[LAD] ALSA frustration

Fons Adriaensen fons at linuxaudio.org
Mon Apr 21 19:44:22 UTC 2014

For the N-th time I've set aside a day to try and read
some of the ALSA documentation. For the N-th time I've
completely lost my way in a web consisting of 

* The complete lack of any documentation that
  explains the concepts, the big picture, and
  the terminology. 

* Completely useless docs, of the form:

  function xxx_set_yyy (parm_zzz)
     sets the yyy of xxx to zzz.

  or similar, in other words something generated  
  automagically and completely uninformative and
  redundant. In particalur if it's impossible to
  find out what yyy is supposed to be or do in
  the first place.

* Uncomprehensible English. 

* When trying to learn something from actual
  source code or examples, layer upon layer of
  syntactic sugar making it virtually impossible
  to understand what's going on. 

All this more than ten years after ALSA was
announced. I *do* understand those hardware
manufactureres who just refuse to try and
write an ALSA driver.

In this case my very humble endeavour was just
to find out if or not it would be possible to
create something similar to the alsa_jack plugin
that would actually present itself as a sound
card, so that (badly written) apps would be
prepared to use it. 

If someone knows the answer to that question
and can also explain it I'll commend him/her
in my prayers. 


A world of exhaustive, reliable metadata would be an utopia.
It's also a pipe-dream, founded on self-delusion, nerd hubris
and hysterically inflated market opportunities. (Cory Doctorow)

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