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Thread: It's 2010, But A No-Go For GNOME's 10x10 Goal

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    Guys, how the hell did you manage to turn a discussion on Gnome's marketshare into an argument on console gaming? The KDE4-is-the-best-thing-since-sliced-bread flamebait is expected, but console gaming? Come on!
    In my defense, I make my posts by playing russian roullette with the post numbers. :P

    JACK is a transport layer. Pulse is a sound server. Yes, they both work with sound streams, but their similarity ends there.
    Isn't Pulse just a replacement for ALSA+z, z being JACK, ESD, etc?

    The resolution of the 360 has jack shit to do with the cost of a gaming PC (duh?) and this whole discussion is a non sequitur in a thread on Gnome's marketshare speculation.
    It's very relevant to the idea of PC gaming. It means you can just buy an Athlon X2 240 and an HD4670; a gaming computer built like that will cost you maybe $400 with a hard drive. Yes, outside of the sale that Valve has going on right now, your games will probably cost more. But it'll also last just as long with the same hardware as any console, and can be upgraded to the latest generation, and we've gotten to the point where you *need* a PC, so might as well buy a $50/$60 HD4670 that doesn't require more than ~50W/60W on load (and estimates say something like 3W-10W idle) and make your desktop a gaming computer.

    (in before laptops. I really hate the trend towards using laptops instead of desktops. if it's not being brought around, it should be kept under the desk.)

  2. #22
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    Isn't Pulse just a replacement for ALSA+z, z being JACK, ESD, etc?
    Don't listen to them.


    Pulse versus Jack:


    PulseAudio is a daemon. Pulse is a audio API that includes transporting audio. Same thing with Jackd. Jackd is a audio server and Jack is the audio API that does transport stuff, too. So this "transport versus audio daemon" is just a bogus comparison.


    The difference between Pulse and Jack are their goals. Jack is designed for audio production and Pulse is designed for desktop audio. The goals of both are both with audio, but completely different aspects of it.

    Jack is designed for low latency and high performance audio. It is designed for low latency because if your doing recordings from multiple inputs or if your doing DJ stuff or any sort of live recording or production you do not want to have high variations in managing those multiple streams.

    Also it is designed to facilitate audio workflow. So that you can route MIDI and PCM (uncompressed) audio between multiple applications and build more complex audio applications.

    For example:

    I own a midi controller. It looks like a piano keyboard, but it does not generate any sound. Instead it generates MIDI signals and connects over USB. So I connect my MIDI controller to the computer via USB. I route the MIDI signals from the USB input and through to Jackd. Then from Jackd to a software synthesizer. A software synth is a program that takes the MIDI signals and uses them to generate audio noises. Like I can generate piano noises, or drum noises, or barking dogs or whatever. And it'll vary the pitch and rate and volume based on my MIDI signals. So from the software synth I take the PCM audio output and route it through "Alsa modular Synth". AMS is a another synth program, but I can generate all sorts of chains of midi or PCM audio processing in there. A bit like a programming language, except its all graphical. I use AMS to add some reverb, echo, and some stereo seperation. That way I can make the piano noises sound like they are from a big piano in a hall, which sounds cool. Then from AMS I route the PCM back through Jackd and then out through my sound card.


    So...

    USB-MIDI -(MIDI)-> Jackd -(MIDI)-> Software Synth -(PCM)-> Jackd -(PCM)-> AMS -(PCM)-> Jackd -(PCM)-> Sound card -(PCM)-> Digital receiver -(Analog audio)-> Speakers.

    Pretty complicated, right?

    Well that sort of thing makes it very cool for audio production. But that same nature makes it kinda lousy for desktop.

    Low latency is a trade off. You are trading off the ability to get something done quickly with the ability to get something done efficiently.

    Meaning higher CPU rates, higher battery usage, etc etc. Plus it is not a easy concept for people to understand and so on and so forth.


