Should we support "free" Audacity forks?

If you’ve followed the discussions lately about Audacity, you know what this is about. If not, do a quick search for “Audacity telemetry” or have a look at GitHub - tenacityteam/tenacity: Tenacity is an easy-to-use, privacy-friendly, FLOSS, cross-platform multi-track audio editor/recorder for Windows, macOS, Linux and other operating systems. Contributions welcome!.

Audacity has been recently acquired by Muse, a company that also holds MuseScore. They tried to add telemetry and a CLA (Contributors’ License Agreement), and certain other things which I’m not going to regurgitate here. The discussion is quite heated, and many changes planned or introduced since the change in product management have been received poorly by many (?). Open source advocates seem to have taken a hostile stance towards these changes, and several forks are already in the making. But note that my viewpoint on this topic may been biased, and you’re encouraged to develop your own.

My question to you is whether we should support an Audacity fork here, and which one.

Some criteria might be:

  • Is there a fork that is sufficiently well-maintained and well-known?
  • Is the fork “more free/FLOSS” than Audacity in a significant way to justify the extra maintenance effort on our side?
  • Do Nixpkgs & NixOS users need & want this?
  • Is this topic to heated or divisive to act?
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All of this is totally blown out of proportion, the “open source advocates” you mentioned is mostly just the usual underinformed angry Reddit mob.

This “issue” is absolutely trivial for Linux users because any sane package maintainer will simply set a configure flag and no telemetry or other “anti” features are compiled in.
According to the maintainers, all of this is OFF by default actually, so what this boils down to for us is a simple version bump. So much noise around nothing.

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See also audacity: exclude from auto-updates, documenting decision by lheckemann · Pull Request #129431 · NixOS/nixpkgs · GitHub regarding the current state in nixpkgs.


The resolution to wait with updates until the dust has settled is a very good idea.


That works as long as the features are optional and configurable. This may well change at some point.

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In my opinion, not yet.

There are a ton of forks, most with only a single maintainer. I imagine over time there will be some alignment and many of the forks will disappear leaving 1 or 2 clear alternatives.

Of course, that is all just speculation on my part.