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Re: [News] A Look at the Linux-based Challenger to ZFS

On Sat, 1 Nov 2008 21:27:58 -0400
"Moshe Goldfarb." <brick.n.straw@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Here is what the Linux audio developers have to say about too many
> Linux sound systems:

What, pray tell, do multiple file systems all adhering to the same API
have _anything_ to do with the multiple sound systems all with their
own APIs?  Being able to use multiple filesystems is a transparent
process under Linux.  Plug in a FAT16 formatted device, it works.  Plug
in a FAT32 formatted device, it work.  Plug in an NTFS formatted
device, it works.  Plug in an HFS or HFS+ formatted device, it works.
ISO9660, UDF, ext{2,3,4}, Minix, and ReiserFS 3, too.  It's transparent
to the user when you plug these things in.  Comparison to Windows?
Plug in FATxx or NTFS, it works.  Anything else?  It tells you that the
media needs to be formatted for use.  _That_ is what happens when you
don't provide support for multiple filesystems.  VFS (Linux) and IFS
(Windows) exist for a reason, but Microsoft mostly is wasting space
with their IFS, because it doesn't do much in the way of using
installable filesystems.

As far as sound goes... I agree that sound is a bit of a mess at the
moment. PulseAudio is the most promising, at least for all the talk of
what it is supposed to be able to do.  But I find it to be rather
lackluster at the moment, being somewhat unreliable and not very
efficient with my system resources, either.  It is still under very
heavy, very active development. Personally, I feel that _nobody_ should
be shipping it. However, that's just my own personal opinion.

Right now, you have ALSA and PulseAudio that are the main contenders.
There are still some applications holding fast to the OSS API.  Eh.
The idea of something like Pulse, that sits on top of the lower-level
sound APIs is _great_ in theory.  It's even "acceptable" on my machine,
at this point in time, so long as it improves very quickly---I like
PA's ability to mix arbitrary applications together (which ALSA can do,
but doesn't do very well) and permit you to do things like control each
individual application's volume, transform the sound (such as
upconverting it before sending it to the 5.1 sound card) and more.
ALSA doesn't quite make me feel warm and fuzzy that way.

But, as I said, it _is_ a mess.  That mess needs to go away, and it
needs to go away _soon_.  If I had a small uniprocessor system, I'd
rather live without sound than use Pulse.  I hope to see in the near

  * PA working right and not using lots of processor time for simple
  * PA become stable and supported as _the_ API to use for audio on
    Linux, UNIX-like, and UNIX systems.
  * Everyone else stop using platform-specific low-level APIs like
    Win32, ALSA, and OSS for application sound.  (Win32 will probably
    never happen, though, Windows developers seem to like to keep
    their software single-platform, even though these days supporting
    multiple platforms is not anywhere _near_ as much work as it used
    to be).

	--- Mike

My sigfile ran away and is on hiatus.

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