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Linus Merges ALSA Into 2.5.4

chrisd posted more than 12 years ago | from the it's-water-helen-water dept.

Linux 302

davster writes "I was just checking out the Linux 2.5 changeset and noticed that Linus has just merged ALSA into his tree. Its about time." CD: Looks like Jaroslav Kysela did the merge work, but Linus obviously allowed it to happen. I'm a happy Alsa user so this looks like a good thing.

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302 comments

Drain You (-1)

The Lyrics Guy (539223) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004451)

Nirvana - Drain You

One baby to another said,
I'm lucky to have met you
I don't care what you think
Unless it is about me
It is now my duty to completely drain you
A travel through a tube
And end up in your infection
Chew your meat for you
Pass it back and forth in a passionate kiss
From my mouth to yours because I like you

With eyes so dilated,
I've became your pupil
You've taught me everything
Without a poison apple
The water is so yellow, I'm a healthy student
Indebted and so grateful -
Vacuum out the fluids
Sloppy lips to lips
You're my vitamins because I'm like you

Re:Drain You (-1, Offtopic)

Cheesy Fool (530943) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004487)

Second best Nirvana song (Lithium is number one).

Now both songs will sound even better with ALSA.

Re:Drain You (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004539)

Nivarna sucks balls. If I sucked as bad as Kurt Nobrain I'd eat a shottie, too.

linux sucks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004454)

Win2k rules CMDR taco can go fuck himself.

Re:linux sucks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004461)

u suck !

Re:linux sucks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004464)

Win2k rules just don't measure up.

Think about it for a moment.

Actually (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004493)

XP rulez, 2k is for losers without kazaa. Corpfiles baby!

Forst (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004456)

Forst Pist Captin? EH MATE!

Re:Forst (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004576)

You are an insane i.d.i.o.t sir

Meehsa like (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004458)

ALSA veery useful, meehsa thinksa

Wow (-1, Flamebait)

Sarcazmo (555312) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004460)

I'm a happy Alsa user so this looks like a good thing.

I didn't know any of the /. editors actually USED linux, much less knew how to compile their own kernels! Go Chris!

oh yeaaa (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004462)

god i just splooged everywhere

Explanation? (1, Interesting)

Mr.Phil (128836) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004465)

Can someone explain to me what this means? I've never had trouble with the sound modules that came with the kernel before. Every time I've installed Linux since the 2.0.5 days, my sound cards (always Sound Blasters) have been supported just fine.

Re:Explanation? (5, Informative)

psamuels (64397) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004537)

Can someone explain to me what this means? I've never had trouble with the sound modules that came with the kernel before.
  • range of hardware - ALSA supports more cards than the existing OSS-based stuff
  • features - the first "A" in ALSA is "Advanced". The original OSS API is rather limited as to what it allows an application to do. Doesn't affect me much, because I have a motherboard OPL3SA chip with its crappy FM synthesizer (so MIDI sounds really lousy) - but if you have newer hardware with its leet DSP effects including 3D simulation, etc, the old drivers will never allow an app (read: game) to take full advantage of it. ALSA may not be as advanced as DirectX - I have no idea - but it's a sight better than OSS.
  • new infrastructure - ALSA is a sort of "clean slate" and gets rid of many of the annoying limitations of the current architecture, like only letting one app use the card at a time (some current drivers have this limitation even though the hardware supports multiple input channels - sure you can get around this with a sound daemon such as aRts or esd, but still).

Hope this helps..

Re:Explanation? (2, Informative)

SuzanneA (526699) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004668)

Doesn't affect me much, because I have a motherboard OPL3SA chip with its crappy FM synthesizer (so MIDI sounds really lousy)

As a perfect example of why Alsa is powerful, take a look at RX/Saturno [reduz.com.ar]

Its a Yamaha DX7 emulator that installs itself as a virtual ASLA midi port, that any Alsa MIDI player/app can use.

Basically, the ALSA architecture can, in theory, let you work around your OPL midi limitation. You can install 'virtual' drivers that use wavetable, or whatever, synthesis to provide better MIDI playback.

Re:Explanation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004538)

ALSA looks like a much better architecture to me, from what I've seen of it, though my actual experience with it pretty minimal (especially since hardly any apps support it, so I'm always using it in OSS compatibility mode).

It definitely has better buffering, so I never get choppy sound when I'm compiling like I did on slower computers with OSS. It also has software mixing for playing multiple sound streams at once, eliminating the main use for things like esd.

Both of those apply to ALSA in OSS compatibility mode, since I don't really have any apps that support it directly.

Re:Explanation? (1)

bharath (140269) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004561)

> my sound cards *(always Sound Blasters)* have been
> supported just fine.

You more or less answered your question.

Re:Explanation? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004634)

Imagine some third or fourth year CS student without much real world experience, but pumped up on hormones and Jolt cola. Now instead of writing maybe 100 lines of Pascal or C code to solve a problem, that they feel "elite" and decide to do something different. So instead of the previously mentioned simple code, they build this incredible Dungeons and Dragons complex framework with all sorts of illogical extensions, doo-dads, gee-gaws, and gizmos. That is ALSA in a nutshell. Just imagine the worst aspects of Debian applied to a complete sub-system.

ALSA of reminds me of the famous quote ``If you can persuade them with substance, dazzle 'em with bullshit.''

