NetBSD Working On Better OSS Compatibility / Translation Layer, Encouraging Native API Use
Written by Michael Larabel in BSD on 27 April 2020 at 09:55 AM EDT. 1 Comment
BSD --
While the Open Sound System (OSS) usage hasn't been prevalent on Linux systems in many years, on NetBSD there still is some software making use of the OSS interfaces in not supporting the native NetBSD audio interfaces. Better OSS compatibility via a translation layer is available while ultimately they are working on transitioning more open-source software to support the native interfaces.

NetBSD developer Nia Alarie has out a blog post today on the work being done for improving their OSS layer for existing code and their translation layer for legacy software.

Alarie noted, "Hopefully, after my changes, OSS compatibility is in a much better shape when dealing with unusual parameters and uncommon API usage. The quality of the code also improves – in the process of this work, [email protected] pointed me towards a related information leak in the Linux OSSv3 compatibility layer in the kernel, and I was able to deal with it properly after looking at the OSS specification and Linux headers. All the fixes should be pulled up to 9-stable. However, I'd personally like to eventually reach a point where we no longer need libossaudio. I've been writing a lot of code towards this goal."

For software leveraging the likes of SDL2, PortAudio, and OpenAL for their low-level audio needs, those libraries already have native NetBSD audio support and thus avoiding the OSS translation layer. There have also been recent NetBSD audio improvements benefiting the likes of FFmpeg and Firefox.

More details on the current NetBSD audio state via the blog.
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