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Re: FESCo Meeting Summary for 20090424

On Sat, 2009-04-25 at 13:24 -0400, Paul W. Frields wrote:

> I guess I'm unclear on why the gnome-alsamixer isn't being introduced
> as a specific addition to %packages in the DVD kickstart file.  Then
> the Desktop Live image would retain the characteristics designed by
> the Desktop SIG.
> That Live image is designed, AIUI, to go into the hands of a novice
> who's looking for the Desktop SIG's idea of a Fedora Desktop.  On the
> other hand, anyone who's looking for twiddly bits like those found in
> the gnome-alsamixer (and they're perfectly justified in that desire)
> are typically going to download the Installation DVD because they want
> more choices in software to begin with.
> So to me, the ideal compromise is for the Installation DVD to install
> the gnome-alsamixer by default and have it in the menu, and for the
> Desktop Live image not to bother.  Does that not solve the problem in
> a less contentious way?

> I think FESCo is doing the right thing by including something that
> will work for the large number of users we have who are natural
> bit-twiddlers, and require functionality beyond what the
> drivers/hardware currently make available to PA.  But I also think the
> Desktop SIG ought to be able to make a Desktop Spin that represents
> their vision.  In fact, that's something we've asked for at, e.g., the
> recent FUDCon in Boston last January.
> So again, I propose adding gnome-alsamixer to the %packages in
> Installation DVD kickstart, and leave the Desktop Live CD as-is.

I'd be against this just because the problematic use case is so basic.
This is not for 'natural bit-twiddlers', it's for just about anyone who
wants to take any kind of sound from an external source. This is
something regular users do all the time. I know this, I spend time in
forums. People want to record old records or audio tapes or from the
radio to file, they want to use VOIP, there's a zillion uses for this.
"I want input from Mic 2 instead of Mic 1" or "I want input from line-in
instead of Mic 1" is not a bit-twiddling use case, it's an amazingly
basic function that many many people expect to work.

Windows isn't any kind of guide to good UI, but it's worth noting what
Windows does, just because it's what people expect: Windows has a
notification tray applet which just gives you a simple slider (a la the
new g-v-c), but from the right-click menu, you can launch the Windows
'advanced' mixer with access to all the mixer elements (a la this
proposal). Again, I'm not saying 'because Windows does it it's the best
way to do things and we should do it too', that's clearly nuts, but I
have personally seen dozens of people - not 'bit twiddlers', just
regular people with regular needs - use this application. I think you're
maybe just underestimating the level of need for this.

In the initial bug report related to this discussion I've pointed up a
forum thread where several people thanked me for the alsamixer -c0
trick. That's just people running F11 beta who happened to find that
forum thread. Multiply that out to everyone who tries F11 final...

and the problem came up at least five separate times across this list
and fedora-test-list too. There are clearly many many people who *need*
access to this functionality. It's not just bit-twiddlers.
Adam Williamson <awilliam redhat com>
Red Hat

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