    Pulse Audio on the other hand is designed for efficiency and to be desktop friendly. Newer versions of PA do a good job of helping you configure your hardware easily.. you can just go in and select "mic 1" or "mic 2" for external and internal mic, or select digital out or surround sound or whatever. Prior to that you had to manually configure it using something like Alsamixer, which is very very low-level hardware mixers and such and is confusing and misleading to use (since most hardware sucks). Also with PA it can lower your battery usage and other things, IF it is correctly configured (which some distros, like Ubuntu, have had a hard time figuring out how to do).

    Two very different goals, but have a similar approach. Transport layer and Audio daemon.

    Like your display is managed by a server, so now your audio is.

    And, in addition, like X Windows pulseaudio can provide network transparency.

    At home when I use Pulse, for example, I will often watch movies or listen to music on my laptop since the laptop is convenient and easy to carry around with me. However I want to use my nice stereo instead of uncomfortable headphones and I don't want to have a very long audio cable I have to string around. So instead I have my desktop hooked up to my home audio and I play music and watch videos by sending audio from my laptop to my desktop.

    Another thing PA is good for is handing things that are sorta-sound cards. Like USB audio and Bluetooth audio. With modern versions of PA I can just plug in a USB audio device or connect to my Bluetooth headphones and have everything "Just Work". Jack is not designed to really handle issues like that.

    --------------------

    Pulse versus ESD:

    Pulse is a drop-in replacement for ESD. It should be compatible with it so programs written for ESD will still work with PulseAudio. However Pulse is superior to ESD in pretty much every category.

    ----------------------

    Pulse versus Alsa:


    This is more complicated.

    Alsa, although it was the best they could think of doing at the time, is badly designed and confusing. Alsa tried to be too much. It takes care of very low level hardware drivers and basic configuration stuff... AND it tried to be a high level API for audio applications. So it is confusing for developers. The Alsa API is big and covers too much ground and is not really well documented.

    Nowadays we know that like a display server (X, Wayland, OS X's Aqua or whatever) we need a audio server. Back in the bad-old-days with the old Linux OSS drivers every thing was accessed like it was a file... you wrote PCM to a file to play audio and you read PCM from a file to read from audio input. Very simple, very easy to program for. However Audio is much to complicated for such a simple way to access stuff. You have transport issues, timing sync issues, latency, multiple audio streams going in and out, etc etc. Modern versions of OSS and Alsa try to provide for those extra stuff, but really a audio daemon type setup is a much simpler and cleaner design.

    So Pulse is meant to be a replacement for the portion of Alsa that is designed for providing high level APIs for audio applications. However it is NOT a replacement for the low level features for Alsa.

    So low-level programming, low-level configuration, and audio drivers are going to always be Alsa. High level aspects should be taken care of by Pulse.


    -----------------------------------


    PulseAudio vs SDL/OpenAL/Gstreamer/libcanberra/Phonon/etc


    Those are all high-level audio programming APIs. All of those are the actually what you want to program for if your a normal application developer. (If you are doing audio production stuff you will probably want to program in Alsa and/or Jack.)

    Like people want to make a big deal of PA versus Alsa versus OSS etc etc. But it is actually very simple for application designers.

    Say your programming a video game. If you program for Alsa you can only support Linux. If you program for OSS you only supporting FreeBSD and Solaris (and a tiny number of Linux users that install modern OSS). If you program for PA you can only support Linux dsektops running PA.

    However if you program your video game audio with SDL you can support Linux/FreeBSD/Solaris/Windows/Playstation/AmigaOS/Mac OS X/etc/etc. SDL is higher level so you don't have to give a shit about what low level stuff people are using. This is the same for Gstreamer and OpenAL and a whole bunch of them. They each have their own plusses and minusses and different design goals and support lots of different platforms so it can be a bit of a hassle, but usually it is not too difficult to figure it out.


    It is like the difference between programming for X Windows and programming for QT. If you program for X Windows display server then you can only support things like Linux, Solaris, or the BSD systems... but if you program for QT then you are programming for all the platforms QT supports.


    ---------------------------------



    It's very relevant to the idea of PC gaming. It means you can just buy an Athlon X2 240 and an HD4670; a gaming computer built like that will cost you maybe $400 with a hard drive. Yes, outside of the sale that Valve has going on right now, your games will probably cost more. But it'll also last just as long with the same hardware as any console, and can be upgraded to the latest generation, and we've gotten to the point where you *need* a PC, so might as well buy a $50/$60 HD4670 that doesn't require more than ~50W/60W on load (and estimates say something like 3W-10W idle) and make your desktop a gaming computer.

