[LAD] ALSA doumentation

Fred Gleason fredg at paravelsystems.com
Mon Nov 17 11:42:40 UTC 2008

On Sunday 16 November 2008 04:16:19 pm you wrote:
> Programmers are not stupid. However the way how typical sound 
> applications are implemented is wrong.

So this is a reason to cripple the API -- because 'typical' application 
programmers don't know what they're doing?  What about those who *do*?

> Network or disk performance analyzers/monitors/optimizers are good
> tools. They are not "ordinary" applications but system tools.

Whatever the semantic difference between 'applications' and 'system tools' 
might be, *both* end up having to interact with the hardware via some sort of 
API, so I'm not sure that the distinction is particularly meaningful in this 

> However 
> it's wrong if programs like Mozilla try to do this kind of functions.
> All a web browser does is opening a TCP/IP socket to the
> http/ftp/whatever server, sends the request and waits for the response.
> Equally well an audio player application should just open a connection
> to the audio device, set the rate/format and then just start to play.
> They should not try to do things like automatic unmuting the sound card.

Right, but I think you're kind of missing the point.  We're not talking about 
garden variety 'audio player' applications here.  The world of audio -- 
especially professional audio -- is a much larger place.  This doesn't make 
such applications 'system tools', merely applications that work outside of 
the simple assumptions adequate when designing garden-variety 'audio 
players'.  To hardwire those simple assumptions into the driver system is IMO 
a design error, one that imposes serious limits on the usefulness of the 
overall system.  Effectively, it's dictating policy in a layer that should be 
primarily concerned with mechanism.


| Frederick F. Gleason, Jr. |               Chief Developer               |
|                           |               Paravel Systems               |
|    The real problem with hunting elephants is carrying the decoys.      |
|                                             -- Anonymous                |

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