[LAD] Guide to Linux Sound APIs

Gene Heskett gene.heskett at verizon.net
Wed Oct 1 03:47:33 UTC 2008

On Tuesday 30 September 2008, Lennart Poettering wrote:
>On Tue, 30.09.08 11:19, Gene Heskett (gene.heskett at verizon.net) wrote:
>> >> we're battling with M$, a generally futile endeavor, and that is
>> >> gonna lead to a lot of profanity & name calling.  This is after
>> >> all, linux, where choice is a talking point.
>> >
>> >Hi Gene, I think that the complaint should be aimed at distributions,
>> >really. If they choose to ship foo they should make sure it works.
>> >Which they tend to do to some (large) extent.
>> In the case of Fedora, no, the buck stops there, and I'm made to be the
>> bad-ass.  It looks to me as if they are deliberately shielding the
>> developers, or maybe they are locked in a closet off the lunch room living
>> on scraps?
>This is utter nonsense.
>There are probably no companies that are more open about what their
>developers do than Red Hat. Most of us have blogs where it is very
>simple to follow what we do. And most of the time they are syndicated
>all around the net. Almost all our development happens upstream and
>can be followed in git repos and stuff. We attend conferences where we
>explain what is going on -- and a lot of them. I post regularly on
>mailing lists like this one. We hang around on IRC almost our entire
>work time.
>If you call us shielded off then I wonder what you'd call everyone
>> I dunno.  What I did come away with was that I was on my own, and that PA
>> simply ignored the 8 line stanza in my modprobe.conf that makes it all
>> Just Work when PA is prevented from screwing with things.
>ALSA device indexes are not stable anymore, they depend on the driver
>initialization order during boot time which is not deterministic
>anymore, since this happens in parallel now.

Which explains that, thanks.

>That's why PA ignores 
>them and uses HAL UDIs for identifying audio devices instead. (I
>assume that you are referring to the device indexes when you talk
>about modprobe.conf).

Essentially, yes.  Although I don't recall that randomness has ever reared it 
head here, running F8, and always a bleeding edge kernel, 2.6.27-rc7-4 ATM.

Can modprobe.conf be trained to use these HAL UDI's?

>> Without any meaningful docs on how to go about configuring it, if indeed
>> it is configurable, the easiest thing to do is remove as much of it as
>> possible without nukeing kde itself.
>There are quite a bit of docs out there. Just check out
>> >In the past all of us had to realize that the minute we wanted to
>> >deviate from what a distribution considered to be a "standard system"
>> >(like in your case 2 sound devices) we were pretty much on our own.
>> Yes, that is a given.  But in order to do this intelligently, there must
>> be docs of the 'this does that effect' in existence.  Apparently there are
>> none or URL's would have been offered.

And now they have been.  This msg marked important so kmail won't expire it, 
and I'll certainly check them out when I get the video's poor performance in 
hand.  The R600 ATI chipset support has no acceleration written yet.

>How would you like to have them offered? Maybe home delivered as printed
>books? Would that suit you?

Don't be silly.  Just a simple 'man pulseaudio' should bring up a URL or two 
at the bottom for questions not answered above in the man pages.

>Have you ever tried to go to "pulseaudio.org" if you had a question?
>Have you ever tried this thing called "Google"? It's a so called
>"search engine" that helps you find things when you don't know where
>to look. It's pretty hot stuff!

ISTR I did wind up there once, and it required I setup yet another account, 
complete with passwords etc before I could post.  I must have 30 of them 
things now & the wall is covered with cryptic postits I can no longer 
remember what site the noted username & password belong to.  CRS reigns 
supreme for disagreeable tasks.

As for google, the most common advice I got from there was to nuke it.
Now I'm starting all over with a new motherboard, with a much better 8 channel 
audio system, so I might retire the Creative SB0400, Audigy2 and forget about 
skype & see if I can make it now work.  vz has all the other servers blocked 
anyway, so I can never get a confirmation email from any of them except 
skype, and as that was 2 years ago, I expect its history now. vz can't stand 
the competition I guess.

>> >So I think there is a huge demand for more and better integration on
>> >the distribution side, for user tools to make not-so-standard stuff
>> >just work as well. Which is A Lot Of Work, right? We'll get there,
>> >slowly, I'm sure.
>> Probably, and at about the same pace as NM moves, which is glacial. 
>> Dumbassed typo's fixing takes a year to make it from patch submission to
>> distro included.  That, when it effects 90% of the users, should be a
>> week.  Max.
>Assuming that you mean NetworkManager by "NM": you are underestimating
>how much integration work this actually is. The kernel-userspace
>interfaces for networking have been total chaos in the past. And it is
>getting better. Much better.

Fixing a typu should not require 6 months of testing.

I have always been able to edit the correct ethx file 
in /etc/sysconfig/networking and make it work here, totally inhouse fixed 
addressing.  I use dd-wrt to make the network connection, running on an old 
x86 box, headless, driveless.  So NM is a solution looking for a problem to 
fix that doesn't exist here.

>And in the end: stop complaining! If you think we are incompetent
>morons, then scratch your own itches and give something back for all
>the apparently crappy stuff we happily give to you for free.

Were I 20 years younger, which would put me in my mid-50's when I was carving 
machine code for 8 bit machines, I most certainly would.  But at 74, I find 
I'm doing a lot of stuff in bash only.  I'm not fully groking the new c99 
syntax, its a far cry from either of my K&R Ansi C manuals.


Thank you, Lennart.

Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
Voiceless it cries,
Wingless flutters,
Toothless bites,
Mouthless mutters.

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