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Re: [Portaudio] Re: portaudio in Debian, license updates?

Hi Guys

I'm the dev lead for PortAudio.

Matt Brubeck wrote:
Junichi Uekawa wrote:
Things like portaudio and MIDIshare never really arrived. (OK, I'm
exaggerating slightly - Doesn't Audacity use portaudio?)

Audacity does use portaudio. Portaudio isn't dead and gone, but
development is barely progressing. With portaudio-v19 audacity can
use jack.

There are numerous active commercial applications which depend on PortAudio.. it is far from dead and gone. Quite naturally I believe it to be a technically superior solution to RtAudio, primarily because (last time I checked) RtAudio does not attempt to solve many of the technical problems which PortAudio does.

Audacity upstream is considering switching to RtAudio, which is partly
based on PortAudio and uses the same MIT-like license.  RtAudio supports
JACK, and appears to be more actively maintained than PortAudio:


I would question whether RtAudio is more actively maintained... there are a number of developers actively working on PortAudio. It may be that Linux maintenances is lower with PortAudio than RtAudio.. I can't speak for that because PortAudio is a cross-platform solution and doesn't focus only on Linux. As far as I know, at present we have only one active Linux comitter.. more are always welcome.

In general my opinion is that PortAudio is stable, and does not require a lot of development/maintenance. Certainly that is my personal experience with PortAudio on Windows (my primary platform). There is a lot of active development for PortAudio on MacOSX. I would love for there to be more Linux developers working on PortAudio.. perhaps you guys would consider participating more actively?

However, portaudio looks non-free to me.

According to my reading of the license (and according to the PortAudio
upstream authors), this clause is a non-binding request, and so it does
not make the license non-free.  Please see this thread:


This is my understanding.

PortAudio upstream was planning to change the license to clarify this,
but I don't think they ever got around to tracking down all the
contributors in order to do this.

I think there was never any clarity on what the license should be changed to. I am in touch with all of the contributors who hold copyright on the PortAudio source base. If Debian legal could provide some guidance as to what the change should be we would be happy to co-operate to ensure greater interoperability with the Debian Free Software community.

Best wishes


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