Pulse audio

Vincenzo Ciancia ciancia at di.unipi.it
Fri Oct 9 12:50:43 UTC 2009

On Thu, 2009-10-08 at 08:40 -0400, Daniel Chen wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 8:14 AM, Vincenzo Ciancia <ciancia at di.unipi.it> wrote:
> > The real problem that nobody seemed ever to be getting is that when you
> > introduce huge regressions, then you probably should 1) either not
> > distribute the software yet 2) or put more energy into bug fixing for
> > the particular software, or at least have strong, or 3) have convincing
> > reasons for forcing people to "enjoy" the regressions while they could
> > as well live happily with the previously used one, or 4) make it easy
> > for people to try the new solution, and if it fails, revert to the old
> All valid points, but:
> (1) is a catch-22: software does not get fixed if no one uses it. You
> need real, difficult bugs to be reported, i.e., real testing.

Testers use the software, I have been a tester, we all probably are or
have been. But ubuntu should perhaps be more inclined to abandon
software even after testing, that is, the software stays there for the
alphas, but if it's still broken it goes away in the beta. Otherwise
it's like saying that end-users really are testers, it must not be the

> > video calls. I never succeded in having it work for voice/video. And
> it
> > is so badly broken in other areas I really wonder how you all can be
> so
> > blind.
> You seem to use "you all" as if you can't effect change within the
> source development.

Do you mean that I have a possibly remote possibility of convincing the
ubuntu developers to ship pidgin instead of empathy? Do I need to write
a scientific paper on that, or is it possible that someone actually does
an unbiased comparison by themselves? 

> No need for experimental; just look at all the bug reports filed
> affecting flashplugin-nonfree, nspluginwrapper, firefox-3.0, alsa-lib,
> and pulseaudio. The sad thing is that we could have shipped a two-line
> change to /etc/pulse/default.pa that would have alleviated nearly all
> of the (users') showstoppers. The change remains in my
> pulseaudio/hardy bzr branch.
> Skype fundamentally misused the alsa-lib API. PulseAudio "broke" Skype
> is a horrible non-example.

Skype is an horrible example of software by itself, but it is a software
that changed the life of people. It was very bad that in hardy
pulseaudio was enabled by default even if it was very clear that it
fought with skype. Because that meant that dual-boot still felt the need
to reboot.

No, no, I can't agree. I like new software but there must be a measure.
Pulseaudio in the end could be easily disabled in hardy, but e.g.
empathy can not make sense, there are no strong reasons to use it,
except that it is "a gnome thing" but also pidgin is.


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