Forging a new path.

alex stone compose59 at
Sun Apr 12 23:36:35 BST 2009

On Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 1:32 AM, Gustin Johnson <gustin at> wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> alex stone wrote:
>> Eric, i respect and appreciate the points you've made.
>> I have to disagree for a) the fact that pulseaudio is mandatory, and
>> it's a pain to take it out, or even get it working with jack, and b)
> sudo update-rc.d -f pulseaudio remove
> This keeps pulseaudio installed by prevents it from starting
> automatically.  As a short term workaround it does not get any easier.

So why does it need to be compulsory as an install? would be simpler
to make it optional, in an Audio based distro.

> Most of the people I know do not use the phrase "state of the art",
> instead "bleeding edge" is much more common, and for good reason.  As it
> is I find that Ubuntu is pretty aggressive with bringing in new versions
> of software.  I am not sure that becoming another Debian Unstable or
> Experimental is in anyone's best interest.

And you may have missed my note that mentioned stability, as a natural proviso.
I wasn't talking about bleeding edge, but as modern a stable version
as is possible. There's a difference.

> IMO, stable should have more importance than being up to date.

See above.

> Pulse is not a replacement for jack.  pulse has a different objective
> than jack.

Is that objective complementary to an audio based distro?

> This is actually a reasonably complex issue.  I understand that this has
> caused some frustration for you, but instead of just complaining, you
> could research the problem and be part of the solution instead of just
> complaining.

Doesn't cause me frustration, because a) i pulled it out, and b) i
switched distros to one that wasn't compulsory.
64Studio 3.0 (beta 3), and c) i have no fear at trying new things,
including summary solutions. And at the time it appeared, i asked the
same question then, and was fairly abruptly dismissed out of hand,
because the "decision had already been made for mainstream Ubuntu."

The people i've tried to help have a problem with it though, and ask
the same question i did. Why is it there?

> This is an upstream dependency, removing it has its own share of issues.

and so any intent to remove the app drags a shedload of dependencies
with it, messing up what may well have been a good install otherwise.

> jack and pulse are used differently.

Correct. So why put a server for domestic consumption in an audio
distro by default, and leave the, erm, audio server as optional?

> It depends.  Everyone has their own perspective, and saying that audio
> is a mess does not really accurately give a picture of the problem.  All
> those posts have a particular axe to grind, and 80% of them are just
> wrong to begin with.  There is a lot of room for improvement, and thus
> there is ample opportunity for you to help out.

I have, and continue to do so with users who ask questions that i may
know the answer to, or need some assistance with setting up their
install to work. See the previous post for alternative definition of
what may constitute "A contribution.".

> There is no magic bullet solution here, so stop looking for one.

Frankly, that doesn't mean anything. Whether you think my view is
valid or not is up to you, but it may well be a valid perspective, and
natural questions to ask, for others. That's up to them.

> This is what Cory was talking about.  There are people who just bitch
> and moan but do absolutely nothing about it.

I'm not bitching and moaning at all. I'm asking questions, and
suggesting a fresh view might be fruitful for all, including giving
the devs a chance to breathe. And frankly you're talking nonsense with
an assumption that anyone who 'questions the path' is by default
someone who doesn't contribute, and just bitches and moans. It's
somewhat ironic that questions, and alternate perspectives, are
autocratically dismissed as complaining when they differ from the
status quo, yet you ask for help, expecting no alternate view. Not
exactly the 'community' spirit you're expecting of others is it?

This may sound hard and
> callous, but I do not care about Johny Air Guitar.  If he takes no
> action or initiative, why should I *give* him my time to fix his
> problems for him.  I understand that we all started somewhere, and at
> some point someone helped us.  I like helping people, but most people
> here are donating their time, and if Johny Air Guitar wants people to
> fix his problems for free without doing a single thing himself, then we
> are all better of if he goes elsewhere.

That's your view for one type of user, and JAG may have been a poor
analogy on my part. If however a new user, keen to try, but lacking
'linux syntax' just can't get the knack of getting everything working
together because they might think in a different way, gets frustrated,
because they're simply "expected to know", then a potential
contributor goes away. Not all users are deadbeats, but they may just
not be able to get their head around it at the start.

> Free and Open Source software is at it's best when everyone pitches in
> to the best of his or her abilities.  The old notion of a passive
> consumer/user does not fit in particularly well here.  I do not mean
> that everyone needs to be a coder or a packager, there are a lot of
> things that even non technical people can do to help out.

And many of us do. I keep seeing the same names come up for the same
generous souls when i'm out doing my modest linux audio bit. That
would be the 'other' contributors who make regular contributions at
the coalface, in their local communities, be they physical locales, or
digital communal meeting places. You don't see them often, but they're
out there contributing just the same.

> The weight of numbers can also be crippling.

That's possible, but how many is too many?

> The Linux audio community is certainly larger than when I started with
> it 10 years ago.  We have come a long way, and I am looking forward to
> what the future brings.

Good to hear.

> I am not sure that this is the case.  I am also not sure that we should
> be focusing on this particular metric.


> We don't have to.  From my perspective I see the LTS versions as the
> stable one, with the other releases as technical previews and a work in
> progress before the next LTS.

And yet Cory was smart enough to post a warning note not so long ago,
about the pressure of getting an RT kernel out for 8.10, because of
the significant changes in the vanilla kernel. He got a lot of support
and encouragement at the time, because the majority of the non-coding
regulars wanted to make sure the devs weren't killing themselves
trying to help the community with "something for the scheduled

> 64 Studio already does this.  They have made the move from Debian to
> Ubuntu LTS.  One problem with LTS (though less of a problem than Debian
> Stable was) is that some things do get quite a bit out of date by the
> time the next LTS rolls around.  Things get challenging when the kernel
> and userspace start to drift apart.  An example faced by 64Studio was
> that they could not support the latest nVidia drivers without a newer
> version of Xorg, which in turn required a new kernel, which required
> updated udev utilities... things can get out of hand pretty quickly.

I'm using 64Studio 64bit 3.0 (beta 3) now. Already a sound and stable
distro, with a 'state of the art' 2.6.29-RT kernel, and the hunt is on
(including me) for the latest "state of the art" versions of packages.
I know this because i'm testing a few in all sorts of experiments, and
trials, and reporting back.

And no compulsory Pulseaudio.

> Then of course the problem becomes one where we are not supporting the
> latest hardware.  Joe User will complain that there are problems with
> his shiny new motherboard and CPU (and possibly GPU) that are supported
> by newer kernels etc.  There is cost to either approach.

Yet 64studio are on the 2.6.29rt kernel, with Hardy LTS. I would think
they'd thought as far ahead as they could, in the compromise between a
stable working system, and the uncertainty of what new hardware
devices might be coming out next. And that's the same for all distros,

> Jack is also something that is not trivial to keep current.

I don't understand the validity of this comment at all, based on my
own modest experiences.

>> I wonder if this would be a far better solution, all round.
> Probably not a simple one.  I do not see us as too far from the best
> path as it is.
> <snip>

I'm not up on the actual mechanics or politics involved, so you could
be right, and i wouldn't know

Parchment Studios (It started as a joke...)

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