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Choosing between portability and innovation

Choosing between portability and innovation

Posted Mar 9, 2011 13:49 UTC (Wed) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
In reply to: Choosing between portability and innovation by lacos
Parent article: Choosing between portability and innovation

There are good reasons why PA runs as you and not as a systemwide user (though it can). PA can be asked to load modules providing new features at runtime: this is obviously forbidden for systemwide daemons. PA can operate in a zero-copy mode, transferring audio data directly over shared memory: for obvious security reasons this must be avoided if the daemon may serve more than one user, forcing everything to be serialized and deserialized again.

PA itself is plainly necessary: most modern sound hardware can't mix, so the first open()er blocks all the rest. This is more than slightly aggravating to users (the difference between a very long block and a crash is not very large from a user perspective).

PA is really not that bad. Yes, it was buggy once upon a time (mostly because it used features that had never been used by anyone else), but these days it largely Just Works.


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Choosing between portability and innovation

Posted Mar 11, 2011 3:46 UTC (Fri) by phoenix (guest, #73532) [Link]

As has been shown by the BSDs, you do not need PulseAudio, or any other sound daemon, sound server, etc, in order to have non-blocking, multi-source/single-output sound setup.

Just because Linux can't do it, doesn't mean it's not possible, nor that it should be avoided.

Choosing between portability and innovation

Posted Mar 11, 2011 12:40 UTC (Fri) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

Yeah, great, you can do all the flaming horror of sound mixing in kernel space. Thanks but no thanks.


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