[arch-general] Pulseaudio

Philipp Überbacher hollunder at lavabit.com
Mon Nov 29 11:00:36 CET 2010

Excerpts from Jan de Groot's message of 2010-11-29 10:21:12 +0100:
> On Mon, 2010-11-29 at 10:09 +0100, Philipp Überbacher wrote:
> > I guess I am one of those pulse-haters. I don't care whether it's in
> > [extra], some other official repo or not since I simply don't need it.
> > But now mplayer pulls in libpulse, and I have no idea which consequences
> > this could have. I don't see why I need to have libs for a
> > soundserver that I have no use for floating around on my machine. It is
> > at best unnecessary and does nothing, at worst.. I don't know. I hope I
> > don't need to install GNOME to turn it off or something.. (gconf and
> > stuff).
> Sorry, but this is plain.
> When GNOME switched to pulse, we made the choice to boycot it and patch
> our applications to use GStreamer instead. We still do that with our
> GNOME packages, as we still don't want to force pulseaudio on systems.
> The reason for libpulse is that without pulseaudio installed, it will
> not have any function besides offering optional support for pulseaudio.
> No pulseaudio with libpulse just means no pulseaudio.
> We are the first binary distribution that offers you the complete choice
> of pulse or not. There's not any binary distribution out there that
> dares to implement pulseaudio this way. Either they force it up your ass
> completely, which is the way upstream wants, or the don't support it at
> all, which we used to do before.

Good if libpulse really does nothing, but I hope you see my point.
Libpulse is the part of PA you need to install in order to avoid PA.
In a way it's like a vaccine.
It sounds like what you guys did is the best possible thing for us
users, and I appreciate that, but it shouldn't be forced up our asses by
upstream in the first place.

> If you don't want that tiny lib on your system, be my guest, recompile
> all your mediaplayers to get rid of all those optional codecs for media
> you don't use. Those are useless libs too, but somehow nobody complains
> about that.

Codecs are at least potentially useful, but it's still a valid
comparison. The only media player I know that handles this sanely is
MOC. Say it's built with wavpack support it. If wavpack is installed you
can load and play wavpack files just fine, if wavpack is missing at
runtime you simply can't add wavpack files to the playlist or play ones
that already are in the playlist.
That's the way it should be IMHO, but it's rarely the case.

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