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Re: FESCo Meeting Summary for 20090424

On Sun, 2009-05-03 at 01:59 +0100, Bastien Nocera wrote:

> > Here's the other thing that gets me about this: okay, so you thought
> > about the use cases you want to support and came up with a design.
> > Great.
> > 
> > But we don't even have that design yet. That design includes input
> > switching and profile switching.
> Tell me where I wrote that:
> https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/VolumeControl#User_Experience
> <snip rant>
> *Where*
> I already asked this question when Will made the same assumption as you
> did, during the Fesco meeting. The use cases we had didn't include any
> need for profile switching.

That just makes me question even more your competence to be doing the
design; if you manage to come up with a design for a mixer application
without considering the importance of digital output, well. Er.
That's...um. My output device is connected digitally. So are zillions of
others. That's why soundcards ship with S/PDIF outputs. Even cheap
crappy onboard sound, where the manufacturers would gladly save a cent
any old way, universally include S/PDIF now - because people want it.
How were you expecting us to hear any sound?

I suspect this whole process was managed by people who are great at
interface design, and great at the software side of audio/video (which I
know you are), but perhaps didn't think hard enough about what people
actually do with audio hardware.

> Yes we realised late we'd need it for some use cases, no, we didn't
> decide to ship an unfinished volume control that we knew would impact
> some use cases we didn't think of.
> And we already knew that we'd need profile switching for some things
> that we couldn't have before:
> - out-of-the-box multi-speaker setup support
> - multi-speakers testing
> - Bluetooth audio profile switching and service reservation (eg. only
> play stereo audio play through the headphones, and let a mobile phone
> connect to the headset, music stops when you receive a call)

These would all be awesome things, if they existed yet. Once they do,
life will indeed be awesome. I anticipate their arrival avidly.

> A couple of benefits from the current volume control compared to the old
> one:
> - "default" input and output control
> - microphone level checks
> - sound effects level control
> - per-application volume control (for apps that support it)

Yes, these are neat. Especially default input device control. And that's
more support for the "ship two mixers" compromise (which, ironically, it
turns out is exactly what we've been doing for three releases). These
are great features of PulseAudio (supplied up till now by pavucontrol).
I like them. I've written blog entries extolling their virtues. I've
cited them in long argumentative threads about how PA is shit. But they
don't excuse you from covering really basic audio use cases like
*digital frickin' output*.

> The only use case(s) that we haven't catered for are for people who want
> to record things, and the sound card has more than 1 input. 

No, not correct at all. You haven't yet catered for people who want to
*monitor* (rather than record) an input channel, people who have digital
outputs, or people who have analog surround sound setups (the Logitech
Z-5300 has been in production for about seven years for a *reason* -
people buy this stuff).

> Yes, it's a
> big omission, but that doesn't mean you're allowed to write off the
> benefits we're bringing for a large number of users already.

I'm not. As I said, I like those things. Which I was I was on the side
which was supporting the compromise by which we would have those
features AND the features g-v-c is missing. It's not frickin' rocket
Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Fedora Talk: adamwill AT fedoraproject DOT org

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