[LAD] ALSA frustration

Patrick Shirkey pshirkey at boosthardware.com
Tue Apr 22 10:04:27 UTC 2014

On Tue, April 22, 2014 5:44 am, Fons Adriaensen wrote:
> 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.

Cleaning up this stuff would make a good project for some students to get
involved with. I wonder if there are any university professors who could
organise such a project?

Otherwise we (LAD) could pitch it to SUSE/Ubuntu/redhat/etc... or the
Linux Foundation as something that needs some funding support.

> 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.

Alsa-devel is a very heavy traffic list. There are a lot of companies
providing support but they seem to be mostly mobile chipset drivers.

> 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.
> --
> FA
> 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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Patrick Shirkey
Boost Hardware Ltd

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