What is the point of PulseAudio?

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Re: What is the point of PulseAudio?

Postby steve_v » 2018-04-19 10:18

sunrat wrote:Pistols at 10 paces! :mrgreen:
I am feeling a mite argumentative at the moment. :P
Defense of "You now need this new invasive software to run something you always used without it, because we chose to compile it that way" with "Just install this other piece of software you never needed before, and jump through this here hoop" kinda rubs me the wrong way though, particularly when the real answer is "Pass this flag to configure, and continue as before".
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Re: What is the point of PulseAudio?

Postby Segfault » 2018-04-19 12:41

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
Segfault wrote:OK, you are using apulse instead of PA. It is still a dependency.

To repeat: I *do not* have PulseAudio installed in any of my GNU/Linux systems and firefox (both Quantum and ESR) works just fine in all my various boxen.

There is *no* hard requirement for PA in firefox, please stop spreading FUD :roll:

You may benefit from looking up the meaning of FUD. For sake of truth, I never said there is hard requirement for PA in Firefox. I merely stated Debian version of Firefox is compiled with PA as a dependency. If you deceive FF with apulse it does not mean the PA dependency is gone.
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Re: What is the point of PulseAudio?

Postby n_hologram » 2018-04-19 13:33

Segfault wrote:If you deceive FF with apulse it does not mean the PA dependency is gone.

I'm pretty sure both of you are right, just for different reasons. It sounds like HoaS is just affirming that Debian's FF doesn't requrie PA proper; apulse, which a PA emulator, is not PA proper, so you can't really call PA a hard dependency. On the other hand, it's fair to note the direction of Debian's FF towards the PA infrastructure, in no small part to GNOME being the official Debian desktop.

Looking at the package pages for firefox/firefox-esr, all the way up to sid, I don't see pulseaudio in the dependency lists, so I'm wondering where this "pulseaudio dependency" issue is coming from...

https://packages.debian.org/sid/firefox
https://packages.debian.org/sid/firefox-esr
https://packages.debian.org/buster/firefox-esr
https://packages.debian.org/stretch/firefox-esr
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Re: What is the point of PulseAudio?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-04-19 16:38

n_hologram wrote:HoaS is just affirming that Debian's FF doesn't requrie PA

^ Yes, thank you, that was my point exactly.

steve_v wrote:I have no idea what you are on about.

Hypothetical scenario: systemd is not being used as PID1 but libsystemd0 is installed; are you
a) outraged
b) happy
c) indifferent

If the answer is (a) then you are a crazy tentacle person and are henceforth required to state this in your signature to avoid further confusion :mrgreen:
ESTRAGON: We always find something, eh, Didi, to give us the impression we exist?
VLADIMIR (impatiently): Yes, yes, we're magicians.
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Re: What is the point of PulseAudio?

Postby Funkygoby » 2018-04-19 18:08

Gentlemen please...
Can we agree to disagree?
I think steve_v prefers not to rely on anything PA related (be it the software or the API). I can understand that.

So pulseaudio brings an easy interface if you have several sound card. So does jack? And sndio?
ALSA was good enough for most users (having a single sound card), shouldn't we keep pulseaudio (as a daemon, as an API and a dependenciy) optionnal then?
if I understand correctly, FF requires Pulseaudio API to play sound. One can provide this API by installing PA himself, or using apulse instead.
FF can be compiled with ALSA support.
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Re: What is the point of PulseAudio?

Postby n_hologram » 2018-04-19 18:22

Funkygoby wrote:Gentlemen please...
Can we agree to disagree?

No. That is not the "Debian [users'] Way" ;)

I have a slice of cheese between two slices of buttered bread that need toasting. I need a heat source to toast it. The most logical route is using electricity, or compiling a firepit.

It would be easiest, if not expected, to use my "George Foreman Classic Plate 9-Serving Grill & Panini Press," which is designed to provide an easy interface for grilling -- in this case, grilling my cheese sandwich.

Alternatively, I could use my stove and cast-iron pan, to emulate the effects of my George Foreman press' toasting outcome, but bypassing the press completely. The interface wouldn't be as quite as direct, so it would take a little bit of tweaking to set it up; however, it would accomplish the task using a utility that can also be used for cooking other things. In short, I don't have hard dependency on a George Foreman Classic Plate 9-Serving Grill & Panini Press in order to make a grilled cheese, but maybe I'll use the stove, which uses the underlying heating concepts -- the underlying framework, by the way, which led to the invention of the press in the first place.


On the other hand, my grilled cheese is appliance-agnostic, so I could toast it in any number of ways -- I could pull a livewire into a pot of grease to make a self-contained grease fire, set atop the pan, and cook to crisp perfection. And I don't even have any strict dependency on electricity-based solutions. I could also set up a nice bonfire in the backyard. It would take a lot of time and effort, and may not be worth it. Still, compiling the mechanism from the ground-up an option.

