Does anyone compose music using any of the portsfromthe/ports/audio collection in FreeBSD?

Anish Mistry mistry.7 at
Thu Jul 15 09:31:34 PDT 2004

Hash: SHA1

On Thursday 15 July 2004 01:28 am, Conrad J. Sabatier wrote:
> On 14-Jul-2004 4Front Technologies wrote:
> > I think ALSA is going to be really [difficult] to port to FreeBSD
> > (without a lot of internal changes to FreeBSD kernel) because of
> > high dependance on the Linux's /proc file system and Linux system
> > calls that just arn't available for FreeBSD.
> Yes, most unfortunate that is.  I do believe this is one area where
> FreeBSD should concede the fact that the other guys are doing a better
> job at it than we are, and not resist the idea of borrowing from them.
> > OSS apps for Linux work nicely with FreeBSD's Linux emulation (case
> > in point, check out Skype for Linux).
> Perhaps, but still, native support is what we need and want.
> Speaking of which, I was browsing 4Front's site the other day and was a
> little disappointed to see that even the existing FreeBSD support is
> not available for amd64.  Is that likely to change anytime in the
> future?
> > I'm not sure how well a Linux binary that has a high reliance on
> > /proc and other Linux oddities will work on FreeBSD.
> My guess would be "not very well at all".  :-)
> > OSS is designed with "pure" UNIX sematics -
> > read/write/ioctl/poll/mmap and nothing else. Ofcourse I could be
> > wrong about porting ALSA. Just that from our experiences on
> > developing the ALSA emulation, it looked highly suspect.
> Perhaps it's time to consider that what's needed is a new framework for
> sound development.  If the existing "pure Unix semantics" are
> insufficient, then there's nothing wrong with a little innovation.
> > It's actually easier to add OSS support to most apps. The problem is
> > that none of the app developers have really understood OSS
> > sequencers because they are lowlevel. ALSA provides better high
> > level abstraction but we have already done a libOSSlib.a sequencer
> > abstraction for OSS - nobody bothered with it.
> That's a shame.  I suspect it may have largely to do with the fact
> that, as someone else mentioned in this thread, until we have better
> hardware sound device support -- say, the ability to interface a MIDI
> keyboard or even simply supporting *all* of a particular card's
> capabilities-- then whatever such a library may have to offer will
> still be of limited usefulness.
- From the big picture this is main problem with most obscure OSs like the 
FreeBSD is getting hardware support.  Part of the problem is that it's a 
volunteer effort, but as I see it that in itself isn't holding back device 
support as much as manufactures not providing chipset specs (I have a whole 
spiel about getting my Cirrus Logic chipset sound card not to sound like 
crap, but I digress)  etc., but 4front doesn't seem to have that problem as 
they support a ton of cards.
I don't think there is anyone actively maintaining any of the other sound 
drivers besides the emku* ever since Orion Hodson got too busy to actively 
work on them.  I've been trying to get up to snuff on kernel stuff like 
patching the csa driver so my sound cards internal amp is turned on, a small 
acpi add on kernel module for my laptop, and some various usb stuff.  I'll 
try and take a look at the open() stuff and see if I can help, but my skills 
are lacking.
I should give the OSS drivers another try, hopefully they don't panic my 
machine like before.
- -- 
Anish Mistry
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