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Old 2004-04-13, 23:54
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Porting to Linux is possible: technical facts

I've often heard people begging for a Linux version of Reason (and so do I, actually), but few have replied with accurate answers. Well, being a linux-lover audio creator, this is what I will try to do :-)

The first myth is about the full rewrite of the GUI.
No, the props don't need to fully recode their interface in GTK/QT, if they use standard MFC templates for the GUI (which I believe they do), it's easy to port it to wxwindows, it's made for. These API has a huge compatibility over MFC, hence can be quickly be made operational. The library is then dynamically linked to either QT or Gtk and the app just looks like a standard KDE or Gnome program.
Emule was ported to linux in a few months thanks to wxwindows, and was a windows-only program before.

Next with have the audio layer problem.
Actually it's quite different from windows and needs to be reimplemented. I think the biggest problem involves the lack of ASIO-like audio layer.
Currently, Linux DAWs (ardour, rosegarden...) use a special driver called JACKS, which is similar to ASIO and enables low latency capabilities, but still needs Alsa, the defaut sound layer.
In a nutshell, reason could use OSS, Alsa, Arts or JACKS.
The first two ones aren't a pain in the ass because they are extremely simple to program, however arts, the KDE sound daemon, is awfully slow and complex, and Jacks isn't still a mature project.

IMHO the only real problem is about cost, since the props are a small company.

If Propellerheads ever port Reason to Linux, they'll be greatly rewarded for that, this could be the real start of Linux DAWs. Actually I would buy it immediately.

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