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SALSA Back In Development As A Small ALSA Library For Linux Systems

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  • #11
    Originally posted by [email protected] View Post

    OSS was the audio foundation for all UNIX operating systems until the developers decided to turn it closed source. So on the Linux camp, people rolled up their sleeves and created ALSA as a substitute. Some time later, the fine folks at 4Front software realized their mistake and re-released OSS as opensource, but it was too late. ALSA was already shipping on Linux distros and the big ones stuck with it.

    Now, as always happens, the first versions of ALSA were lacking stability and functionality compared to the latest versions of the mature OSS, and some users understandingly asked for OSS to be put back on the front seat, but no distro wanted to be caught with their pants down again by 4Front, so ALSA stayed. Later, to manage some of its limitations compared with OSS, Pulseaudio was created, acting as a intermediate between applications and ALSA. Again a big backslash occurred, because again distros forced immature software down users throats, but in the end Pulseaudio become stable enough that people forgot about it.

    BSD distros stuck with OSS tough, I imagine because the lack of manpower, after all BSD had a smaller community compared to Linux and the main focus was not in the desktop, and ALSA was made exclusively with Linux in mind.
    You should have also mentioned PipeWire as the emerging de facto standard on Linux at least for audio.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
      *yes, I know BSDs stuck with it, but come on...
      Definitely not true for OpenBSD.

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      • #13
        Originally posted by uid313 View Post
        What about PulseAudio?
        Completely different type of software, Pulse Audio are one layer above and can actually use salsa-lib to communicate with ALSA instead of the much larger alsa-lib on e.g embedded systems.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by timofonic View Post

          Why SALSA when there's tinyalsa?

          Why alsalib instead impove tinyalsa/SALSA and provide extra features as optional ones?

          Linux needs faster, better and more optimized audio subsystems.
          Because they serve different purposes. Tinyalsa is for small applications that need basic pcm output and a mixer while SALSA is source compatible with alsa-lib to allow alsa applications work on embedded systems without code changes.

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          • #15
            Originally posted by cl333r View Post

            You should have also mentioned PipeWire as the emerging de facto standard on Linux at least for audio.
            From what I've seen, pipewire is no different than pulseaudio; with the inclusion of jack and a name change to trick people into thinking it's not pulseaudio!

            No thank you. After powering on my computers, I prefer my audio to work all the time, rather than either constantly breaking, muting or not working at all for mysterious reasons! ALSA just works, all of the time!

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            • #16
              Originally posted by rogerx View Post

              From what I've seen, pipewire is no different than pulseaudio; with the inclusion of jack and a name change to trick people into thinking it's not pulseaudio!
              Wow, you have really done an extensive investigation of pipewire I can see. Thanks for doing this and letting us know. Thanks to you we can all stay clear of Pipewire since it's mostly a renaming of old technologies. You've just spared us a bunch of work.
              Last edited by tomas; 16 October 2021, 03:47 AM.

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              • #17
                Originally posted by rogerx View Post
                ALSA just works, all of the time!
                Good luck running Bluetooth headsets with just ALSA.

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by rogerx View Post

                  From what I've seen, pipewire is no different than pulseaudio; with the inclusion of jack and a name change to trick people into thinking it's not pulseaudio!

                  No thank you. After powering on my computers, I prefer my audio to work all the time, rather than either constantly breaking, muting or not working at all for mysterious reasons! ALSA just works, all of the time!
                  Read the pipewire faq I had never done it till now and it covers pretty much all the rationale for it. We deserve something like CoreAudio with arbitrary buffer formats and a flexible node graph.

                  There might be a time where all the processing is done atop RT threads. We'd be immune to xruns as long as the CPU power is there.

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by cmakeshift View Post
                    We'd be immune to xruns as long as the CPU power is there.
                    Fat chance of that.

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by cb88 View Post

                      Fat chance of that.
                      In principle, it's possible. Using control theory algorithms and RT threads is supposed to provide the guarantee. But granted, userspace has to cooperate and work properly. "Immune" was not the right word to use.

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