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The case for the /usr merge

The case for the /usr merge

Posted Jan 29, 2012 2:58 UTC (Sun) by sbergman27 (guest, #10767)
In reply to: The case for the /usr merge by HelloWorld
Parent article: The case for the /usr merge

"This is the typical FUD of lwn trolls."

I don't intend to spend the evening flame-warring with you. However, I will respond exactly once.

I've used it on many machines (too many to remember or count) since it first debuted in Fedora... whatever it was. 7? And I'm not kidding. There has always been *some* problem that prompted me to uninstall it. The first time through it immediately locked up all the remote X desktops at the client site where I had done the upgrade that introduced PA. And the problems continued, year after year.

Granted, over the last year or two I've taken to just uninstalling it immediately after installation. I did not do so on my new Scientific Linux 6.1 desktop... and sound in totem-plugin didn't work at all... until I uninstalled pulse.

"Firefox doesn't and I don't know how to use mplayer's"

Firefox should probably provide a volume control for its HTML5 video, if it doesn't already. Certainly Totem, VLC, and Mplayer plugins do. As well as the all-important Flashplayer. I can't say as I've noticed the Firefox issue since there is so little HTML5 streaming media available now. There's Youtube HTML5 beta. But it still doesn't work well enough to use on an every day basis.

"I haven't seen an audio chip with hardware mixing since my Asus A7V880 broke."

What color is the sky on your planet? I haven't seen a motherboard in years that didn't provide hardware mixing. Uninstall pulse, and I'll bet your current Mobo will mix just fine. Don't just buy the the PA propaganda uncritically. Try it for yourself.

"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."

And yet I uninstall PulseAudio, and without exception, sound works perfectly fine. A very strange series of audio driver bugs, indeed. They only ever affect Pulse Audio.

"This is, again, totally useless. Where's your source?"

That information came from a talk given by Scott. It's available online. I spent a bit of time looking for it. But like I say, I'm not about to waste excessive time this evening arguing with an obvious Poettering fanboy over trivialities.

You want to suffer with his crapware? It's certainly no skin off my nose. Go right ahead.

-Steve


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The case for the /usr merge

Posted Jan 29, 2012 10:11 UTC (Sun) by niner (subscriber, #26151) [Link]

> Firefox should probably provide a volume control for its HTML5 video, if it doesn't already. Certainly Totem, VLC, and Mplayer plugins do. As well as the all-important Flashplayer.

The only thing that MPlayer does is control the PCM volume. So when you turn down the volume in MPlayer, everything else gets quiet as well. That's hardly what I would call per application volume control.

> What color is the sky on your planet? I haven't seen a motherboard in years that didn't provide hardware mixing. Uninstall pulse, and I'll bet your current Mobo will mix just fine. Don't just buy the the PA propaganda uncritically. Try it for yourself.

Your motherboard does nothing! It's ALSAs dmix plugin that does the mixing in this case.

> And yet I uninstall PulseAudio, and without exception, sound works perfectly fine. A very strange series of audio driver bugs, indeed. They only ever affect Pulse Audio.

Because PulseAudio tries to do something better than sound systems on Linux have before. It uses timer based scheduling instead of interrupt based which lieterally increases battery life on my laptop for hours due to fewer CPU wakeups. Just like for example OS X has been able to for years.

The case for the /usr merge

Posted Jan 29, 2012 11:12 UTC (Sun) by mikachu (guest, #5333) [Link]

echo softvol = yes >> ~/.mplayer/config

The case for the /usr merge

Posted Jan 29, 2012 11:32 UTC (Sun) by mpr22 (subscriber, #60784) [Link]

Which raises the inevitable question "Who, exactly, thought that softvol=no being the default was a good idea?".

The case for the /usr merge

Posted Jan 29, 2012 13:43 UTC (Sun) by mastro (guest, #72665) [Link]

Softvol uses a bit more CPU and when used at very low volume degrades sound quality when compared with just setting the correct PCM volume. At least this was the case a few years ago, not sure how stuff works with pulseaudio.

The case for the /usr merge

Posted Jan 29, 2012 13:58 UTC (Sun) by HelloWorld (guest, #56129) [Link]

Why bother with editing config files, when I can just use pavucontrol which gets the job done and works the same everywhere?

The case for the /usr merge

Posted Jan 30, 2012 20:18 UTC (Mon) by mikachu (guest, #5333) [Link]

I was just correcting an incorrect statement, feel free to use whatever you want.

The case for the /usr merge

Posted Jan 29, 2012 17:06 UTC (Sun) by sbergman27 (guest, #10767) [Link]

"Your motherboard does nothing! It's ALSAs dmix plugin that does the mixing in this case."

Even better. Then Pulse is not only redundant, but in some cases double-redundant.

"It uses timer based scheduling instead of interrupt based which lieterally increases battery life on my laptop for hours due to fewer CPU wakeups."

Show me the data. I'm extremely skeptical. Unless you mean that you save a lot of power after your sound dies. That would make sense.

The case for the /usr merge

Posted Jan 30, 2012 1:40 UTC (Mon) by slashdot (guest, #22014) [Link]

dmix won't be enabled if Pulse is active, in sane distributions, obviously.

The case for the /usr merge

Posted Jan 30, 2012 19:40 UTC (Mon) by sbergman27 (guest, #10767) [Link]

But ALSA will be there. (Is anyone using OSS?) So PA's "functionality" is still redundant in this capacity.

The case for the /usr merge

Posted Feb 2, 2012 8:54 UTC (Thu) by keeperofdakeys (subscriber, #82635) [Link]

ALSA is incapable of software mixing, the dmix plugin handles this. So PA isn't redundant in this capacity.

As for OSS, no one uses it directly (or at least shouldn't). Many programs will use the OSS emulation offered by ALSA (which doesn't support software mixing). The interesting thing about OSS is that it was originally open source, became closed, and became open source again with version 4. Although, now we have shifted to ALSA, it will probably never be as popular.

The case for the /usr merge

Posted Jan 31, 2012 10:37 UTC (Tue) by daniels (subscriber, #16193) [Link]

You want to suffer with his crapware? It's certainly no skin off my nose. Go right ahead.

It's a shame that this approach doesn't extend to LWN comments too.


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