[Consortium] Next item...

Dave Phillips dlphilp at bright.net
Mon Jan 26 11:17:40 EST 2004

Patrick Shirkey wrote:

> 3. Difficult and complicated. Very true. It doesn't bother me, infact 
> I think it is good for my DJ persona. (Apparently everyone in Korea 
> thinks I play abstract music ;] ) Did anyone complain when they 
> couldn't play a Jimi solo the first time they picked up a guitar???? 

Intereseting analogy, because of course Hendrix introduced no new 
technique-having-to-do-with-playing-guitar (it's all blues modes and 
very few other scales). He did introduce a lot of 
technique-having-to-do-with-USING-the-guitar, most of which was pretty 
easily acquired by anyone with the same or approximate gear.

But WRT our beloved Linux audio software: it's really still a bit of a 
problem with Linux generally. I still get a fair amount of mail from 
people who are truly confused about ALSA...

> 5. Installation: Maybe (for the trade show) we need a really big sign 
> with:
> --------------
>         3 steps to Linux audio happiness
>          ./configure;make;make install
>            --- it's that simple! ---
> --------------- 

Well, as long as nothing fucks up, I suppose you're right. But of 
course, things do fuck up, frequently and opaquely, and unless you're a 
seasoned Linux audio veteran you are likely to be left out in the cold 
when it comes to system analysis and fix-it time. I'm not saying any of 
that is inherently difficult, only that a procedure utterly unknown to 
the user might as well be written in Etruscan Linear B. All of which 
argues strongly for the promotion of better turn-key systems a la 
PlanetC or AGNULA.

> Improving the ALSA install would be a big plus too. I've heard of OSS 
> being very user friendly a few times in the past year.  The problem 
> seems not to be installing ALSA but getting it working after install. 
> The install process could provide a flag to write the 
> /etc/modules.conf file and the .asoundrc for a start.
> Maybe someone just needs to explain to me what the alsaconf utility 
> does so I can write it up :)

Indeed, I've witnessed the ALSA installation getting better all the 
time, but it's still not as straightforward as the OSS/Linux system. I'm 
not complaining though, and I agree with Patrick that most problems 
people have with ALSA have to do with using it optimally (or even just 
getting sound out of it). I'm still helping people who didn't know that 
ALSA automutes the mixer channels at first start.


++ dp

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