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Re: Fedora 11 nerfed my mixer

On Sun, 26.04.09 12:17, David Woodhouse (dwmw2 infradead org) wrote:

> On Fri, 2009-04-24 at 18:58 +0200, Lennart Poettering wrote:
> > 
> > > I know you mean well by trying to simplify this entire mess (I hated the
> > > old Volume Control, it was too much), but on the other hand this seems
> > > to be a messy problem and taking too much control from the user is a
> > > mistake. At least that's what my intuition is telling me, FWIW.
> > 
> > If we don' try to fix it then this will never be fixed.
> I agree -- it is a wonderful thing that we're trying to fix this, and I
> applaud your efforts.
> But we have to acknowledge that we cannot always get it 100% right, and
> that we _do_ need to let the user have ultimate control.

Everyone who wants the full use of the mixer still can have it. The
question is whether it needs to be installed by default or not. Not
installing a mixer like that by default won't take any control or any
freedom away of the user.

You apparently want to make this a question of control and
freedom. It however is just a question of cluttering the default
install with stuff only a minority of folks need.

What's next? Will you be asking that postgresql is installed by
default on Fedora because some users could need it and it takes away
control from them if it's not installed by default?

> Even ignoring the 'esoteric' use cases, I don't think we're ever going
> to see an end to bugs like #493790 or the last part of #497698.
> It's all very well saying that the ALSA hardware database should know
> everything -- but it _doesn't_, and realistically speaking it never
> will.

It doesn't need to know *everything*. It just needs needs tweaks for
a few sound cards. It needs those tweaks on the kernel-side of the
story all the time, have you seen the amount of card-specific patches
that go into the HDA driver every week? For a few cards not just the
kernel drivers need to be tweaked from time to time but also the user
space db. The user space db is maintained by exactly the same folks
who also maintain the kernel drivers. And hence the chance is actually
not that bad that the db will be updated at the same time as the
kernel drivers if necessary

The db is still a pretty new feature. That's why it still misses the
userspce quirks for a lot of older sound cards.

> It doesn't even know about the 'Front' control on my MacBook Pro -- so
> if I didn't have gnome-alsamixer, the F-11 installation would just be
> inexplicably quieter than F-10 was.

The ALSA mixer interface is quite broken when it comes to surround
sound. Due to that a few controls have been slit up into seperate
Front/Rear/LFE/Center controls although should actually just be
one. That's a drity workaround in ALSA right now because everyone is
afraid of unfucking the mixer api.

> But you seem to be missing the point that there will _always_ be bugs in
> the database, and it's _your_ code which has suddenly promoted that
> database from being a 'convenience' to a 'mission critical' thing, by
> relying on it 100% and giving the user no override.

Yes, there will always be missing entries in the DB. The same way as
there always will be missing quirks in the kernel driver.  That's
something we need to accept. But there is no need to conclude from
that that it is necessary to expose the full alsa mixer all the
time -- the same way it is not necessary to install gcc, patch, git
and the kernel sources just because the kernel drivers might need
quirks, too.


Lennart Poettering                        Red Hat, Inc.
lennart [at] poettering [dot] net         ICQ# 11060553
http://0pointer.net/lennart/           GnuPG 0x1A015CC4

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