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[2]: Broken audio hardware
by cmchittom on Thu 7th Jul 2011 20:59 UTC 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[4]: Broken audio hardware
by phoenix on Thu 7th Jul 2011 21:29 in reply to "RE[3]: Broken audio hardware"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

As far as I'm aware WebOS, Maemo and meego all use pulseaudio versus raw alsa for this very reason


Ah, but is that because Pulse is so much better than everything else (OSSv3, OSSv4, FreeBSD OSS, OpenBSD sound, etc)? Or just because ALSA sucks so horribly?

The fact that projects use Pulse over raw ALSA just shows how bad raw ALSA is; it has no reflection whatsoever on any other audio stacks.

With the exception of Bluetooth audio, everything you can do with Pulse, I can do on FreeBSD using "that poor pathetic OSSv3", including all the different mixing of channels, redirecting of the network, multiple soundcards, multiple sources, etc.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Broken audio hardware
by cmchittom on Fri 8th Jul 2011 02:06 in reply to "RE[3]: Broken audio hardware"
cmchittom Member since:
2011-03-18

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.


That's a fair point, I admit. Still, the most readily available source for 5.1 streams for most people would be DVDs, right? Is it still technically illegal to watch DVDs under anything other than Windows or OS X? (I'm asking; I just don't know. I've always preferred watching DVDs on a TV, so I've never messed with that.) Assuming it is legal under Linux, I'd have no problem with apt-get install dvdplayerapp pulling in PA as a dependency—my issue was just with Poettering basically saying "You are wrong" to people whose setups were clearly working for them.

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


And it makes perfect sense for them to do so, because what they need can't be supplied any other way. But they're not a normal desktop case.

Reply Parent Score: 1