FLOSS manual corrections and suggestions
I'm taking Seablade's advice and reading through the Ardour manual carefully.
Normally I avoid manuals as much as anyone else, but I was pleasantly surprised,
to find the manual quite readable and friendly on the face of it.
In the interests of improving something good,
and in leu of not trusting the posting/commenting options, which seem to hang and crash,
I thought it would be best to post corrections and improvements here,
where people can find them and also easily contribute insights for others.
The first page I read carefully was
STARTING JACK ON UBUNTU, since I'm running Ubuntu 11 (tried Ubuntu 10 without success):
Here are my thoughts on that page:
Starting Jack on Ubuntu Page:
(1) Jack / Ardour only seem to run properly in Ubuntu 11.10 with popular soundcards like m-audio.
This version of Ubuntu no longer has dropdown menus.
The screens shown are disorienting, since they don't match what people actually see, nor serve instructional purposes.
(2) On the Jack Main box, "Status" seems to have been replaced with "Session", and does not open up to a dialog pictured above. No real knowledge of either option seems to be conveyed. If the purpose is to acquire familiarity, it fails since there is no match.
(3) Perhaps two separate pages would work, one for Ubuntu <=10, and one for Ubuntu 11.
(4) "Currently, JACK can only communicate with one hardware audio device at a time." This is a really important fact, if still current, and should be bold/red so it isn't missed. I wasted hours trying to get input from one card and output onboard working.
(5) A quick explanation of sample rate options and why you would pick them, with possible drawbacks would be helpful.
(6) "The maximum number of channels is limited by the number of output and input channels supported by your physical audio device." Another important fact, which should be highlighted in blue or something to save users hours of futile struggles.
(7) "With the JACK server on, ..." It might be better underlined, and expressed more clearly: "TURN THE JACK SERVER ON, by pressing 'Start' button, ...", and followed by "Start the ARDOUR program now:..."
(8) Explaining that Ardour automatically connects itself a certain way, with a screenshot of Patchage would be useful.
(9) Some explanation of the Patchage program would be good here, and why/how one would use each of JACK, Patchage, Ardour for setups, or in what order, and who overrides who, or how/why changes to patching could be ignored, rerouted against the user's wishes, or stored so that one isn't re-inventing the wheel every startup. i.e., provide an example first-time setup procedure, and subsequent startup procedure for a simple, fresh recording session.
(10) Generally, numbering the sections, making the headings standout clearer from text so that bold and underlining could be used, and providing a useful local hyperlink navigating system on every page that is longer than a typical screen. Then the user could jump back and forth between sections and screenshots, to recap or pick up pointers. Allowing resizing of page width would help to allow displaying help-pages while working with the programs.
(11) Find out why comments are not working properly, or display them and let users know that they were actually sent!....provide a backbutton to return to the current page after posting a comment.
As a way of adding such features without the work, one might post the FLOSS manual on Blogger, and phase out the old posting.