LINUX QUESTION (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004474)


WLD LK T SK LNS QSTN
DR LNS MY NM S JNS HLL
CNGRTLTNS N YR LNX 2.5
KRNL. M CMMDR 64 WNR
ND M CRS F YR NXT KRNL
WLL B SPPRTNG MY CMMDR
PLTFRM BCS LK T WTCH
MVS THT DWNLD FF TH
NTRNT NTWRK ND MNY PPL
SY THT YR LNX KRNL CN
WTCH VRY GD MVS. THNK Y
LNS.
YR FRND,
&nbspJNS.

Re:LINUX QUESTION (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004515)

Maybe off topic, but damn funny.

good (1)

vvikram (260064) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004476)


finally sound config in linux will no longer be a
Big Thing(tm)

however i wonder why this is big news because there are so many important things which are getting merged. i guess sound has a more generic audience:)

Vikram

Re:good (2, Interesting)

psamuels (64397) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004560)

however i wonder why this is big news because there are so many important things which are getting merged.

It is a big deal - ALSA has been "on the horizon" with many happy users ever since the late 2.1 days. Jaroslav didn't feel it was ready for prime time by 2.2 and missed the boat with 2.4, so I'm glad ALSA finally made it.

Now if Linus will just accept Keith Owens's new Makefile structure, I'll be a happy man. (Same goes, to a lesser extent, for Eric Raymond's new configuration infrastructure.) He said a year ago it would happen in the 2.5.1 - 2.5.2 timeframe, now it looks like he may be backpedaling ... oh well.

Please merge realtime patches into Linux! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004566)

HZ must die!

What's going on with Linus? (2, Insightful)

felipeal (177452) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004479)

I'm not complaining/trolling (actually, I'm happy with the news), but it's interesting to notice what Linus is up to recently:

- he is considering to use BitKeeper
- he accepted the preemptive kernel in the kernel
- he did something else I don't recall now (will search slashdot after this post :)
- he accepted alsa on the kernel

Maybe he is finally realizing that Linux is not only "his toy" anymore...

Re:What's going on with Linus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004510)

With the possible exception of trying bitkeeper, this is what Linus has been doing for at least the last 6 years that I've been on LKLM.

Even trying bitkeeper isn't especially odd. Its just different because J random linux user knows about it this time because it inexplicably made slashdot.

Re:What's going on with Linus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004568)

Even trying bitkeeper isn't especially odd. Its just different because J random linux user knows about it this time because it inexplicably made slashdot.

What are you talking about? Him trying BitKeeper is huge considering his previous professed hatred of source control systems.

Also, it's big news because of all the problems that were plaguing 2.4 for so long, many of which were attributable to him not accepting important patches from people. So BitKeeper was news because it's a step towards resolving those problems.

Re:What's going on with Linus? (4, Informative)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004663)

Him trying BitKeeper is huge considering his previous professed hatred of source control systems.

Also, it's big news because of all the problems that were plaguing 2.4 for so long, many of which were attributable to him not accepting important patches from people. So BitKeeper was news because it's a step towards resolving those problems.

Professed where? He has said that he doesn't like CVS and that he doesn't think any source control system will help much but he's never said he hates them generally. He has been promising Larry McVoy he'd give BitKeeper a try for more than two years. If he sticks with BK then it'll be news, but at the moment he hasn't changed his mind about source control. And if you think this will make any difference to the issue with dropped patches you're sadly mistaken. That's a seperate problem that has nothing to do with source control.

Re:What's going on with Linus? (2)

felipeal (177452) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004591)

this is what Linus has been doing for at least the last 6 years that I've been on LKLM.

Yeah, I agree. But normally changes of this nature (specially in the case of the preemptive patch) take many releases to get in, but this time they happened very early in the tree (in the .3 and .4 releases).

Re:What's going on with Linus? (2, Interesting)

aeil (183600) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004660)

Yeah but the pre-emt stuff has been around for a while and has had many happy users. ie: tested -- fairly stable. probably related to a don't fsck up and add a new VM at the end of a development cycle screw up.

Re:What's going on with Linus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004513)

Maybe he is just getting tired, when people push and push and push... you know take your patch and shove it up your kernel and be happy when it becomes crappier than windoze

Re:What's going on with Linus? (2, Funny)

Sarcazmo (555312) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004517)

The Illuminati got to him. Through their cooperation with the Grays, and the secret rich elite, they have pressured Linus into compliance. They hate MS as much as we do, after all MS is a threat to their power.

Re:What's going on with Linus? (2, Insightful)

charstar (64963) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004575)

...or perhaps he's recognizing that these other projects are maturing and can now be consided "worthy" of kernel level inclusion.

Re:What's going on with Linus? (5, Informative)

Snowfox (34467) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004600)

I'm not complaining/trolling (actually, I'm happy with the news), but it's interesting to notice what Linus is up to recently:

- he is considering to use BitKeeper
- he accepted the preemptive kernel in the kernel
- he did something else I don't recall now (will search slashdot after this post :)
- he accepted alsa on the kernel

Maybe he is finally realizing that Linux is not only "his toy" anymore...

I think you're missing something.

Kernel versions with an even number in the second position are meant to be stable. Nothing risky goes in these.

Kernel versions with an odd number in the second position are development versions. This is where risky and innovative new technology can be introduced and experimented with.