    Yes, but most people are buying laptops nowadays. Desktops may be cheaper, but laptops are a hell of a lot more convenient and not much more expensive. Notice how in the previous threads people kept on harping about MMOs being very popular on the PC? Guess what most MMORPGs have in common... they do not require expensive computers. I can happily play WOW on a computer running (*gasp*) Intel graphics (which is the most common chipsets used nowadays and Intel sales are quite a bit more then Nvidia and ATI _combined_). Steam is a good example of something that is still popular on the PC, but the Wii/PS3/Xbox360 all have online sales and games, too.

    So on and so forth.

    PC will always have better graphics, but most people don't really care and to have those better graphics it is going to take a lot more then a 400 dollar PC.


    (in before laptops. I really hate the trend towards using laptops instead of desktops. if it's not being brought around, it should be kept under the desk.)

    Laptops kick ass in a huge way. Desks are for being stuck at work. Who wants to do facebook and go youtube-ing at a desk if your at home? Desks at home are for doing taxes or balancing your check book.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorophose View Post
    In my defense, I make my posts by playing russian roullette with the post numbers. :P
    Me likes, I think I'm going to try this!

    Isn't Pulse just a replacement for ALSA+z, z being JACK, ESD, etc?
    ESD yes, JACK no. I can't be arsed to quote right now, but the first two paragraphs in http://pulseaudio.org and http://jackaudio.org make the difference clear. (JACK: professional audio production, low latency; Pulse: do fancy things with audio streams).

    It's very relevant to the idea of PC gaming. It means you can just buy an Athlon X2 240 and an HD4670; a gaming computer built like that will cost you maybe $400 with a hard drive.
    Which is still more pricey than a console. Not to mention that Athlon X2 and 4670 don't really make for an attractive gaming system (a 4850 would be the lowest I'd consider as a gaming card).

    [...] we've gotten to the point where you *need* a PC, so might as well buy a $50/$60 HD4670 that doesn't require more than ~50W/60W on load (and estimates say something like 3W-10W idle) and make your desktop a gaming computer.

    (in before laptops. I really hate the trend towards using laptops instead of desktops. if it's not being brought around, it should be kept under the desk.)
    That's the sticking point: people are bying netbooks and laptops instead of desktops nowadays, which means they need a separate system for gaming. This makes consoles much more attractive: cheaper, less maintainance, easier to use, etc etc.

    Of course, if you already have a desktop, you might as well upgrade it (if necessary) and game on that. Makes perfect sense.

  4. #24
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    For the TL;DR short attention span crowd:


    PULSEAUDIO vs JACKD.


    Both are AUDIO SERVERS. Both have TRANSPORTS.

    The difference is the _goals_.

    Jackd is designed for audio production.

    Pulseaudio is designed for desktop audio.

    Two very different things and it is better that Jack and Pulse remain seperate since it is going to be VERY difficult to make a system to work well for both normal desktop users and prosumer/professional audio folks.



    PULSEAUDIO VS ESD:

    PA is compatible drop in replacement and is also superior in pretty much every way imaginable.


    PULSEAUDIO VS ALSA:

    Alsa was badly designed. (so was OSS)

    It tried to be too much.

    Nowadays it is obvious that you need a Audio server like you need a Display server. OS X Aqua, X Server, Wayland, Windows Areo, are all display servers.

    Pulseaudio is designed to be better at the mid-high level stuff then Alsa, but does not attempt to replace low-level configuration and driver that Alsa provides.

    So it is a half-way replacement. High level = Yes. Low Level = No.




    PULSEAUDIO VERSUS GSTREAMER/SDL/PHONON/etc etc.


    Those are all high level application libraries.

    Gstreamer is to Pulseaudio like QT is to X11.

    If you program in Alsa you only support Linux. If you program in Pulseaudio you only support platforms running Pulseaudio. If you program in OSS you only support platforms like Solaris or FreeBSD.