Hopefully the analogies are clear.

Is anyone else hungry?
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Re: What is the point of PulseAudio?

Postby bw123 » 2018-04-19 20:16

I never heard of the other projects ESD or aRts but I guess the point of pulseaudio is to go forward to what will theoretically be universal, instead of back to what works on linux.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PulseAudio

Funkygoby wrote:So pulseaudio brings an easy interface if you have several sound card. So does jack? And sndio?


I think it's more than just different hardware devices, it's different sources/outputs of all kinds. Not something I need, but I guess it could be useful if it could be configured easier. The keyword you used was "easy" which it is not.
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Re: What is the point of PulseAudio?

Postby milomak » 2018-04-19 20:39

Code: Select all
debian ~ # dpkg -l | grep apulse
debian ~ # dpkg -l | grep pulse
ii  gir1.2-cvc-1.0                                3.6.2-2                              amd64        Introspection data for Cinnamon pulseaudio abstraction
ii  libcvc0:amd64                                 3.6.2-2                              amd64        Cinnamon pulseaudio abstraction library
ii  libpulse-mainloop-glib0:amd64                 11.1-5                               amd64        PulseAudio client libraries (glib support)
ii  libpulse0:amd64                               11.1-5                               amd64        PulseAudio client libraries
rc  pulseaudio                                    11.1-5                               amd64        PulseAudio sound server
debian ~ # dpkg -l | grep firefox
ii  firefox-esr                                   52.7.3esr-1                          amd64        Mozilla Firefox web browser - Extended Support Release (ESR)


this is on sid

i am able to play audio in youtube on esr

edit - played an embedded twitter video as well
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Re: What is the point of PulseAudio?

Postby steve_v » 2018-04-20 05:09

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:Hypothetical scenario: systemd is not being used as PID1 but libsystemd0 is installed; are you
a) outraged
b) happy
c) indifferent

None of the above: "Mildly irritated that my system is needlessly linked against a library I don't use".
Unless of course any of the things needlessly linked against libsystemd0 happen to not work properly if systemd isn't PID1 or systemd services I didn't explicitly enable aren't running.. in which case I'm "looking for another distro".
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Re: What is the point of PulseAudio?

Postby Funkygoby » 2018-04-20 09:09

@n_hologram I am not sure I get the analogy, let me try:
Your cheese is Firefox, your Foreman grill is PA+ALSA, your stove+cast iron is ALSA?

- So Pulseaudio is "supposed" to provide an "easy interface". Well it didn't since I had to tweak it so that it would actually work with my volumes buttons and also, stop blasting my ears.
Your new Foreman grill doesn't grill my cheese and can explode unless I tweak it. Let's say that it is because I used italian cheese.

- Firefox is "appliance agnostic". Today, your are right. I am using FF on OpenBSD with only sndio as my audio server. Someone has to do the work though (mozilla or an OpenBSD dev, I don't know).
But your Foreman grill is meant to unify the grilling process and as a consequence more and more cheese are going to need your grill to even be consumable. They will burn if cooked with anything else than your grill.

As a bonus your Foreman grill takes longer to cook than everyone's grandma stove.

I would like to hear use cases where Pulseaudio is bringing progress over ALSA/OSS (+jack/sndio). By progress I mean, solving problems that were unsolved without bringing new ones.
In the past, I have been to quick to misjudge and dismiss software that later, proved to be the best tools for my use case (Xfce4, OpenBSD). Before completely trashing pulseaudio, I prefer to hear other's opinions.

n_hologram wrote:Is anyone else hungry?

Eating raw pasta like a madman waiting for the water to boil
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Re: What is the point of PulseAudio?

Postby steve_v » 2018-04-20 09:36

bw123 wrote:I never heard of the other projects ESD or aRts
Funny you should mention those, and slightly surprising that you never encountered them.
Back before ALSA, there was a need for a universal sound-mixing daemon that would allow multiple applications to play audio at the same time. The Enlightenment desktop, GNOME, and a bunch of unrelated applications used ESD, and KDE used ARTS.
Both sucked, for many of the same reasons pulseaudio sucks, because it's pretty much the same square-wheel with more features and a better API.
It's fascinating, in a slightly horrifying way, how history repeats itself.

Sound servers are not the answer, they've never been the answer. If the kernel (ALSA) API doesn't do what is needed, effort is better spent improving it than writing yet another latency-introducing, resource-sucking, overengineered uber-daemon.
If one needs to do properly arcane things with audio (AKA pro-audio virtual mixing and mastering) that can't reasonably be done in kernel space, JACK (with realtime kernel patches) already does everything one could ask for.
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