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Thread: Rumblings in the Linux Audio World

  1. #11
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    Probably. But on the other hand, that's just a blog. What matters is what you are told on the homepage and during the installation Their *official* statement:

    http://developer.opensound.com/opens...licensing.html

    The source code for Open Sound System is currently avaliable under four different licenses:
    • GPL version 2
    • CDDL
    • BSD
    • Commercial licenses are available from 4Front Technologies for applications and systems that are not compatible with the above open source licenses. Commercial licenses are also available for entities not wishing to use Open Sound System under any of the above open source licenses or who would like to get technical support from 4Front Technologies.

    The GPL source package contains all the operating system ports. The CDDL package contains only the Solaris version and the BSD package only the FreeBSD version (for the time being).

    Note that under all the above licensing schemes the copyright owner is 4Front Technologies.
    What this "admin0" dude says on a blog is pretty much irrelevant
    Last edited by RealNC; 06-22-2009 at 07:27 AM.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RealNC View Post
    Probably. But on the other hand, that's just a blog. What matters is what you are told on the homepage and during the installation Their *official* statement:

    http://developer.opensound.com/opens...licensing.html



    What this "admin0" dude says on a blog is pretty much irrelevant
    Even that page contains a very questionable statement:

    Q: Can I mix OSS files from the packages with different licenses?

    A: No. You can use the GPLv2, CDDL 1.0 or BSD package but not any mixture of the files.
    How does this not fly in the face of the BSD and GPL licenses?

    I understand that it's easy to say that the files are released under Open Source licenses and therefore those are the terms. But if the licensor and licensee disagree on what the license allows, that's a disaster waiting to happen.

  3. #13
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    I don't see anything wrong with that statement. BSD and CDDL are not compatible to GPL. That statement only makes that clear.

    You are trying to pick at the license of OSS4. There's no problem with the license. Use the appropriate packages with one of those licenses. Geez :P The central license is GPL. You can use the GPL packaged sources with any system you want, be it Solaris or a BSD system. The CDDL and BSD licensed packages were only created because of the GPL problems with those systems.
    Last edited by RealNC; 06-22-2009 at 08:08 AM.

  4. #14

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    However when you invoke OSS you need to follow the licensing policy defined by 4Front Technologies. We as the initial developer and the copyright owner of Open Sound System we have legal rights to define the terms for use. What our licensing policy says has higher priority than whatever the GPL says.
    Isn't this meaningless screaming? If they released sources under GPL why someone should care about their terms of use? If he should, maybe that's a reason why Linux devs aren't interested?
    Last edited by kraftman; 06-22-2009 at 08:56 AM.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kraftman View Post
    Isn't this meaningless screaming? If they released sources under GPL why someone should care about their terms of use? If he should, maybe that's a reason why Linux devs aren't interested?
    The OSS specification is fully open and you are not required to follow ANY license in order to implement it.

    So the answer to your question is no; that's definitely not the reason why Linux devs aren't interested.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kraftman View Post
    Isn't this meaningless screaming? If they released sources under GPL why someone should care about their terms of use? If he should, maybe that's a reason why Linux devs aren't interested?
    It seems like the lack of interest mostly has to do with technical concerns (e.g. suspend/resume support and the division of labor between user and kernel space) rather than licensing issues. A more cynical observer might suppose the influence of NIH syndrome as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by RealNC
    The OSS specification is fully open and you are not required to follow ANY license in order to implement it.
    Thankfully, that much is clear (even to a nitpicker like me )

  7. #17
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    We've been beating around the central issue though. Well, the "issue" as I see it, if there's an issue at all:

    ALSA has the following problems:

    • High latency (only an issue with games and virtual instruments/synthesizers.)
    • Poor OSS support (dmix doesn't work).
    • Sound quality issues (sampling/mixing quality and playback during high system load).

    OSS4 doesn't have the above problems. Furthermore, one can have the best of both worlds by using OSS4 over the ALSA libs:

    Install the "ALSA Plugins" package of your distro ("alsa-plugins" in Gentoo, "libasound2-plugins" in Debian and Ubuntu). Put this in /etc/asound.conf:

    Code:
    pcm.!default {
            type oss
            device /dev/dsp
    }
    
    ctl.!default {
            type oss
            device /dev/mixer
    }
    Nothing more is required. So, a distro that would have this setup, would provide the following features:

    • Full ALSA compatibility.
    • Full OSS API support.
    • The benefits of OSS4 also apply to ALSA applications (sound quality, CPU load).