    However if you program your game in SDL then you support OS X, Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, Playstation, Iphone, AmigaOS, etc etc.


    You only really want to program in PA/OSS/Alsa if your writing application APIs and libraries. (For production audio you want to program in Alsa and/or Jack for performance reasons). However if your writing applications then you should pick a higher level library and use that.

  5. #25
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    drag, that's a very long way to say "jack aims to transport audio streams between applications with low latency and without modification, while pulse aims to mix (modify) and transport audio streams to hardware sinks transparently (the sinks may even be on a different network machine)".

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    Thumbs up

    @drag
    I, always, love your technical details
    Thank you!

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoodlum View Post
    There are many issues here i'll tackle them one at a time:

    People have been saying that since the PSone and probably before. The PS3 & 360 combined have ~50 million sales total (according to wikipedia). Not accounting for the dead 360s people have replaced. This is *nothing* (1/30th) compared to the number of pcs on the net. Infact counting piracy on MW2 *alone* more than dwarfs all consoles combined. The PC market is massive in comparison (but a huge percentage are pirates). Infact the PSone sold 4-5x the amount of consoles both the 360 and the PS3 have sold combined in the same amount of time. Consoles are declining. This is available on wiki and also many other places, official sales figures etc.
    I registered just so i could comment on this huge piece of misinformation.
    First, as of December 19, acording to vgchartz, wich is a widely recognized source of information in this industry, the sales of ps3+xbox360 combined is 66 million worldwide. Considering the 360 has been around for 4 years, and the ps3 for 3, we can settle on a 3.5 years period. The lifetime psone sales is 100 million, in 6 or so years. Your 4x-5x argument is bullshit. The psone in its first 3.5 years was way under 50 M worldwide, so not only psone didnt sell 4x the sales of ps3 and 360 combined, but it sold less. And lets not forget ps3+360 combined is just 50% of the market. So much for a declining market, even funnier considering the economic recession. The 360+ps3 combined could end well north of the 130 M mark worldwide, considering the later years of sucesful systems are always faster than the early years.

    Lets now check some of the most critically acclaimed and comercially succesfull hits of the pc this year:

    Left4Dead2: Surprise surprise, a 360 game.
    Dirt2: yes, it comes from the consoles.
    Resident Evil 5: no need to say
    Batman Arkham Asylum: yep, a console game
    Modern warfare 2: A cheap port of the console game.
    Dragon Age: Finally a real pc game. it had to be good old bioware.

    Now take for example MW2. The pc version is obviously an afterthought, just released cause it was relatively simple to release it. Acording to data from amazon and other retailers, sales of PC MW2 account for less of 10% of the sales. So much for a giant market huh.
    the Pc is seeing less and less releases each year, and what is release, are usually ports/adaptations of the console games, and not the other way around like it used to be back in the golden days of pc games. At the beginning of the decade/end of the 90's, tens of good games would be released every month.

    Considering the global pc market is several times now the size of what it was 10 years ago, id say games aren't doing that well.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkster83 View Post
    I registered just so i could comment on this huge piece of misinformation.
    First, as of December 19, acording to vgchartz, wich is a widely recognized source of information in this industry, the sales of ps3+xbox360 combined is 66 million worldwide.
    If you check my later updated source I stated 61 million, as of late 2009. Please link a source if you have one that shows otherwise.

    Considering the 360 has been around for 4 years, and the ps3 for 3, we can settle on a 3.5 years period. The lifetime psone sales is 100 million, in 6 or so years.
    102 million actually, check my link. Plus 32 Million (N64). Sega Saturn too, 17 million

    What about the PS2 as well? the previous generation?
    138 million PS2 + 24 million Xbox, + 21 million gamecube if you like dreamcast is another 10 million. (these were actually comparable systems in many ways).


    Your 4x-5x argument is bullshit. The psone in its first 3.5 years was way under 50 M worldwide, so not only psone didnt sell 4x the sales of ps3 and 360 combined, but it sold less.
    Source? It's also one console that had far more competitors, still sold more.