Linus only recently opened the 2.5 kernel series. He's been maintaining 2.4. I believe what you're attributing to ownership is his being aware of the fact that a broken "stable" kernel could do terrible damage, and nifty new sound bits and experimental reworking of the task scheduler aren't worth taking that risk.

Re:What's going on with Linus? (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004685)

Linus only recently opened the 2.5 kernel series. He's been maintaining 2.4. I believe what you're attributing to ownership is his being aware of the fact that a broken "stable" kernel could do terrible damage, and nifty new sound bits and experimental reworking of the task scheduler aren't worth taking that risk.

So... how do you explain him ripping out the memory manager in the middle of a stable series and replacing it with entirely new, undocumented code?

I think you're missing something...

Re:What's going on with Linus? (2)

felipeal (177452) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004717)

I think you're missing something.

True. I actually didn't express well my opinion in the first post (I also missed this response to the slashdot submission system or to mozilla 0.9.8 forms :).

Kernel versions with an odd number in the second position are development versions

I know that. What I was surprised with was the quick acceptance of such patches, in particular the preemptive one. Judging by the following interview [linuxdevices.com], I think that even Robert Love was skeptical about it:

Love: Linus said at ALS this year he was interested in the preempt-kernel patch. That doesn't mean anything to me until we are in, though, but it is a good sign.

There is opposition. There are various issues that need to be dealt with. I believe it is a sane move for 2.5. The patch has seen a lot of testing and we have a lot of users.
I do not want to predict whether it will be merged for 2.5. Time will tell.

Re:What's going on with Linus? (3, Interesting)

Dwonis (52652) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004655)

Linus hasn't had a real development (odd-minor-numbered) kernel for over a year. Now, he's accepting everything he wanted to before, but didn't because it could break too many things.

what is alsa? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004481)

seriously, this is not a troll, but what the hell is ALSA? Why can't editors simply say "ALSA is an xyz widget that does zyx's" at the bottom of the story?

Speaking of ALSA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004488)

In a remarkable feat of journalistic sleight-of-hand, thousands of column inches in many "reputable" on-line publications have talked at length about .NET whilst remaining largely ignorant of its nature, purpose, and implementation. Ask what .NET is, and you'll receive a wide range of answers, few of them accurate, all of them conflicting. Confusion amongst the press is rampant.

The more common claims made of .NET are that it's a Java rip-off, or that it's subscription software. The truth is somewhat different. Before talking about these claims, first the important question needs to be answered:

What is .NET?
.NET is a "software platform". It's a language-neutral environment for writing programs that can easily and securely interoperate. Rather than targetting a particular hardware/OS combination, programs will instead target ".NET", and will run wherever .NET is implemented.

.NET is also the collective name given to various bits of software built upon the .NET platform. These will be both products (Visual Studio.NET and Windows.NET Server, for instance) and services (like Passport, HailStorm, and so on).

The components that make up .NET-the-platform are collectively called the .NET Framework.

This article will concentrate on the .NET Framework; a follow-up will tackle .NET-the-software. Also within this article will be discussion of the standardization process happening in parallel, and a discussion of the differences between .NET and its major rival, J2EE.

The .NET Framework
The .NET Framework has two main parts:

The Common Language Runtime (CLR).
A hierarchical set of class libraries
The CLR is described as the "execution engine" of .NET. It provides the environment within which programs run. The most important features are:

Conversion from a low-level assembler-style language, called Intermediate Language (IL), into code native to the platform being executed on.
Memory management, notably including garbage collection.
Checking and enforcing security restrictions on the running code.
Loading and executing programs, with version control and other such features.
Before talking in more detail about these, a few bits of terminology need to be clarified.

Managed Code
"Managed Code" is code that targets .NET, and which contains certain extra information -- "metadata" -- to describe itself. Whilst both managed and unmanaged code can run in the runtime, only managed code contains the information that allows the runtime to guarantee, for instance, safe execution and interoperability.
Managed Data
With Managed Code comes Managed Data. CLR provides memory allocation and deallocation facilities, and garbage collection. Some .NET languages use Managed Data by default -- C#, Visual Basic.NET, JScript.NET -- whereas others -- C++ -- do not. Targetting CLR can, depending on the language you're using, impose certain constraints on the features available; for instance, C++ loses multiple inheritance. As with managed and unmanaged code, one can have both managed and unmanaged data in .NET applications -- data that doesn't get garbage collected but instead is looked after by unmanaged code.
Common Type System
The CLR uses something called the Common Type System (CTS) to strictly enforce type-safety. This ensures that all classes are compatible with each other, by describing types in a common way. CTS defines how types work within the runtime (their declaration and usage), which enables types in one language to interoperate with types in another language, including cross-language exception handling. As well as ensuring that types are only used in appropriate ways, the runtime also ensures that code doesn't attempt to access memory that hasn't been allocated to it (that is to say, the code is type-safe).
Assemblies
.NET programs are constructed from "Assemblies". An Assembly is a compiled and versioned collection of code and metadata that forms an atomic functional unit. All Assemblies contain a Manifest, which contains the Assembly name, version, and locale, has a list of files that form the Assembly, what dependencies the Assembly has, and what features are exported by the Assembly.
When you target .NET with your compiler, what gets generated isn't native code. Instead, it's a small PE wrapper around three blocks of data. PE (Portable Executable) is the binary format used to contain Win32 programs.

