Linux Sound Subsystem Begins Cleaning Up Its Terminology To Meet Inclusive Guidelines

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 20 July 2020 at 08:48 PM EDT. 148 Comments
Merged just over one week ago to the mainline kernel were inclusive terminology guidelines following the recent discussion among upstream developers. The Linux sound subsystem has begun preparing patches for Linux 5.9 to overhaul their naming conventions as a result.

The Linux Kernel Inclusive Terminology Guidelines are to reflect future code contributions as well as when updating existing code as long as the API/ABI isn't broke. Or as we also have begun to see, patches solely for updating existing code to reflect the new guidelines.

Sound subsystem maintainer Takashi Iwai of SUSE has prepared a number of patches to be merged for the upcoming Linux 5.9 cycle to do just that. It's also the first subsystem I believe to see a number of patches queued just for these updates.

The updates include replacing whitelist/blacklist in multiple drivers to now rely upon "allowlist" and "denylist" within the code and code comments. Or even just in the context of using a whitelist is also replaced with the new allowlist.

Additionally, "slave" has been replaced with "follower" in the vmwaster API. However, "master" Is still preferred in the actual API as it pertains to the master volume control.

In addition to a number of patches updating the terminology in the ALSA/sound area of the kernel, the code slated for Linux 5.9 also brings a number of improvements around LED controls for microphone/mute buttons, new quirks for different devices, and Intel Silent Stream support. Intel Silent Stream for Haswell and newer is a new kernel option for keeping external HDMI receiver circuitry powered on to avoid a two to three second delay during the playback start.

New sound hardware support so far in the sound-next queue is supporting the Loongson 7A1000 controller.
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