    And lets not forget ps3+360 combined is just 50% of the market.
    The wii created its own market that had never really been tapped before. It doesn't directly compete with either the PC or the other consoles. I can definitely agree that the Wii market is growing. You can't be seriously trying to add things like wii fit into the comparison of "gaming" on the pc or 360/PS3 :/ They are not at all comparable.

    So much for a declining market, even funnier considering the economic recession. The 360+ps3 combined could end well north of the 130 M mark worldwide, considering the later years of sucesful systems are always faster than the early years.
    We'll see. I can't really argue this either way, it's total speculation.

    Lets now check some of the most critically acclaimed and comercially succesfull hits of the pc this year:

    Left4Dead2: Surprise surprise, a 360 game.
    PC game ported the the console actually, but nice try. Valve is a PC developer that ports to consoles.

    Dirt2: yes, it comes from the consoles.
    Resident Evil 5: no need to say
    Batman Arkham Asylum: yep, a console game
    Modern warfare 2: A cheap port of the console game.
    Dragon Age: Finally a real pc game. it had to be good old bioware.
    Dirt 2 - Yep comes from consoles, but upgraded for DX11 on the PC, can't really see that as a negative.
    MW2 - The port is actually pretty decent.

    We can easily make arbitrary "these sold well" lists.
    Dawn of war II - PC, no port
    Torchlight
    Sims 3 - I hate it but it's pretty important nonetheless
    Demigod
    Battleforge
    Command & Conquer 3
    Anno 1404
    Empire Total War

    Why do you think they still release for the PC with such high piracy? Well, the market is still far larger than the console markets, the potential for success is still there. This is what i've been saying all along.

    Now take for example MW2. The pc version is obviously an afterthought, just released cause it was relatively simple to release it. Acording to data from amazon and other retailers, sales of PC MW2 account for less of 10% of the sales. So much for a giant market huh.
    The market is bigger than it has ever been - more people have PCs. More people play games on the PC, they just don't buy them. I've been saying this all along.

    Piracy on CoD4 was claimed to be over 90% by the developer on the PC. This dwarfs all sales of CoD4 on both consoles massively. I never claimed sales on the PC were higher, only that the market for games is bigger and it is. Infact I mentioned piracy right at the start, read it again

    Also keep in mind digital distribution numbers are announced with consoles. The sales numbers often mentioned for PC are only retail sales. This skews it further.

    the Pc is seeing less and less releases each year, and what is release, are usually ports/adaptations of the console games, and not the other way around like it used to be back in the golden days of pc games. At the beginning of the decade/end of the 90's, tens of good games would be released every month.

    Considering the global pc market is several times now the size of what it was 10 years ago, id say games aren't doing that well.
    Ah so you actually agree with me the PC market is bigger? finally!

    It's a Temporary problem as I previously stated. When a universal distribution platform emerges(and this ridiculous situation with having 20 distribution platforms solves itself) piracy will be tackled in a meaningful way (pirating steam games being on the whole a pain compared to other types for example) The problem will be greatly lessened.

    Of course the best solution would be to lock down multiplayer and focus only on the multiplayer aspect to make it extremely difficult to pirate but this requires development studios to react to the industry.

    Oh and one of the reasons I even brought this up was my concern that microsoft pushing Games for Windows (which, yes, currently sucks but that can change) could become the standard. There would be little chance for us as Linux users to deal with such a situation.
    Last edited by Hoodlum; 01-03-2010 at 12:58 PM.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by drag View Post
    Laptops kick ass in a huge way. Desks are for being stuck at work. Who wants to do facebook and go youtube-ing at a desk if your at home? Desks at home are for doing taxes or balancing your check book.
    Actually it's more like laptops are meant for light duty tasks such as doing taxes or balancing your check book, web tasks, etc. When you want to run true intensive tasks, gaming, multimedia creation, etc the desktop is a far more satisfying experience and this is the exact scenario that popular netbooks are targeting. Netbooks/notebooks are there to either supplement the more power hungry and act as a secondary device or provide a solution for less demanding users.

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    i agree. I wouldnt want my lappy soaking up as much juice as my Desktop .

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