PE files contain a stub MS DOS program (if you've ever tried to run a Win32 executable from DOS and seen the "This program requires Microsoft Windows" message, you've seen that stub in action). .NET binaries will then contain a Win32 stub -- to either use .NET to run the actual program, or to say something like, "This program requires .NET to run" if it isn't available.

The first block of data within the PE wrapper is the IL itself. IL looks approximately like assembler. This is the bit that actually gets compiled and executed.

The second is called the metadata. This describes the contents of the file -- for instance, what methods it provides, what parameters they take, and what they return.

The third is the manifest. This describes what other components the executable needs in order to run. It also contains public keys of external components, so that the CLR can ensure that the external component is the one that the executable thinks it is.

When running the executable, the CLR uses Just-In-Time compilation. As each method within the executable gets called, it gets compiled to native code; subsequent calls to the same method don't have to undergo the same compilation, so the overhead is only incurred once.

JIT compilation raises some issues. One is that it demands resources -- memory and processor particularly. To solve this, MS have two JIT compilers: a normal one, that optimizes compiled code fairly well, but can be processor and/or memory intensive; and an "EconoJIT". EconoJIT might not optimize the code as well, but it'll require less memory and processor time to run. It will also allow your running program to discard the compiled form of a method, thereby freeing up memory, at the expense of having to compile it again. A third kind of compiler has been hinted at (though hasn't made it into the version 1 release), called the "OptJIT". It will work a little differently; it will use a subset of IL (OptIL) with additional information to suggest to the OptJIT compiler how to generate its output; there may also be greater optimization of the IL. The idea is to reduce the overhead due to the JIT compilation without sacrificing the quality of the emitted machine code.

Vortex2 drivers (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004489)

I still have one of the old Aureal Vortex2 cards, which has (in part) a binary-only driver module. Could this be modified to work inside the ALSA framework in 2.6?

Re:Vortex2 drivers (2)

sbleball (558711) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004511)

nope, unless the alsa dudes get the specs to program the vortex2 chip.

I wish them good luck, because my team (the one from the partly-binaries one at sourceforge) never had a glimpse on them.

All we did was based on hocus-pocus and reverse engineering :-P

Re:Vortex2 drivers (2, Interesting)

psamuels (64397) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004604)

I still have one of the old Aureal Vortex2 cards, which has (in part) a binary-only driver module. Could this be modified to work inside the ALSA framework in 2.6?

Depends - what do you mean by "in part"? I'm assuming the binary-only part is combined with a shim layer which is compiled from source?

If that's the case, it may be possible to rework the shim layer to support the ALSA API, but you might have some trouble getting hackers to do it for you. Many of them are more interested in supporting open hardware, after all. On the other hand, several people worked on winmodem drivers long before anyone provided much documentation for those chips, so perhaps someone will port it for you.

Alternatively, try your hand at porting it yourself, or pay someone to hack on it....

Or you could ask the company to develop ALSA drivers ... oops, I forgot, there is no company. ):

ASLA? (4, Informative)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004495)

It would be nice to have a three or four word description of what ALSA was in the article. (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture, for those who don't know.)

It would not only save people a bit of time, but avoid everyone who doesn't know, having to click through to the page, increasing chances of an unnecessary slashdot effect...

-me

Re:ASLA? (1)

heliocentric (74613) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004528)

oooo thanks for clearing that up - I thought it was going to be an automated thing to answer those A/S/L ? questions... but I couldn't figure out what that extra A was for.

Re:ASLA? (5, Informative)

paulbd (118132) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004652)

ALSA is a complete redesign of the sound subsystem for Linux. It addresses a number of areas that were irretrievably broken in the old "OSS" design:
  • application access was always via direct access to /dev/* nodes, requiring all format conversion and other "fancy" code to reside in the kernel
  • no possible generic support for non-interleaved cards
  • no uniform API for mmap-based access
  • no support for advanced h/w features without highly hw-specific code
When using ALSA, although it remains theoretically possible to use open/read/write/ioctl/close(2) and access /dev/snd/pcm*, all applications will almost certainly use alsa-lib, which provides a flexible, powerful way to access and control audio and MIDI hardware. format conversion, (de|re)interleaving code and many other commonly required operations live in this user space library, leaving the device drivers to simply present a suitably abstract version of the hardware they support. In addition, ALSA addresses many areas of SMP comptability that were unreliable or just plain broken in OSS. Fixing these in OSS was a per-card affair, with some better than others. Under ALSA, the design of the entire system is SMP friendly.

Re:ASLA? (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004704)

application access was always via direct access to /dev/* nodes, requiring all format conversion and other "fancy" code to reside in the kernel

I'd like to see more info on this - what exactly would require format conversion to be in the kernel? Linus and Alan explicitly rejected such an approach for the v4l code, requiring that all format conversion be done in userspace. I find it hard to believe that the kernel sound code did all conversion between 8/16bit, big-endian/little-endian, etc.

Arts? (1)

svara (467664) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004501)

There were some problems with alsa and arts with yamaha ds-xg soundcards... a lot of fixes went into 2.4.x for arts and oss with those cards...

So, does that mean that arts for yamaha ds-xg just got broken?

Re:Arts? (1)

Humanclone (558723) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004712)

Had the same problem, you need to set the sample rate to 48KHz IIRC... then the ds-xg sounds nice. Btw, the oss ds-xg drivers don't have the same quality or functionality as alsa..

