Without wishing to divert this thread to yet another commercial vs free discussion, one of the things I perhaps haven’t made clear in (this thread or in others) is that as a linux user as well as a developer, one of the main motivations for creating my software was because I thought linux had great potential for audio, and I have a fundamental desire to see credible software for it that works and works well. I’ve voiced opinions previously about other software (Ardour included) and the important point is that its precisely because I believe in projects like Ardour (and others) that it’s frustrating when I see aspects of their design which are good, but could be several orders of magnitude better with a few tweaks. Better software for linux audio is in everyone’s interest - commercial / free / open-source / developers / and users. I apply the same standards when I develop / use my own software too and I’m equally disappointed if there are occasions when that doesn’t meet my own (high) expectations.
As regards commercial vs free, I think these are two different (and complementary) ‘markets’ - and therefore - odd though it may seem - I’m not too concerned about ‘competition’.
There are differences both in the quality and support expectations of free vs commercial (while there are many excellent free projects and many very helpful and committed developers, there is no obligation for a developer to continue with or support a free (not for profit) project, whereas a commercial developer has a revenue stream which depends on the quality of the product and for that reason alone should be focused on providing support or resolving issues - apart from other obligations to provide a product which is fit for purpose).
Additionally, the development costs are hugely different for a commercial developer (I have to maintain and test on many different platforms, architectures, distributions etc, all of which adds to the cost of creating the software and further necessitates the need to charge for it - but hopefully results in a comprehensively tested product. In contrast, a developer working using a machine they would likely have purchased anyway, even if they weren’t developing software - and without the requirement to test on any other platform / distro, likely has a much lower cost of development, and can therefore better afford to give the software away)