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Thread: Open-Source Creative X-Fi Support

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  1. #1
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    Default Open-Source Creative X-Fi Support

    Phoronix: Open-Source Creative X-Fi Support

    Last Friday 4Front Technologies had released the binaries and source-code to OSS 4.0 Build 1013. This new build of the Open Sound System brings two major changes, which include the full source code now being available for the M-Audio Revolution and Delta sound card drivers, and a beta driver for the Sound Blast X-Fi series from Creative Labs. While earlier Sound Blaster generations have worked quite well with ALSA and OSS, the Creative X-Fi series is a black sheep under Linux. The X-Fi support that Creative Labs has provided to the Linux community has been abominable and support via ALSA (the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) has yet to go anywhere while support for the complete X-Fi series via OSS is just starting to emerge. Interestingly though, Creative had provided the register documentation and other code to 4Front Technologies for this new "sbxfi" driver.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=11797

  2. #2
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    Default Where'd they get the code from?

    So, OSS is using copyrighted Creative Labs code in their open-source driver? I wonder where they got it from.

    Seems likely that they somehow got their hands on the code of the binary beta driver that Creative released in September. I hope Creative doesn't ask for it back.

    If Creative did hand over the code/specs to OSS, that's definitely a good thing, and a very useful way for companies to contribute to the open-source community, I will definitely support Creative for doing something like that.

    I do wonder though, what issues may arise since it wasn't handed over by Creative as GPL.

    Alex

    Quote Originally Posted by phoronix View Post
    Phoronix: Open-Source Creative X-Fi Support

    Last Friday 4Front Technologies had released the binaries and source-code to OSS 4.0 Build 1013. This new build of the Open Sound System brings two major changes, which include the full source code now being available for the M-Audio Revolution and Delta sound card drivers, and a beta driver for the Sound Blast X-Fi series from Creative Labs. While earlier Sound Blaster generations have worked quite well with ALSA and OSS, the Creative X-Fi series is a black sheep under Linux. The X-Fi support that Creative Labs has provided to the Linux community has been abominable and support via ALSA (the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) has yet to go anywhere while support for the complete X-Fi series via OSS is just starting to emerge. Interestingly though, Creative had provided the register documentation and other code to 4Front Technologies for this new "sbxfi" driver.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=11797

  3. #3

    Default

    Yes, they are using copyrighted code from Creative Labs in their OSS driver.

    I'd expect 4Front got it legally. So far Creative has yet to respond.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Yes, they are using copyrighted code from Creative Labs in their OSS driver.

    I'd expect 4Front got it legally. So far Creative has yet to respond.
    On the alsa mailing list I saw some interesting information:
    http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux....06/focus=51341

    To make it short, James Courtier-Dutton mention that he will receive datasheets "in the next week or so" from Creative and after that he might be able to shade some light on licensing of the current driver.

  5. #5
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    Default

    This makes me quite joyous. I hope that the recording support will continue to improve--it's the only thing keeping me from getting the XtremeGamer version with the $20 off coupon in the Bioshock box.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Awesome. Can Linux finally get rid of ALSA and go back to OSS? I know the developers would certainly be a lot happier since it's a lot easier to code for OSS than ALSA.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanL View Post
    Awesome. Can Linux finally get rid of ALSA and go back to OSS? I know the developers would certainly be a lot happier since it's a lot easier to code for OSS than ALSA.
    ALSA can emulate OSS, what's the big deal?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pseus View Post
    ALSA can emulate OSS, what's the big deal?
    http://4front-tech.com/hannublog/?p=5

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DanL View Post
    As long as OSS is not GPL, it doesn't exist. This is stated in the comments section on that site, but it's also the truth. If OSS was under the same licensing terms like ALSA, then we could start a technically-oriented debate, and choose the one that is superior -- I don't think the kernel developers would really have a problem if that was the case.

    Until that time, there really is no alternative to ALSA, for better or for worse.

    That being said -- I always found the very idea of paying for drivers to be preposterous. Sure, if they actually offered some extraordinary improvement (like DTS or Dolby in hardware, that can't be had in free software); but just to be able to hear bleeps out of the hardware I actually paid for (!) should I shelve more money? that's insane.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DanL View Post
    Now that, is an interesting read...also it appears that the OSS is now licensed:

    - GPL2
    - CDDL
    - Commercial

    The former option is the one of notice. So in that case...what's the problem, or am I missing something here?
    Source: http://www.opensound.com/press/2007/oss-gpl-cddl.txt
    Last edited by Uchikoma; 02-07-2008 at 01:37 PM.

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