Linus Torvalds Merges Self with Tree!! (4, Funny)

Pedro Picasso (1727) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004507)

CYBERSPACE, USA - In a freak accident at Transmeta World Headquarters this afternoon, famed programmer Linus Torvalds -- creator of the Linux operating system kernel -- accidentally merged himself into the kernel's dev tree. When reached for comment, Torvalds seemed only able to respond with "Power overwhelming."

Alan Cox, another prominent GNU/Linux programmer said he thought the merging -- though accidental -- was a good thing. "Now that [Linus]is actually in the kernel he can take advantage of Linux's multitasking and actually handle the work-load that he has. This is a really good thing for the community." Added Cox, "It's also pretty [freaking] weird."

Re:Linus Torvalds Merges Self with Tree!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004557)

Good job you did there. One of the few times I laugh out loud.

Re:Linus Torvalds Merges Self with Tree!! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004589)

Wasn't that a STNG episode?

To anyone who is wondering: this is a Big Deal (5, Informative)

matusa (132837) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004516)

Alsa has been hoping for kernel inclusion for _quite_ a long time. If you search mailing list archives, this issue has been around for a while, and has been a serious issue since the 2.0 days IIRC.

Some history, Alsa kindof grew out of the enhanced Gravis ultrasound drivers (not to say that you'll find any code lingering.. it just came out of that project).

That said, this will bump up linux sound a quantum leap.

The major thing that caused ALSA to not be included was stability--their API would change drastically and suddenly all the time (which may be a good thing, though it was done VERY suddenly and often without notice). That aside that has stabilized as they approach a 1.0 release.

Note that there are oss compatability functions, and support for tons of soundcards, so don't think that thinks will stop working.

As a matter of fact, you can expect this to really push things forward (yes I'm repeating myself, but I can't stress this enough). Many good sound apps now already require ALSA. if you check out their website [alsa-project.org] (linked in the main story), amongst other info you can find their supported card matrix.

I tip my hat to the ALSA team, for their great work and perseverance. thanks a million!! We can all look forward to better sound (more features, lower latency, more flexible API, everything you want) now =)

Re:To anyone who is wondering: this is a Big Deal (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004569)

Quite frankly, for the average person, ALSA stinks. It is a big nasty mess.

Not impressed with ALSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004518)

To be completely honest, I've tried ALSA on several occasions.

Each and every time I reverted back to the 'old' OSS type modules.

Despite whatever virtues many people see in ALSA, I have yet to see it actually do ANYTHING that OSS sound modules can't. (And in a great many cases, where OSS Modules do things that ALSA ones don't.)

For instance, one of the most popular sound cards in current computers is the SB Live! series of cards. Due to the popularity of the EMU10k1-based boards, I would assume would get more development attention. And yet, while all the sources (for each type of module) are available, the EMU10K1 ALSA driver still can't handle the mixer settings anywhere near as well as the OSS module. I mean - this is the MIXER, people -- it controls volume. And ALSA can't even get that working. But the OSS module - Works like a charm!

Re:Not impressed with ALSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004597)

I started using ALSA because the OSS EMU10K1 driver in the kernel was broken. And kept getting broken and fixed and broken and fixed over and over (and that has continued into 2.4).

ALSA has worked for me since I started using it. I never had any mixer problems at all.

Furthermore, one really nice feature that it has that the OSS modules don't is the ability to play multiple sound streams at once via software mixing. That alone is enough to make me want to use it.

Plus the architecture is a lot cleaner.

KDE myths (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004527)

Some KDE Myths.

KDE Myth: Koffice owns, Kspread, Kword..they own, Gnome-office sucks.

Truth:
o Gnumeric has made some huge steps in the last 6 months, with the
semi-intergration of Guppi (graphing)...its a very stable Spreadsheet
application, offers many features that kspread dreams of. More Functions,
more file filters,.. Kspread is more like a budget/cutdown version of
Gnumeric.

To put it blutantly KDE toolbars and general gui design are/have always
been a mess.

o Abiword also offers similar benefits of Gnumeric (features and File
Filters) hey does Kword have a good import/exprt RTF?! alpha-quality? wtf?
How long has Kword been in-existence? and they still cant properly render
RTF still? Even the list of known filters (export and import) available
looks very sad. http://www.koffice.org/filters/status.phtml

Considering Abiword is also being developed for many other platforms, its
done pretty well so far. Can you say WYSIWYG?

o Kivio doesnt offer everything you would want, and if you want specific
stencils, you have to fork out for them...Is this where FreeSoftware is
going? We get cutdown versions of a product,... DIA isnt bound to a
company hard bent in making a profit. So when DIA starts employing some of
these Stencils, what happens then? you spent $$$ for nothing?

http://www.thekompany.com/products/kivio/stencil s. php3

KDE Myth: Konq ownz mozilla, netscape etc...

Truth: Mozilla is truely more standards complient, as of late 0.9.4+
series, The Mozilla engine is really starting to shine now, Konq has
always had a hard time rendering any DHTML/Javascript, even with some
webpages the fonts are screwed.
Mozilla isnt Perfect, but hey, everything renders properly. Konq trys to
hard to be "Internet Explorer" on the linux desktop, Its time to
completely drop the KHTML shit, If theres a better, more mature
engine...use it. KHTML was once needed, now its not.. And if you want to
Compare Gnome Galeon,..I dare you.

