Audacity users stick the knife – and fork – in to strip audio editor of unwanted features

New name needed. How about Impudence? Or maybe Pluck?


Contributors disgruntled with the recent direction of cross-platform FOSS audio software Audacity are forking the sound editor to a version that does not have the features or requirements that have upset some in the community.

One such project can be found on GitHub, with user "cookiengineer" proclaiming themselves "evil benevolent temporary dictator" in order to get the ball rolling.

"Being friendly seemed to have invited too many trolls," observed the engineer, "and we must stop this behaviour."

Presumably that refers to the trolling rather than being friendly. And goodness, the project has had somewhat of a baptism by fire in recent hours as a number of 4chan users elected to launch a raid on it.

This is why we can't have nice things.

The project is blunt with regard to the causes of the fork – Audacity's privacy policy updates, the contributors licence agreement, and the a furore over introducing telemetry have all played a part.

As is the case with many open-source projects, discussion is ongoing concerning a name for the application and a few have already volunteered to create the logo. At least one wag has suggested "Audacious" for a title (sadly already nabbed by another project), although we're sure The Register readers can come up with a suggestion or two of their own.

Certainly, it can't be called "Audacity" – we can almost hear the firing up of the sueball machine from here.

The source can be made to compile, but the friendlier installers familiar to Audacity users were not available at the time of writing. Code around crash reports and telemetry has also been stripped, although "cookiengineer" observed in a comment over at YCombinator: "I have to say that The Muse Group's intent seem to have been clearly that the code can be built without any of the tracking."

This chimes with comments from new Audacity boss, Martin Keary, who told The Register in May that even if telemetry were to be introduced, it would be fully optional. His remarks followed an ill-advised GitHub pull request regarding "basic telemetry" that sent the community into a spin.

However, since then, Audacity's new owners, The Muse Group, have continued to fiddle with the veteran app. A CLA followed later in May and, most recently, the privacy agreement was changed. That latest move appears to have been the final straw for some.

We contacted Audacity to get its take on the forking of its code, but have yet to receive a response. ®

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