Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 7th Jul 2011 17:36 UTC, submitted by vivainio
Linux Linux.FR has an interview with Lennart Poettering of PulseAudio and systemd fame (among others). Regarding PulseAudio: "I can understand why people were upset, but quite frankly we didn't really have another option than to push it into the distributions when we did. While PulseAudio certainly wasn't bug-free when the distributions picked it up the majority of issues were actually not in PulseAudio itself but simply in the audio drivers. PulseAudio's timer-based scheduling requires correct timing information supplied by the audio driver, and back then the drivers weren't really providing that. And that not because the drivers were really broken, but more because the hardware was, and the drivers just lacked the right set of work-arounds, quirks and fixes to compensate for it."
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Linux distro model.
by dsmogor on Thu 7th Jul 2011 18:17 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

That's the general problem with Linux distribution model which puts all the burden of integration testing on distributors . This obviously blurs responsibility of respective components maintainers giving way to demonstrated responsibility shifting between teams working on different layers.

In closed environments making sure hardware works is a sole responsibility of the driver creator, who in turn can count on assuming relatively stable set of HW/driver interactions secured by stable OS middleware. In linux the middleware/ driver api is in constant flux. That invalidates any testing efforts between even minor releases.
Integrating those pieces into relatively stable coherent whole across wide range of HW/SW combinations (as required by desktop linux) is mission impossible.
That's (among others) why Linux have failed there while it thrives in more controlled environments (phones, appliances, servers, etc.) where testing is at least manageable.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Linux distro model.
by AdamW on Thu 7th Jul 2011 22:42 in reply to "Linux distro model."
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

I'd disagree, in this particular case. There hasn't really been any kind of API instability for audio on Linux. PA is built on ALSA, and ALSA's API hasn't changed in years and years.

The major problem with Linux audio is very simple and is called out by Lennart in the interview: there just aren't enough people working on it. As Lennart says, there's about three and a half people trying to do the entirety of all audio work on Linux, including improving PA and ALSA, fixing bugs, *and* supporting new sound hardware. That's not close to enough.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: Linux distro model.
by dsmogor on Fri 8th Jul 2011 10:01 in reply to "RE: Linux distro model."
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

True, but on the other hand variety of sound hw decreases as PC sound is being commoditized around MOBO integrated chips. Fewer and fewer users bother to buy a discrete sound card on their PCs.

Reply Parent Score: 3