Nautalus was once critised as being a slow, dog, rah rah.. well it was,
yeah it was slow,...but it has improved, but it seems kde users still like
to think that. Well if it makes you happy. Nautalus is very themeable

http://jimmac.musichall.cz/screenshots/ximian-so ut h-metatheme.jpeg Its a
welcome change away from the Windows File Manager look.

KDE Myth: GTK+ is just damn ugly

So you havent tried the abundance of GTK+ themes? cleanice? eazel?
thinice? pixmap?
Yeah, Gtk themes that have been around longer than kde2... and with the
upcoming release of GTK2, themes are getting better and faster. Themes
under KDE just dont look "pretty". Even Gnome icons are better. So
customising Gnome to look differently isnt that hard..however KDE just
looks like that, Mosfet just looks tacky.

KDE Myth: We have all the cool appz. QT/KDE rulesss!

Oh really? So lets now count Evolution, GIMP, Red Carpet, Xchat, XMMS,
Galeon, Balsa, Gnumeric, Pan, Abiword, mplayer, Glade, Anjuta ...Gnome/GTK
has plently of cool apps.

KDE Myth: Gnome is loosing, its dead, just use KDE.

Well considering most new distros have KDE preinstalled as default, ie,
Mandrake, Lindows, Caldera, Corel, Suse ..and some other I missed out, its not
surprising Gnome is losing *some* support, But with Ximian and Redhat
Gnome/GTK will keep on living. QT is hardly community developed, GTK+ has always been community developed...and thus we as the linux community we _should_ support it.

Re:KDE myths (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004548)

Some KDE Myths.,

KDE Myth: Koffice owns, Kspread, Kword..they own, Gnome-office sucks.

Truth:
o Gnumeric has made some huge steps in the last 6 months, with the
semi-intergration of Guppi (graphing)...its a very stable Spreadsheet
application, offers many features that kspread dreams of. More Functions,
more file filters,.. Kspread is more like a budget/cutdown version of
Gnumeric.

To put it blutantly KDE toolbars and general gui design are/have always
been a mess.

o Abiword also offers similar benefits of Gnumeric (features and File
Filters) hey does Kword have a good import/exprt RTF?! alpha-quality? wtf?
How long has Kword been in-existence? and they still cant properly render
RTF still? Even the list of known filters (export and import) available
looks very sad. http://www.koffice.org/filters/status.phtml

Considering Abiword is also being developed for many other platforms, its
done pretty well so far. Can you say WYSIWYG?

o Kivio doesnt offer everything you would want, and if you want specific
stencils, you have to fork out for them...Is this where FreeSoftware is
going? We get cutdown versions of a product,... DIA isnt bound to a
company hard bent in making a profit. So when DIA starts employing some of
these Stencils, what happens then? you spent $$$ for nothing?

http://www.thekompany.com/products/kivio/stencil s. php3

KDE Myth: Konq ownz mozilla, netscape etc...

Truth: Mozilla is truely more standards complient, as of late 0.9.4+
series, The Mozilla engine is really starting to shine now, Konq has
always had a hard time rendering any DHTML/Javascript, even with some
webpages the fonts are screwed.
Mozilla isnt Perfect, but hey, everything renders properly. Konq trys to
hard to be "Internet Explorer" on the linux desktop, Its time to
completely drop the KHTML shit, If theres a better, more mature
engine...use it. KHTML was once needed, now its not.. And if you want to
Compare Gnome Galeon,..I dare you.

Nautalus was once critised as being a slow, dog, rah rah.. well it was,
yeah it was slow,...but it has improved, but it seems kde users still like
to think that. Well if it makes you happy. Nautalus is very themeable

http://jimmac.musichall.cz/screenshots/ximian-so ut h-metatheme.jpeg Its a
welcome change away from the Windows File Manager look.

KDE Myth: GTK+ is just damn ugly

So you havent tried the abundance of GTK+ themes? cleanice? eazel?
thinice? pixmap?
Yeah, Gtk themes that have been around longer than kde2... and with the
upcoming release of GTK2, themes are getting better and faster. Themes
under KDE just dont look "pretty". Even Gnome icons are better. So
customising Gnome to look differently isnt that hard..however KDE just
looks like that, Mosfet just looks tacky.

KDE Myth: We have all the cool appz. QT/KDE rulesss!

Oh really? So lets now count Evolution, GIMP, Red Carpet, Xchat, XMMS,
Galeon, Balsa, Gnumeric, Pan, Abiword, mplayer, Glade, Anjuta ...Gnome/GTK
has plently of cool apps.

KDE Myth: Gnome is loosing, its dead, just use KDE.

Well considering most new distros have KDE preinstalled as default, ie,
Mandrake, Lindows, Caldera, Corel, Suse ..and some other I missed out, its not
surprising Gnome is losing *some* support, But with Ximian and Redhat
Gnome/GTK will keep on living. QT is hardly community developed, GTK+ has always been community developed...and thus we as the linux community we _should_ support it.

Re:KDE myths (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004658)

To put it blutantly KDE toolbars and general gui design are/have always been a mess.

Funny, exactly the same thing can be said of Gnome.

Please say they fixed the emu10k1 mixer & MIDI (3, Informative)

Cerlyn (202990) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004529)

The last time I tried ALSA (0.9.0beta9) with a Sound Blaster Live!, I was confounded with the way they presented the mixer setup. It provided me with dozens of individual effect and audio sends, "mutes" that actually turned things on, confusingly named controls for laypeople, etc. While their wavetable MIDI worked for the most part, I have songs that suddenly mute one or more channels, with notes always cut short (no sustains).

