[pulseaudio-discuss] Conception of PulseAudio in public through Debian

Sean McNamara smcnam at gmail.com
Sat Apr 14 12:52:58 PDT 2012

On Sat, Apr 14, 2012 at 3:03 PM, Paul Menzel
<paulepanter at users.sourceforge.net> wrote:
> Dear PulseAudio and Debian folks,
> I am aware that is not an upstream issues per se, but indirectly it is
> as written above, so I hope it is alright to post this message here on
> the list.
> Although during the last years PulseAudio is doing its job pretty well,
> there are still quite some people out there thinking it is a mess. And
> indeed looking at the Debian bug tracking system [1] a lot of bugs are
> reported there. There are 145 reports [2] most of them concerning
> upstream things. Since for a long time, Debian did not package the
> latest PulseAudio version, I guess a lot of them are fixed already.
> Debian’s large user base experienced a lot of these problems and
> therefore disabled PulseAudio and have not tried newer versions.

Their loss. There's really nothing wrong with pulseaudio, unless you
have specific hardware for which the ALSA drivers are still broken. I
don't think we should try to actively do anything to improve
pulseaudio's image; we're not a corporation and we don't do marketing.
The software and its usefulness stands on its own: if people either
have a valid technical reason for disliking it, or dislike it for no
technical reason at all, that's their prerogative. PulseAudio does not
gain from having more users, and users who are perfectly happy with
their current audio setup (whatever it might be) have nothing to gain
from using PA (after all, the whole point of having software is to be
satisfied with it; so as long as everyone is satisfied with the
solution they *do* have, there's nothing left to do to make that
user's experience better.)

Projects that get "image-conscious" about people disliking them tend
to get overburdened with lots of poorly educated users trying the
software, without really knowing what they're doing. The good news
about PA's underground haters is that the people who do know what
they're doing, or whose distro integrates PA so well as to be
invisible to the user, get an excellent experience. And, the people
who wouldn't use PA even if you *told* them it's great and *proved*
that it works with their hardware, have an alternative to turn to,
i.e. other distros that don't ship or enable PA by default.

I think we should do absolutely nothing about this. PA seems to be
steadily growing adoption as it matures, and during the leadership of
Lennart he did basically nothing to drive its adoption, short of
talking to distribution creators and educating them to ensure that
it's shipped in a usable state with an up-to-date version in the most
popular distributions. But that was a completely separate effort from
trying to address the end-users: Lennart never  had to address the
end-users directly, because he correctly knew that the distros
themselves would drive PA's adoption through successful, bug-free
deployments of it.

The best marketing for PA is to sort through the bug reports you can
find out there, fix them if valid, and make sure that PA and its
dependencies (mainly ALSA and its many drivers) are engineered to be
stable and reliable. If we get our technical work done and the
software does what it claims to do exceptionally well, the marketing
will take care of itself.

Just my 2 cents.


> Are there any ideas how that situation could be improved? I guess a
> dedicated maintainer for the PulseAudio Debian package would be useful.
> Some Ubuntu developers and Sjoerd have done a great job already and at
> least got new (great) working packages out.
> If they had more time, they would already deal with the reports, so
> since this is not the case, the question is, how we can solve that
> situation. Any ideas?
> Thanks,
> Paul
> [1] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/pkgreport.cgi?pkg=pulseaudio;dist=unstable
> [2] http://packages.qa.debian.org/p/pulseaudio.html
> _______________________________________________
> pulseaudio-discuss mailing list
> pulseaudio-discuss at lists.freedesktop.org
> http://lists.freedesktop.org/mailman/listinfo/pulseaudio-discuss

More information about the pulseaudio-discuss mailing list