[pulseaudio-discuss] Automatic selection of an audio sink depending on value of ENV variable

Leszek Koltunski leszek at koltunski.pl
Mon Oct 26 00:03:48 PDT 2009

> fixable. In this particular case outlined in this thread it seems to
> be requested to make those props per-screen and not per-display.


> We can do this, Not sure it makes a lot of sense though in the general
> case, and makes we wonder how long before someone wants to attach this
> informaton to a monitor, not a screen or display.
> And then again, running a display with multiple screens is kinda
> exotic in my eyes. The more common case is to have one screen with
> multiple monitors. And that's what we should optimize for.
> I'll try to argue with the above.

If one runs NVidia proprietary drivers ( last time I used ATI - ~3ys ago -
it was the same over there ) and wants to connect more than one monitor,
NVidia offers two ways to do it: you can setup the second monitor to be what
they call a "separate X screen" ( and that it precisely what I have here )
or a "TwinView" (nvidia-speak for Xinerama ).

Now, the main difference between those two modes is this: Xinerama connects
2 or more monitors into one big desktop (gnome panels stretch across both
monitors, one can drag windows between them etc ) whereas 'separate X
screen' creates 2 separate desktops (2 copies of gnome-panels appear, one on
each monitor, dragging is impossible, each monitor has its own icons, trays
etc ) .

That means that if one chooses Xinerama, most probably his monitors are
located physically next to each other. But in this case he likely does NOT
need a separate sound sink for each monitor! If however one goes for
'separate X screen' , then he most probably wants some kind of a multiseat
setup, or maybe - like in my case - his monitors are far away from each
other. In precisely this case people tend to need separate sound sinks.

Current strategy of attaching an X prop to a display gives this flexibility
only to those who are knowledgeable enough to set this up manually in
xorg.conf; NVidia and ATI graphical tools cannot do it.

Attaching X prop to a screen would give this flexibility to 'dual screen'
users, and those actually tend to need it.

Going for 'seperate sound sink for each monitor' first of all would require
a radical redesign of Pulse, and second would not result in much additional
benefit ( only Xinerama people would potentially gain, but those do not need
this functionality anyway )

> But hey, a clean patch can be a very convincing argument. Walk the
> walk, don't talk the talk!

I'll see what I can do.
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