Fortunately, the wonderful thing about the Linux kernel is that one can often find alternative (OSS_Free, etc.) drivers. I'm not putting ALSA down; I like how it is progressing, and it has the wavetable support that the OSS Free-style driver presently lacks. Hopefully ALSA's inclusion into 2.5 will help coax more people to find bugs, add cards, and fix problems.

(Before anyone flames me, I did file bug reports to ALSA. Many projects seems to be drowning in them; if you want to get into open source development and cannot code, perhaps you could help verify reported bugs!)

ALSA does not impress me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004535)

After using OSS sound for years, I tried ALSA. And I find that ALSA is a true software horror.

  • ALSA is overly complex
  • ALSA is extremely buggy
  • ALSA hardware support is spotty.
  • ALSA is very poorly documented.
  • ALSA is "over-engineered"
  • ALSA is the ultimate example of the problem of "design by committee"
Normally I take those Windows vs. Linux arguments with a grain of salt. But here is one case where Windows really has Linux licked--ALSA is a step in the wrong direction. It was not designed with the ordinary end-user in mind. It was clearly "designed" (using a loose definition of "design") by code-hacks who made a difficult problem more obtuse, buggy, and complex. Instead of simplicity, they have created a tangled, illogical snare for those naive enough to even consider using it.

i am gay and horny, plaese excite mee! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004545)

Please prost your homosexuel fantasyies and storyies so i may mastrbate to them. My close male freind has gone on a business tripp and i am feeling loneley toonight. Thank you.

-Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda

KDE and Yahmaha 724 (2)

CtrlPhreak (226872) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004546)

I had problems with the latest KDE's ARTs and ALSA in the past. As soon as YMF724 became available in the kernel itself, the problems seemed to dissapear. Will there be a choice for people like me between the ALSA implementation and the old one? Or have all the problems been fixed in ALSA? I always liked alsa as a strong and stable driver system in the past, so this has to be good news.

WOW! Who the fuck cares! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004558)

nt.

The end of linux as we love and know it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004564)

Unreal, i can't believe he did it. Linus, you are giving up your child, why?

Don't let the unwashed dirty your succulent code, it is much to pristine... That support does not belong in the kernel. You must abstract it out into a kernel level driver. Be smart and use mapped memory and kernel objects to do this. How it is now is just a lowly hack that doesn't deserver your attention. Tanenbaum was right!

great changes back to the old days (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004565)

WOOO! I can have a soundblaster without damned modules in embedded systems again! OSS was a grand project but it sucked royally because it forced module use.

Many times I had to reverse patch the kernel to get soundblaster back in without OSS. Now with ALSA I can compile the sound driver back into the kernel and fling off the last bit of module code that was worthless for embedded systems.

Re:great changes back to the old days (1)

(startx) (37027) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004620)

I've *never* gone modular with the soundblaster drivers, ever. this includes a sb16isa with SCSI2, a sb16pci, and a sblive!. maybe your just to stupid to read documentation?

Re:great changes back to the old days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004674)

Yup, I'm a dumb FUCK too!.
Let's see the soundblaster driver is a OSS module, and OSS modules HAVE to have the main OSS subsection as a module. after reading the oss.txt in the kernel docs and seeing the requirement that it has to be compiled as a module... (wow, OSS in it's self is required to be a module... I guess their FAQ and DOCS lie... like you said, you are a linux god, probably linux himself....)

So shit for brains... if it's an OSS module you have to use it as a module. the soundblaster driver covers about 30 different cards and only someone as stupid as you would assume that the soundblaster driver is only for the sb16.

It's assholes like you that make people think that linux is just a toy or Haker D00dz mess.

please quit using it, you give it a bad name.

USB Audio? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004572)

Does anyone know if the Alsa drivers will work with the kernel USB Audio driver?

Play from multiple sources... (-1)

Guillaume Ross (517391) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004585)

I got a very very cheap Ensoniq based PCI card, which can play from two sources in windows, but in linux I can't get that to work, and Quake 3 won't start if XMMS is playing... Any chance Alsa might fix that ?

woah, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004586)

ALSA works?! I thought it was like wine and only work on the developers machine or said to work in email and newsgroups!!!

Re:woah, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004647)

I've been using it for 1.5 years now, and I can honestly say I never once have had a single problem.

Though, reading the slashdot comments, it seems like I might be the only one, but I swear! It's true!

Re:woah, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004650)

Thank you! You have summed up ALSA rather nicely.

ALSA doesn't work for the average person.

