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.


Eugenia said...

I am personally hitting this bug on Ubuntu with PulseAudio.

Anonymous said...

I was one of those that thought you were hitting distro or hardware bug. Guess I'll eat my words now.

Thanks a lot for going through the trouble of chasing down these bugs, you make the software better for all of us.

Tretle said...

Once I get it to pick up more than the first two front speakers out of my 7.1 setup I might find it useful but the implementation in hardy seems half baked.

I was excited about pulse audio but the shoddy inclusion of it in hardy gives a tainted view that its more of a regression from alsa.

You were completely right in your observations and although pulse audio is pretty cool sometimes you have judgment blinded by potential in the distribution world.

Jason D. Clinton said...

Nice work, Jeff!

Anonymous said...

I resolved the problem by de-installing pulse audio.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to post to say I'm the one who submitted your original PulseAudio post to LinuxHater ( ) after I read the comment from the jackass telling you to just shut up and write more patches. PRICELESS!

Anonymous said...

pulseaudio makes me want to stab myself in the eye. I'm glad that at least one other person thinks it has been pushed out to users way too fast.

Anonymous said...

Quick note - "My Bugs" usually means "bugs assigned to me", not "bugs reported by me". Not many trac / bugzilla installs have a default "bugs reported by me" query, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

As an ubuntu user who will be benefitted by your efforts: thanks a lot. :)

Anonymous said...

It's very nice of you to go through all this trouble to fix PulseAudio, especially when you don't even like it!

Anonymous said...

I agree with your post 100%. Even though your post is a year old now, Pulseaudio still sucks major azz. On my hardware, it is throwing kerneloopses on a liveCD of Fedora 11.

I think the Fedora and Ubuntu teams made one of the worst decisions in Linux history by including Pulseaudio by default.

Like you said, let the Pulseaudio devs discover their own bugs. Stop forcing those of us with real work to do find the bugs for you. And we don't even have a choice about it!

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