Re: Replacing Esound with Polypaudio?

On Wed, Sep 08, 2004 at 03:17:45PM +0200, Lennart Poettering wrote:
> I have great interest in getting Polypaudio into Gnome 3.0 (or 2.10?)
> as a replacement for esound. Polypaudio delivers better latencies, is
> extensible and has a more cleanly written core than esound has. Due to
> the fact that old esound based applications continue to work with new
> polypaudio I think that Polypaudio would make a great replacement for
> esound.

Although this has not been discussed formally, one of the likely
requirements of an esound replacement is drop-in compatibility.
This compatibilty can either be at the libesd ABI level (i.e.,
provide a library called libesd with the exact same ABI that
accesses the polypaudio server) or the line protocol level (provide
a daemon that talks the esd protocol.)  It appears you've done
the latter -- I'd like to hear feedback from users as to how well
this works.  Ideally, as part of a transition, you'd provide the
libesd replacement as well.

Of course, an esound replacement is just the beginning.  Esound has
numerous deficiencies, including a poor line protocol, terrible
API, limited to 2 channels, poor mixing control, etc.  Personally,
I attempt to ignore everything esound does when thinking about
a sound server.

GNOME and KDE (not surprisingly) have very similar requirements for
a next-generation sound server.  One is that it needs to have a
decent API that is absolutely going to be stable over the course
of KDE-4 and GNOME-3.  This probably means several revs of the API
before stabilizing to weed out any problems.  Another is that it
needs to be ported (not just portable) to a bunch of platforms.
Also, sound server projects fail because nobody wants to do the
work to port applications to a new API -- having at least a few
developers who spend time porting applications would be really

Many GNOME and KDE people would like to see a common sound server.
Based on what I've seen, polypaudio appears to be a front runner.
You might want to start working with the freedesktop people to get
a little more exposure, since Polypaudio doesn't seem to have much
traction in the community yet (no Debian package and no GStreamer
plugin, for example).


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