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Re: PulseAudio and sound apps (was: Re: Orphaning a few packages)

On Wed, Apr 15, 2009 at 4:22 AM, Kevin Kofler wrote:
> Orcan Ogetbil wrote:
>> I re-orphaned portaudio. I see that it is patched to work with
>> pulseaudio, which, I think, must be banned from the surface of Earth.
>> I am not planning to maintain a package with such a patch.
> PulseAudio is the default sound solution in Fedora, so all packages using
> sound SHOULD support it.

There are two issues here.

JACK is the default for audio production software (period) I
personally do record multitrack audio and make use ladspa, lv2 etc.
Nothing beats JACK. Audio production software don't need to support
PulseAudio because people who are into audio recording/mixing won't
use it while there is Jack.

> IMHO, we should:
> * find some solution for JACK apps to work out of the box, without
> reconfiguring PulseAudio to work on top of JACK. Maybe this involves
> running JACK on top of PulseAudio (something which currently doesn't work
> because JACK does not support non-mmap ALSA devices nor the native
> PulseAudio protocol), maybe this involves starting up JACK when needed and
> having it load the JACK modules into PulseAudio and rerouting running
> PulseAudio streams to JACK at runtime (which can be done without
> interrupting the PulseAudio streams - the problem with that solution is
> that it breaks support for multiple output devices, which work just fine
> when using PulseAudio directly), maybe something else, but in any case a
> solution is needed to make things just work.
> * once that's done, make it a requirement that sound MUST work with
> PulseAudio without manual configuration. PulseAudio MUST be the default in
> all sound-using applications. JACK SHOULD only be used if PulseAudio (and
> any of the compatible APIs, e.g. ALSA, ESD etc.) is not supported (and as I
> explained above, it needs to interoperate with PulseAudio more than it
> currently does). Likewise, aRts (the deprecated KDE 3 sound server) SHOULD
> only be used if outputting directly to PulseAudio is not possible.
> It makes no sense to have a sound server configured by default and then have
> assorted applications not working with it. It also makes no sense to have a
> whole set of applications (JACK-using applications) require manual
> reconfiguration of the system according to a readme file shipped with the
> jack-audio-connection-kit package to even work at all.

Now the second issue: If you look at it that way, PulseAudio needs a
manual configuration too. Very very many people complained about sound
problems in F-10 and had to do the tsched=0 hack to make things work.
I read that even this hack is not enough for some folks.

For me, PulseAudio did not work at all, until F-10. And on F-10, I had
to do the above hack too. But still, it is choppy. I recently wiped
off PulseAudio from my system and returned to plain ALSA. Believe it
or not, every sound application is more responsive and works better
now. Even Firefox works twice faster (no exaggeration).

I do believe that making PulseAudio the default is a shame for Fedora
(and bigger shame than disabling ctrl+alt+backspace). While I have
nothing against testing and supporting pre-alpha quality software, I
don't think such should be the default on Fedora. The way it was
released by their upstream and it was introduced in Fedora are plain
wrong. The 0.9 series should have been called or something in
that line. I agree that PulseAudio proposes nice features and if they
came to me and asked for help to get their code to alpha quality, I
would have gladly helped. But these nice features that you propose
count nothing if you can't support the most basic tasks a sound server
should support.

I also believe that PulseAudio is a cancer, and it is growing. Even if
we are going to lose a leg to get rid of this cancer, we should do it
NOW. Otherwise it will spread and become irrevocable. The topic of the
discussion should be: How can we get rid of PulseAudio? How can we ban
this project for the good of humanity?

Plain ALSA is good enough. And what do they say? "If it's not broken,
do not fix it." I do not understand the need of adding a buggy,
unfinished layer on top of good mother ALSA.

Orcan, the "Pulse Against"

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