397
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Old 11-16-2018, 05:17 AM   #34
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You are confusing me with someone who GAF. And nope, I don't publish my personal info to the world intentionally. You last paragraph hits some of the nail on the head tho. Reaper is a good balance. Inexpensive, community driven/supported and largely customizable. What more could anyone ask for? Oh, yeah, FREE source code.

I am a retired coder. I would never expect anyone to spend years developing software to just give it away and I would never publish my source code for any reason. The implications are enormous on multiple levels. And relying on court action to protect software is a joke on every level, even if you're a billionaire.
It's not as black-and-white as you seem to think.

An example outside of coding. A few years back, graphene was invented. The scientists who created it, put it in the public domain to keep it out of the hands of the corporate patent sharks. These were threatening the inventors even before the knowledge was released.

The same can be applied to open source. Release it and use that as proof you are the author and you created it and released it that day.

Years ago, I was involved in a software project that was brilliant and could have been saved if it had been released as open source. Now, it's gone because the company behind it went broke. The people who took over had no interest in the code, so they simply ignored it. Since then, I've seen it happen a number of times.
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Old 11-16-2018, 05:24 AM   #35
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I once came to rely heavily on an open source GUI development kit while developing a C++ project. In a sweating-blood, time-crunch situation, I attempted to access a pivotal feature. I got a message box "Still working on this one! Will finish up when I get some time! Feel free to push this code forward!"
That's not because it is open source.

I've been bitten a few times because of development tools being acquired by other companies and simply abandoned. One competitor less...

In the security sphere, most software is open source, but not free. Logical, the experts like to be able to "see" what they buy before they buy.
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Old 11-16-2018, 05:42 AM   #36
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hmm-so what's left in reaper--> if 1 takes out all other 3rd party products or licensings?
notice 'sing' in the word!

1 needs some type of song >to sing >eh..?
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Old 11-16-2018, 08:04 AM   #37
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hmm-so what's left in reaper--> if 1 takes out all other 3rd party products or licensings?
notice 'sing' in the word!

1 needs some type of song >to sing >eh..?
I think pretty much all of Reaper is left, minus pitch/time stretching.
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Old 11-16-2018, 08:45 AM   #38
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I think pretty much all of Reaper is left, minus pitch/time stretching.
Minus VST plugins, minus ASIO, minus Rewire, minus REX, minus ARA...(The first two especially are killers, not being able to support those makes an audio software near useless on Windows.)

This is the thing people asking for open sourcing never remember, there's lots of 3rd party things that either are not open source or are not compatible partly or at all with open source.
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For info on SWS Reaper extension plugin (including Xenakios' previous extension/actions) :
http://www.sws-extension.org/
https://github.com/Jeff0S/sws
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Xenakios blog (about HourGlass, Paul(X)Stretch and λ) :
http://xenakios.wordpress.com/
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Old 11-16-2018, 10:18 AM   #39
Tomm
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is this why ardour is so unpopular... if people started to make open source things to compete with VST, ASIO, etc... only then will we see a competitve open source solution

why is it that in the audio industry things are so protected/closed, compared to 3d modeling for example - Blender pretty much replaces 3dsmax and some other programs IME, Krita/paint.NET is nearly my photoshop replacement (GIMP blows IMO) and inkscape, lightzone, Lightworks, etc... a ton of great open source options for other media, just not DAWs...
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Old 11-16-2018, 10:27 AM   #40
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ah, I guess because it depends so much on external devices... these other examples it's mostly all in-the-box 100%... i'm sure there are other reason though, like maybe audio folks are a bit more crazy/passionate/protective than others... something to do with our ears being the gateway sense to our emotions more so than our eyes/nose/touch?
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