ALSA = Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (5, Informative)

Stonehead (87327) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004595)

ALSA has been merged into the development Linux kernel, version 2.5.5-pre1, not 2.5.4 as mentioned in the title. Bad Slashdot editors.. :(
Jaroslav Kysela, a Czech developer paid by SuSE, has worked for years to create and lead the ALSA project [alsa-project.org]. It's GPL - its code has always been intended to go into the mainstream kernel and replace the OSS code. Linus has just done so.
Okay, what does it do: ALSA is just a set of utilities, general code and drivers for soundcards. After 4Front Technologies went commercial with OSS some years ago, Linux did not have supported GPLed soundcard drivers anymore. The commercial OSS-drivers are up-to-date, but those in the Linux kernel are old. A lot of obscure soundcards are currently only supported under Linux by either adding the commercial binary OSS modules, or adding the ALSA modules to your kernel. For example, my Aztech 2320 and Mediaforte cards that wouldn't even work with the legacy Win95 drivers (newer aren't to be found anywhere), nor with the old OSS, but they work very cleanly with ALSA since two years. Believe me, the ALSA codebase rocks. It has been stable for a long time and is good enough to add to your 2.4 kernel yourself. Visit the web site, it's just as easy as compiling any other module. And uh, before you all flood the ALSA mailinglists, start alsamixer first before testing, because all channels start muted as default :)

Re:ALSA = Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004670)

Jaroslav Kysela, a Czech developer paid by SuSE, has worked for years to create and lead the ALSA project
Someone better tell Jaro to find another line of work. Maybe if he changes his name, no one will know his guilt.

Re:ALSA = Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (2, Informative)

psamuels (64397) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004709)

ALSA has been merged into the development Linux kernel, version 2.5.5-pre1, not 2.5.4 as mentioned in the title. Bad Slashdot editors.. :(

The mistake was probably due to the BK changelog, which quotes Jaroslav's email message:

Integrate ALSA into v2.5.4

Jaroslav

(@*#&$^(*& llllaaaammmmeeeennnneeeessssssss ffffiiiilllltttteeeerrrr)

0.5? (2, Funny)

spt (557979) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004598)


Version 0.5?

Whatever happened to the "always wait until version 3" rule of stable computing?

Re:0.5? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004651)

That only applies to Microsoft software.

Re:0.5? (1)

Sarcazmo (555312) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004673)

Then call it version 5.0 and be happy.

Numbers are meaningless when everyone has their own numbering schemes.

Re:0.5? (1)

delta407 (518868) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004707)

So, version 3 equals stable? Let's see here... remember Windows 3.0? How about DOS 3.0? Heck, the Linux kernel isn't 3.0.

Re:0.5? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004715)

And that, dear friends, is why I use NT 5

How cross-platform is ALSA? (3, Interesting)

Snowfox (34467) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004611)

It was my understanding that the ALSA group was only interested in supporting PC hardware.

Has this changed? If not, is it really wanted in the stock Linux kernel yet? Have any used ALSA with non-PC hardware yet?

Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004629)

I was just thinking about circumventing the "one program controlling sound" problem last week.

Thinking about how amazingly fast (GNU/)Linux evolves, we then read about more and more developers crying out for patch acceptance (which means this evolution will only accelerate).

Wow! I mean, WOW!

I just wonder how will Linux be in two or three years?

This is a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004632)

Good thing : especially for less standard card users. Good example is CS4237b (P233 notebooks)
which really rocks with ALSA and sux with OSS.
I hope ALSA won't break any working driver too
(like my USB Labtec 712).


Kubus

ALSA in any distro default kernels? (2, Troll)

mlinksva (1755) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004639)

Si, no, plans? Anyone know? I hope they don't all wait for 2.6.

Anyone ever notice how much Linux is posted? (-1, Troll)

amhax (557376) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004671)

VA Systems is no longer VA Linux systems. Shouldn't slashdot be posting a wider variety of things now instead of just mindless Linux drivel? I keep submitting BSD news and other such things, but they keep getting rejected. Odd...

You know what? (-1)

Serial Troller (556155) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004678)

You know what? NO ONE CARES. Linux is a gigantic piece of SLOP. It's like a LOG OF DOGSHIT floating in cat urine. A stinking LOG OF DOGSHIT covered in maggots floating in cat urine. It crashes. It OOPSES. It locks up, it hangs, it randomly corrupts my FUCKING filesystem. I'd rather have my TESTICLES TORN OFF with a hot pair of serrated pliers than run Linux on my FUCKING computer again! It's an absolute pile of SLOP dribbled out of LINUS TURDBALLS's and ANAL COX's cocks during one of their HOMOSEXUAL FAGGOT ORGIES.

Re:You know what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004693)

Please prost your homosexuel fantasyies and storyies so i may mastrbate to them. My close male freind has gone on a business tripp and i am feeling loneley toonight. Thank u.

-Robb "CmdrTaco" Malda

towards multimedia (1)

ncoder (517020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004681)

This and the peemptiple patch makes you think linus is lining up towards multimedia.

Good to know.

Great news for MIDI people (2, Interesting)

dmouritsendk (321667) | more than 12 years ago | (#3004701)

In my experince ALSA provides great MIDI support, and it seems like they support MIDI on alot more cards than the OSS(example: I first learned about ALSA when i couldnt get OSS to work with the midiport on a Yamaha waveforce).

Also, I really like the fact that it places all the sound devices under /dev/snd/ , structure is good :)

Linux!? Eat it! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3004723)

You know what? NO ONE CARES. Linux is a gigantic piece of SLOP. It's like a LOG OF DOGSHIT floating in cat urine. A stinking LOG OF DOGSHIT covered in maggots floating in cat urine. It crashes. It OOPSES. It locks up, it hangs, it randomly corrupts my FUCKING filesystem. I'd rather have my TESTICLES TORN OFF with a hot pair of serrated pliers than run Linux on my FUCKING computer again! It's an absolute pile of SLOP dribbled out of LINUS TURDBALLS's and ANAL COX's cocks during one of their HOMOSEXUAL FAGGOT ORGIES.
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