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Comment: Re:Pulseaudio is a synthom, It's not to blame. (Score 1) 284

by goruka (#48188169) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Stop PulseAudio From Changing Sound Settings?
If you ask me, I think this should be handled in-kernel for may reasons:
1) You need a process running SCHED_FIFO all for sound otherwise. This is OK but you are still at the mercy of the scheduler when you poll.
2) Letting this happen in userspace resulted in several competing APIs and no standard over more than a decade. While for toolkits this is not serious, for audio this is, because the competing APIs require exclusive access to a resource.
3) Resampling, at the best quality and even in a real-time audio process is extremely cheap, and you only need to do it for a single stream.

Which is what my OP is about, what you suggest we've been there, done that and failed. This is simple functionality that should be handled in kernel with a simple API presented to userspace.

Comment: Re:Pulseaudio is a synthom, It's not to blame. (Score 1) 284

by goruka (#48185683) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Stop PulseAudio From Changing Sound Settings?
This is not really a problem because, even if you wanted to use the most expensive interpolation possible, you can resample your lower-priority audio outside and feed it through a lock-free ringbuffer. This way the deadline constrained realtime audio has no penalty in practice.

Comment: Re:Pulseaudio is a synthom, It's not to blame. (Score 1) 284

by goruka (#48183513) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Stop PulseAudio From Changing Sound Settings?
Both Windows and OSX handle real-time audio in the way you mention, so you can have something like Jack and system sounds at the same time. OSS from 4front does this same thing.

The problem is that, for this to work, you have to open audio in real-time with the best possible combination of parameters, and this might involve resampling or dithering audio from lowest bit depth or sample rate. The kernel does not support using floating point code, so integer math needs to be used for the resampling.

Despite that most commercial hardware has for ages used fixed point math for this, and that even a simple spline interpolation would do fine for all cases since you are upsampling, most of the "audio gurus" of the linux audio development comunity of the time (like Paul Davis, Steve Harris, etc) convinced the kernel people that there would be a terrible quality loss and it was a bad idea to do this.

So, the situation of the linux kernel audio is one of those situations when instead of designing by use case, it was designed by designers that would prefer a "clean" solution instead of a practical one (that Commercial OSs and hardware implemented).

Comment: Re:Pulseaudio is a synthom, It's not to blame. (Score 1) 284

by goruka (#48177275) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Stop PulseAudio From Changing Sound Settings?
Neither ALSA (through dmix) nor Jackd can mix both high latency and low latency audio.
Dmix can mix many userspace high latency streams, or one low latency stream but not both.
Jackd is only for low latency
Pulseaudio can mix both, but it's not as efficient as a kernel solution and it's quite dangerous (because it's SCHED_FIFO)
4Front OSS could do both in kernel and it worked extremely well.

Comment: Pulseaudio is a synthom, It's not to blame. (Score 5, Informative) 284

by goruka (#48176317) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Stop PulseAudio From Changing Sound Settings?
Disclaimer: I wrote plenty of open source audio apps for linux, even worked with professional audio hardware with embedded linux.

Pulseaudio is just another victim of the attitude from the linux kernel developers of kicking a problem to userland when they should really be solving it.
Userspace audio mixers are OK for many applications, such as a video player, desktop sounds, listening to mp3s, etc. as long as such applications don't need low latency. If you need videogames, pro-audio stuff, or even real-time video editing you need low latency and here is the problem happens. You need somehow a way to ensure that the low latency audio thread gets notification quickly and gets priority in the scheduler (because the buffers are small), while the regular latency audio just needs to accumulate more data into buffers.

But the problem is, that you have only one DAC, and different streams might request different configuration parameters, such as bit depth, sampling rate, channels, etc. In any serious OS, the kernel will open a stream with the maximum settings for real-time, and will ensure it gets the needed attention, while it mixes and resamples the audio that comes from the regular OS sound buffers over it. Linux kernel developers are against this, and the justification is that resampling should not happen in the kernel. As a result, asks user space to solve the problem. Pulseaudio is an attempt to solve that problem, and does what the kernel should be doing in userspace, but unfortunately it just doesn't work very well. Linux is not a "real time" OS and scheduling can still fuck you your user-space audio.

Back in the day, OSS handled this perfectly, but when it was replaced by ALSA (an extremely bloated and over-designed API and driver architecture) hell began, so please don't blame PulseAudio for this, this is purely the fault of kernel developers.

Comment: H1Bs have two faces. (Score 0) 365

by goruka (#47992645) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway
This article is spot on. Can a line be draw on H1Bs?
Disclaimer: I own part of a company in South America and worked for clients all around the world, outsourcing work (yes, I steal your jobs and I don't even need a H1B).
H1Bs are used for cheap labor, but also are vital for bringing more experienced seniorship into American companies (which there really is a lack of, at the pace the industry is growing). I sympathize with the low end of the scale, (It is terrible that a foreigner steals your job), but the high end is being too greedy. If there isn't enough seniorship to supply positions in the industry, don't be happy that your annual income will be doubled. Think instead that you are putting a stop to the industry and instead allow other seniors to be brought from overseas.
If not.. well, American companies will continue turning to outsourcing and help me make a living. Thank you guys!

Comment: Guys, make it work on OSX and Windows. (Score 4, Interesting) 48

by goruka (#47904585) Attached to: KDevelop 4.7.0 Released
I know KDevelop is great and used it for a while. However, Qt-Creator will continue being the best open source IDE because it allows to keep working on projects no matter the platform, and has a much broader appeal. How difficult is it to get it to work on something other than Unixes, given Qt is portable?

Comment: Abandoning Desktop was a BIG Mistake for RedHat (Score 1) 232

by goruka (#47768281) Attached to: How Red Hat Can Recapture Developer Interest
More than a decade ago, when they abandoned desktop and regular users and only focused on enterprise, they made their biggest mistake. Where do you think Ubuntu Server users come from?

Even most of us who are highly knowledgeable and understand Linux to it's most profound depths appreciate a good desktop experience. The fact we can compile a kernel or any software does not mean we prefer that to a nice end-user experience.

It is still not too late for RedHat, and given the horrible direction Ubuntu has been going recently (trying to run on Phones and Tablets), and the fact that the tablet fad is starting to pass and the desktop did not die (as evidenced by Microsoft's direction with Windows 9), they have a great chance to re-capture the desktop user. They will definitely not be able to do that by supporting Gnome 3 (something a large part of desktop users hate, even if a small minority likes it), and their very unfriendly package manager. They now have Ubuntu as example of how to do some things right, and as proof that this is a desirable business direction.

Comment: DropBox is terrible (Score 5, Interesting) 275

by goruka (#47745183) Attached to: Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google
Unlike Google which uses ownership to determine size used, you can run out of space in DropBox by someone sharing you a large folder. DropBox also make is impossible from the web interface to see the sizes or usage of files to make room or clean up. I ended up paying Google for 100gb because their service is simply better.

...when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. - Fred Brooks, Jr.

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