Ardour on Windows (Spring 2015)
People have asked about Ardour on Windows for many years, and thanks to funding by Google, Harrison Consoles and Waves Audio, and work by Tim Mayberry, John Emmas, Robin Gareus, Grygorii Zharun and Valeriy Khaminsky, it is now possible to use Ardour on that platform.
Possible, but not supported
However, at the present time (Spring 2015) there are and will be no official releases of Ardour for Windows. Our nightly build site will continue to have both 32 and 64 bit builds for Windows XP and all later versions. But there is no support for these builds. Moreover, because these are nightly builds, from time to time they may break horribly. The nightly site allows people to test out the latest version of ardour, but our official releases are the only ones we can recommend for actual work.
Our support philosophy
We'd love to see Ardour running on Windows more and more, but there's a problem. We don't want to just give Windows users the ready-to-run version of Ardour and then cast them aside. We'd like to offer them the same personable, timely support that users on Linux and OS X have received for years. The problem is that the existing Ardour developers and community cannot do this. We do not have the time or expertise to assist Windows users with Windows-specific problems.
Maybe you can help!
So, we're looking for a new community of users who are willing and capable of bootstrapping a support environment for Ardour on Windows. You will be able to replicate any parts of the existing online infrastructure that we use - web sites, forums, IRC channels, mailing lists - in any way you wish (without any costs). But there will need to be people around who will answer questions in whatever online channels you establish, enough people to cover a significant part of the world's timezones. People who will respond in a timely manner to email and web forum questions. You know the rest.
Do I get paid for helping with support?
In exchange for this, we can discuss how you can get some slice of whatever extra income we receive from Windows users. I don't have any firm numbers in mind yet, and it is far from clear how much extra income there will be. All we know for sure is that Ardour on Windows will be a LOT more successful if users on that platform have interested, personable, helpful and timely support.
What's the end goal?
Ideally, it would be a group of 3-4 people with spread-out timezones and/or personal time habits. You don't need to know a lot about Ardour itself - general questions that are not platform specific are things we can handle with our existing support infrastructure - but you do need to understand installation, device usage and other platform-specific issues that can arise when using Ardour on Windows. If you're interested, please join the ardour-dev mailing list and send us a message. There is also already an #ardour-windows IRC channel on Freenode where you can discuss this with anyone else who is interested..
Let's do this!
If enough of you can step up and get coordinated, we can make the Windows build official releases and help make Ardour on Windows a useful reality for lots of people.
Ardour is written and built with entirely cross-platform tools and technology. We do not use native IDE's on any platform to build the program. On all platforms, we use some version of the GNU C compiler (gcc on linux, Apple gcc on OS X and mingw/gcc on Windows).
We welcome the involvement of any experienced Windows developers in Ardour's continued progress, but please do not expect to find a project that can be built/managed using (for example) Visual C++. We do not have the resources to manage multiple build systems, and frankly prefer the lean, fully accessible system we use now (waf). You are obviously free to use whatever code editing tools you want, but ultimately code must conform to our style guide.