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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RE: Broken audio hardware
by diegocg on Thu 7th Jul 2011 20:17 UTC in reply to "Broken audio hardware"
diegocg
Member since:
2005-07-08

Pulseaudio uses code paths that implement advanced functionality; these code paths had never been tested in many drivers because most people didn't use them and nobody cared about it. Pulseaudio forced maintainers to implement correctly all the advanced stuff. If Linux had more people working on the audio stack maybe those bugs could have been fixed sooner, but we don't have that luxury.

The criticism to Pulseaudio is getting ridiculous. Nobody knows the name of the people that actually had bugs in their drivers, but everybody hates Lennart for exposing them? What is next, should we hate the ACID tests because they expose bugs in IE?

Edited 2011-07-07 20:18 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 10

RE[2]: Broken audio hardware
by phoenix on Thu 7th Jul 2011 20:46 in reply to "RE: Broken audio hardware"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Ah, the hypocrisy. ;)

People defending PusleAudio because it "exposed bugs in the drivers" and was sorely needed to advance the Linux audio stack, yet lambasting KDE4 for doing the same to the graphics stack.

(Not saying you are doing that.)

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[3]: Broken audio hardware
by _txf_ on Thu 7th Jul 2011 20:54 in reply to "RE[2]: Broken audio hardware"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

I imagine there are some...

But I suspect that in the majority there is a significant overlap in the two groups...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Broken audio hardware
by cmchittom on Thu 7th Jul 2011 20:59 in reply to "RE: Broken audio hardware"
cmchittom Member since:
2011-03-18

The criticism to Pulseaudio is getting ridiculous. Nobody knows the name of the people that actually had bugs in their drivers, but everybody hates Lennart for exposing them? What is next, should we hate the ACID tests because they expose bugs in IE?


Anybody that hates Poettering for that needs to have his head examined. It ain't that serious.

I do think the interview showed a good deal of arrogance on Poettering's part, for example when he says (when asked about the BSDs continuing to use OSS instead of ALSA or PA:

[OSS] doesn't really have any relevance for what you need for a modern desktop.


He doesn't explain it except to say

You cannot implement logic like timer-based scheduling on it (whih [sic] is mandatory to properly handle more than one client with different latency constraints or latency at all, and all that in a power consumption friendly way), and doing mixing and sample conversion in the kernel is pretty questionnable [sic] too.


Never mind that I use OpenBSD as my desktop and my only real audio need is to listen to my music, which I do quite easily. Never mind that I never need to "handle more than one client with different latency constraints" and that I've never done mixing or sample conversion. Never mind that it's a very very small subset of the people who use Linux who need to do those things anyway.

I'm not annoyed at him exposing bugs or implementing what could well be a better way overall. On the contrary, those are good things. I'm annoyed at his insistence that something which fills all my needs (even if it doesn't fill absolutely everyone's) is wrong and must be replaced by a much buggier stack that is—in execution if not design—less functional.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Broken audio hardware
by _txf_ on Thu 7th Jul 2011 21:08 in reply to "RE[2]: Broken audio hardware"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Never mind that I use OpenBSD as my desktop and my only real audio need is to listen to my music, which I do quite easily. Never mind that I never need to "handle more than one client with different latency constraints" and that I've never done mixing or sample conversion. Never mind that it's a very very small subset of the people who use Linux who need to do those things anyway.


When you have a 5.1 stream and you want it in a 2.0/2.1 system you need to mix the channels. These days that is quite normal. Also in portable systems to save power and not wake the system as often you want very high latency audio which you cannot do with alsa or oss. As far as I'm aware WebOS, Maemo and meego all use pulseaudio versus raw alsa for this very reason

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Broken audio hardware
by Alfman on Fri 8th Jul 2011 04:08 in reply to "RE: Broken audio hardware"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

diegocg,

"The criticism to Pulseaudio is getting ridiculous."

It's apparent from the voting that your opinion is more popular here, but I really don't think it's ridiculous to criticize pulseaudio (and the distros loading it) when the result was many broken systems.

Personally I am obviously still a devoted Linux user, but these things should not happen with a professional OS. Even if the changes were ultimately beneficial, the chaotic process through which pulse audio was released is unfortunately a set back to the credibility of a reliable OS. It is exactly this sort of mismanagement that fuels the cry that linux is not ready for the desktop.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Broken audio hardware
by r_a_trip on Fri 8th Jul 2011 09:37 in reply to "RE[2]: Broken audio hardware"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Personally I am obviously still a devoted Linux user, but these things should not happen with a professional OS. Even if the changes were ultimately beneficial, the chaotic process through which pulse audio was released is unfortunately a set back to the credibility of a reliable OS. It is exactly this sort of mismanagement that fuels the cry that linux is not ready for the desktop.

< elitist ass > It separates the men from the boys. < /elitist ass >

For me the part in bold is what counts. Progress is painful. I've been using Linux since 1998 and there have been bumpy rides, but the system always got better, even after a temporary regression.

It is in the nature of people to bitch and moan about temporary setbacks. Look at the abuse we all gave MS over Vista. Now that Vista has been thoroughly polished and re-released as Windows 7, where are the cries now? Not to be heard. Yet vista was necessary to get to Windows 7. (Yes, a Linux user can praise MS...)

If you can't be on the bleeding edge, curb your updateritis and stick with a long time support release without the problematic feature. There are enough enthusiasts out there to iron out the kinks, before anyone needs to get near a new, bleeding edge feature.

Linux at least has the luxury of a few bazzilion distro's, so there should always be one with the right feature set. MS didn't have that luxury with Vista.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[3]: Broken audio hardware
by Valhalla on Fri 8th Jul 2011 13:37 in reply to "RE[2]: Broken audio hardware"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

but these things should not happen with a professional OS.

I find statements like these to be quite pointless, I remember tons of complaints over broken video/audio drivers as Microsoft released Vista with it's new driver architectures, and Microsoft have alot more resources at their disposal for testing before release than Linux devs have.

For OSX obviously it's a different matter since they control the exact hardware and thus only have to make it work flawlessly against their particular specification. So I'm guessing they are the only ones that would get your 'professional OS' seal of quality.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Broken audio hardware
by Yamin on Sat 9th Jul 2011 02:28 in reply to "RE: Broken audio hardware"
Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

You shouldn't hate the ACID tests...

but imagine if the Google made their homepage make use of advanced HTML features requiring 100% ACID pass rate. Suddenly 90% of the world can't access Google when they previously could?

That would create a huge storm as well.

At the end of the day you make your products for your users. Google would never do that to it's users.

Neither should Linux distros.
The fault lies with the distros for packaging pulse audio when a lot of audio drivers didn't implements advanced functionality 100%.

Reply Parent Score: 3