A FAQ about the previous blog post, if anyone is interested:
Why don’t I hire more people to help with VCV Rack 2?
I am flattered that you think I have enough money for that.
I’m mostly joking. I have hired a few developers for various tasks for Rack 2, but the remaining work is mostly architectural and not task-parallelizable.
With that said, there are currently 3 other people (code, design, marketing) working on various aspects of Rack 2.
This number can change weekly, depending on the size of tasks.
What do you mean you’re personally “finding it difficult to work on VCV Rack”?
Smear campaigns, emails with personal attacks, false rumors, and hundreds of people trying their best to purposely misinterpret things that I say, really take an emotional toll on me.
Only a few Rack users (say 0.1%) engage in this behavior, but with hundreds of thousands of users, that equals hundreds of people finding ways to attack me every day.
I’m not bothered by truthful claims about me, those would be my own fault.
But the misrepresentations chip away at my desire to serve you, the VCV users.
Also, remember that VCV (the company) is the result of roughly a dozen people’s paid work, not just mine.
My bills are greater than what I take home.
P.S. I’m not bothered by people asking “When will Rack 2 release?” It’s a normal question that just expresses curiosity, excitement, or frustration.
The answer is that I do not know the release date at this time.
Why is Rack free/open-source but not open-contribution?
VCV is a company like any music software company, such as Ableton, Reason Studios, Image-Line, Cockos, Native Instruments, etc.
We share the same goals to bring unique music products to music professionals and hobbyists.
But VCV was founded by a principled free/open-source software supporter.
Why should users of software care about their software freedom?
There are thousands of articles that answer this question in depth, but in summary, without the freedom to run, review, modify, and share source code, the software you use has the ability to manipulate your choices, and often does.
Think of the ways Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac/iOS, or Google’s mobile/web apps (which I know 99% of you use) control how you use your computer and manage your private data.
How can you trust them with your private data if you can’t review their source code?
You can inspect, repair, replace, and re-solder Eurorack modules you own, so why can’t you do the equivalent with the software you use?
This is why VCV Rack, and many VCV-developed modules, are free/open-source software.
So why doesn’t VCV accept free code contributions to Rack itself?
I answered this 2 years ago in the Contributing document in Rack’s source code repository.
In summary, there are three reasons, each significant enough on their own to support this decision.
- Contributers should be hired and paid for work accepted into Rack. It’s unfair for developers to work for free to develop VCV’s products.
- Free contributions usually aren’t practical for stability, compatibility, and longevity. See the above Contributing document for more detail.
- Modification to VCV Rack usually isn’t necessary. Rack plugins can do everything that Rack can do, since the Rack SDK contains every header file used by Rack. It’s easier to manage plugins each maintained by their own team than a single software product developed by hundreds of people.
Closed-contribution open-source software is very common, and I wish more software companies would release software under this model to improve their customers’ software freedom.
If you think closed-contribution implies non-free/closed-source, you are misunderstanding the point of open-source and the meaning of software freedom.
Correction to Rack 2 naming
After feedback and an overwhelming likes-to-participants ratio in a community naming thread, the names of Rack 2 variants will be:
VCV Rack Community Edition: open-source standalone version
VCV Rack Studio Edition: commercial standalone, VST2, etc version with support