Wednesday, July 16, 2008

PulseAudio: I Told You So

To those who told me that my PulseAudio problems were my fault and/or my distro's fault, you were wrong[1][2][3][4][5]*. I told you so.

The first 2 bugs were fixed by me last week (libgnome and libesd) and simply worked around the 4th bug linked above. On that note, I released esound-0.2.39 with my fixes (along with a number of other patches that had been sitting in bugzilla god-knows how long collecting dust).

The 3rd bug is just a crash in the pavucontrol which is apparently fixed in a new version (fairly minor annoyance since by the time I tried to use pavucontrol, pulseaudio was already deadlocked iirc).

The 4th bug (which was the most serious of the ones I've been experiencing) was a deadlock in the pulseaudio daemon (it is supposedly fixed now, but it is not in any public release yet). Just because you didn't experience it, doesn't mean the bug was my fault or my distro's fault ;-)

The 5th bug was found by Geoff Norton, Rolf Kvinge, and myself today while trying to get moonlight to work well with PulseAudio after much head scratching wondering why sound wasn't playing for certain short mp3's (turns out that it's reproducible with any mp3 player if you try to play a short enough audio stream where the decoded stream is less than ~22 kilobytes iirc, but we didn't notice that until just after filing the bug).

So the good news is that the PulseAudio devs have fixed the more serious issues I've found so far, but I'm still annoyed by the attitude of the people pushing PulseAudio of "well, we are forcing people to use PulseAudio so that bugs get found by the users".

For normal applications, this is less annoying... but when it is something as low-level/fundamental as PulseAudio (or heaven forbid, the linux kernel), it should be QA'd thoroughly before dumping it on the users.

Anywho, hopefully openSUSE/Ubuntu/Fedora will push my patches and the PA dev's patches soonish, so that should really help minimize more unnecessary user suffering.

* there are other bugs that I filed as well, but I'm too lazy to go digging for them since the "My Bugs" link on the PulseAudio Trac doesn't actually work.

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