Re: GNOME 2 Sound Architecture and APIs?

Just to clarify a little esound history...

When I took over the cleaning up of raster's sounD, I took a look
at NAS.  The "canonical" source from didn't compile for
Linux out of the box.  Someone sent me a patched version that 
compiled, but segfaulted on startup.  Further investigation 
revealed an RPM (fine for me and my red hat box), which worked 
for about two seconds, then fell apart, meaning total audio 
degradation.  Raster was concentrating on a rewrite of 
Enlightenment, so I offered to help out with the audio stuff.  

I kept it simple (too simple, in retrospect), and failed to 
optimize sufficiently for the "most audio is locally generated" 
cases.  The primary use case was "make IM/WM beeps while 
playing mp3s".  For this limited domain of desktop applications, 
it works ok.  It really needs a resampling overhaul (borrow one 
from a decent MOD player, GPL rules), and portions of the 
implementation are total crap (passing sockets, etc.).  This is
not meant to be an exhaustive list of problems with esd, just 
the most pathetic ones.

I claim that for 99.999% of the average desktop users (i.e. not
audio power users), esound is "good enough", especially if a
few major kinks are worked out.  I claim that for the remaining
users, *no* process that sits between a high-end audio app and
the sound card will be acceptable.  This is why esd provides a
way to release the audio device for programs that need finer
control (e.g. quake).  Although the Loki guys seem to work with
it despite all the problems...

Jim Gettys wrote:
> NAS is a dead loss.  Don't spend your time on it.
> It is incapable of anything near real time, which we need for
> games and teleconferencing.
> Note that Raster, when looking for exisiting sound software, searched
> the web for "Linux" stuff only, and therefore missed all prior UNIX
> experience.
>                                 - Jim
> > Sender: gnome-private-members-admin gnome org
> > From: Telsa Gwynne <hobbit aloss ukuu org uk>
> > Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 09:55:39 +0100
> > To: GNOME Hackers <gnome-hackers gnome org>
> > Subject: Re: GNOME 2 Sound Architecture and APIs?
> > -----
> > On Thu, Apr 12, 2001 at 04:55:16PM -0400 or thereabouts, Elliot Lee wrote:
> > >
> > > NAS was considered when looking for a sound daemon originally. I don't
> > > remember the reasons why it wasn't chosen, but it probably deserves at
> > > least a brief reevaluation now.
> >
> > Someone asked this at LCA in Sydney in January:
> >
> >
> >     Someone from the audience asked why "nas" wasn't
> >     used, as it and esd were practically duplicates. Raster replied
> >     that in 1997, nas didn't work on Linux. It had been faster for
> >     him simply to write esd than it would have been to learn nas
> >     and then make it work on Linux.
> >
> > I suppose I should go and capitalise this NAS thing now. I'd never
> > heard of it then :)
> >
> > Telsa

|  __                         a.k.a. Eric B. Mitchell |
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