[vlc-devel] [PACKAGERS] [RFCv2] PulseAudio removal

Rémi Denis-Courmont remi at remlab.net
Sat Apr 2 20:43:26 CEST 2011


So I spent much of the last 2 days trying to fix the PulseAudio output in VLC. 
I have to say I am really fed up. PulseAudio simply does not work correctly, 
and in any case, much worse than direct ALSA.

While the libpulse documentation is much better than the bad joke that the 
ALSA documentation is, it is still rather terse in many ways, so you have to 
assume how things just work and that they won't change mysteriously at the 
next release.

To make matters worse, it is needlessly complicated. Even Lennart admits it, 
claiming backward compatibility as an excuse. How stupid an excuse is this? 
What prevents adding nicer functions around the overly intricate ones? I could 
not figure any official *and* stable way to either:
 - find the play time (or delay till play time) of the buffer write offset,
 - tell PulseAudio that I want a buffer played at a certain time.
With neither of those, how the bloody heck am I supposed to synchronize audio 
and video?! Oh yeah, there are the "raw" time infos, but they are explicitly 
subject to changes, and barely intelligible if you are not a PulseAudio 

Colin, you said it was Lennart right to favor gstreamer. Sure. But if only a 
few PulseAudio developers understand how this thing work, then his arrogant 
attitude and dismissal of anything other than gstreamer is just totally 
intolerable. How else is the "competition" supposed to output audio correctly 
if only gstreamer gets proper support? In my experience, developers of other 
OSS system bricks are not so partial, say ALSA, D-Bus, XCB, etc developers are 
so partial. "We have support from most Linux distributions" is so irrelevant.

Mind you, just like Lennart, I don't like to be blamed for other people's 
issues. So if this stuff is not resolved by VLC 1.2.0 release, I will:
1/ disable the VLC PulseAudio plugin that never worked correctly,
2/ take any measure to ensure VLC can access ALSA or OSS without interference 
(this probably means killing session PulseAudio if present),
3/ when all else fails, tell the user how we feel about this and whom I think 
to blame.

I am really sad that we had to come to threats and ultimatum. But what the 
heck, this troll has been going on for 3 years in VLC. Enough is enough.

Best regards,

Rémi Denis-Courmont

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