[pulseaudio-discuss] /.

Markus Rechberger mrechberger at gmail.com
Tue Oct 20 13:03:54 PDT 2009

On Mon, Oct 19, 2009 at 12:16 PM, Colin Guthrie <gmane at colin.guthr.ie> wrote:
> You'll no doubt be aware, but:
> http://linux.slashdot.org/story/09/10/19/0155235/PulseAudio-Creator-Responds-To-Critics
> It's full of the usual ill informed rants, but obviously user experience is
> a tough one to judge as a huge chunk of the "user experience" with pulse is
> really down to the distros, and we have no control over that for most
> distros :(

I'm also using pulseaudio for one of my product actually (just because
the devices we ship have
to work without altering the installed system).
My experience as a developer is that PA is a nightmare, we are just
using the PA Simple API.

The App works flawlessly with Alsa, but with Ubuntu and the PA Alsa
emulation layer the App
crashed after reopening the devicenode the second time from the same
process (this was with
Ubuntu 9.04).
So since Alsa started to crash with the PA emulation layer we added PA
Simple support, this
just crashed after the 5th time opening/closing the audio interface
from the same process.
Since this affected our application we decided to split off audio
completely into a second process
and we check if the process crashes - if so we'll restart the audio
handling of our application.

So when going through that I was certainly sure that noone ever tested
PA properly and it was
just picked up by the distributions. There should have been a big
warning that PA is extremely
I do not know about the current PA version (note we do not want the
user to touch their system
just in order to get our app work with it so they should not have to
update PA - keep it simple)
I'm not sure how far the latest PA code is I'll probably see in a half
year when distributions have
picked it up again.

The PA features are nice, but please remember almost noone is using
Audio via Network, almost
noone is using the Xorg display export feature either. It's a nice to
have but the most important
thing is that audio works at all, PA was really bad for Linux and
audio in that manner.
(I don't want to start about applications which use nonblocking
mmapped alsa transfer now....)

Best Regards,

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