    That would be (in my very, very humble opinion) the best set-up of any distro. Scratch PulseAudio, don't enable sound in the kernel, take ALSA-libs and run them over OSS4.

    Am I the only one to see a lot of sense in this?

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by RealNC View Post
    That would be (in my very, very humble opinion) the best set-up of any distro. Scratch PulseAudio, don't enable sound in the kernel, take ALSA-libs and run them over OSS4.

    Am I the only one to see a lot of sense in this?
    Any way to get rid of pulseaudio is good Maybe Ubuntu brainstorm will be good place to give OSS4 more attention?

    EDIT:

    I have some problems with this. When I'm listening to the music in Amarok 2 and I open movie in SMPlayer there's no sound.
    Last edited by kraftman; 06-22-2009 at 02:54 PM.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RealNC View Post
    We've been beating around the central issue though. Well, the "issue" as I see it, if there's an issue at all:

    ALSA has the following problems:

    • High latency (only an issue with games and virtual instruments/synthesizers.)
    • Poor OSS support (dmix doesn't work).
    • Sound quality issues (sampling/mixing quality and playback during high system load).

    OSS4 doesn't have the above problems. Furthermore, one can have the best of both worlds by using OSS4 over the ALSA libs:

    Install the "ALSA Plugins" package of your distro ("alsa-plugins" in Gentoo, "libasound2-plugins" in Debian and Ubuntu). Put this in /etc/asound.conf:

    Code:
    pcm.!default {
            type oss
            device /dev/dsp
    }
    
    ctl.!default {
            type oss
            device /dev/mixer
    }
    Nothing more is required. So, a distro that would have this setup, would provide the following features:

    • Full ALSA compatibility.
    • Full OSS API support.
    • The benefits of OSS4 also apply to ALSA applications (sound quality, CPU load).

    That would be (in my very, very humble opinion) the best set-up of any distro. Scratch PulseAudio, don't enable sound in the kernel, take ALSA-libs and run them over OSS4.

    Am I the only one to see a lot of sense in this?
    If only it was that simple. OSS 4 doesn't even support midi, it has a much smaller list of supported devices and many of those devices are limited to basic functionality (Forget about SoC setups as well). Latency is not an issue if one configures their system correct (pulseaudio on the otherhand is horrible when it comes to padding on the latency). Dmix I haven't had an issue with for years, (it's setup by default since 1.0.9 and no .asoundrc configuration is really needed anymore.) In fact the 3 issues you list sound more like a kernel config issues then alsa issues. Using a preempt kernel and setting your PCI latency timers as well as getting rid of cycle sucking crap like pulse can address your issues with alsa.

  10. #20
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    This is quite funny to follow. It seems to me like one of the kill Lennart Poettering Threads, his stuff isn't working for me. I quite like his work.
    You can't exactly match a combination of Alsa and Pulse to OSS. Pulse is more like an welcome addon to the whole stack because it offers per stream volume adjustments, network transparency and autoconfiguration, synchronous sound multicasting etc. I'm pretty sure you won't get this results with neither pure Alsa or OSS.
    While Pulse already put me some major headaches it's quite fun once you get it working. Leave alone professional sound production here which always has its own very special needs. I'm talking of the normal Desktop Userbase. Pulse is also Multiplatform and available for BSDs,Windows,...
    One of the Ideas in Pulse is to have an abstraction from any OS-specific api which you're talking about. And while Pulse is getting a lot of attraction on Linux already others are a little slow to follow while Pulse is also still maturing. Let's see what future brings.
    So it's basically boiling down to comparing alsa to oss, especially on Linux. I think the state of alsa is rather well compared to oss here. See the Arguments of my predecessor: More supported soundcards, sometimes also with more functionality, midi support, fair working oss compatibility. I think this is the same thing like MS keeping DOS support. You can't put OSS away, like DOS it has always worked well for many people, but its a little 1982 at least. If you always just keep the things in their current state there is not much room for improvment.
    Another DOS comparison: It was nearly unable to do anything useful, but it took you really fast and reliable to the point where it was failing gracefully
    So if you're still happy with OSS talk to the Developers of all that evil Software instead of moaning here to convince them putting their effort in developing for OSS. See if your oppinion matches the wishes of other people, their userbase. If you're mostly alone you're out of luck here. And i think this is going to be the case.

    Greetz !
    Hibbelharry

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