> I can honestly say that I have *never* had a desktop machine that used PulseAudio where pulse did not cause some problem or another.
This is the typical FUD of lwn trolls. How many machines did you try it on? When was that? What specific problems did you run into? Without this kind of information, a comment like yours is just useless trolling.
Anyway, I've been using PulseAudio for some time now and it works flawlessly.
> Per app volume controls? What apps don't have thier own?
Firefox doesn't and I don't know how to use mplayer's. And I don't feel like I should need to learn, after all, pavucontrol offers a consistent interface for *all* sound applications.
> Software mixing? What sound chipsets, even really cheap ones, don't support hardware mixing of multiple channels?
Err, like, almost every one? I haven't seen an audio chip with hardware mixing since my Asus A7V880 broke. That's because hardware mixing is useless nowadays.
> Network audio? ESD did that just fine without causing audio problems so severe that a reboot (yes, a reboot) was required. Simply logging out, killing pulse, and logging back in, has not helped on the machines which exhibited this problem.
It's obvious that these problems are caused by the audio driver, not by PulseAudio. In fact, most PulseAudio-related problems could be traced back to driver bugs.
> Regarding systemd... Scott James Remnant's team looked into the port-listening strategy that systemd is based upon for possible use in Upstart. It had architectural problems that were irresolvable, so they quite reasonably abandoned it.
This is, again, totally useless. Where's your source? I checked netsplit.com and couldn't find anything about these supposed problems.