audio code maintainers, A call to arms

Mathew Kanner mat at
Sat Jan 15 10:10:25 PST 2005

On Jan 12, Julian Elischer wrote:
> Firstly, Who is curently maintaining it?
> Orion Hodson seems to have become scarce.
> (If you are reading this Orion and I've just missed you, sorry).
> I saw cg (Cameron Grant) on the lists the other day, but I
> am not sure who is currently the contact man for sound.
> let me know if you know :-)
> If you want the job, speak up :-)
> The there is MIDI...
> Kazuhito HONDA (kazuhito at
> has been doing some work on the USB audio code
> and has agreed to act as contact/maintainer for that as
> it seems to be currently unloved.

	Hi Julian,
	First, I guess I owe an apology to the list and to freebsd in
general for dragging my feet on MIDI.  The stunning silence is
incredibly demotivating to me.  Over the many months think I've had one
positive response to my work (it works!) and one negative (does not
compile for non-i386, printf qualifiers).  I never expected to be in a
vacuum.  Then again, I'm one of those sensitive types.

	I'm committed to getting this done, it basically works, but I
need to be kicked around when I start loosing momentum.

	But MIDI isn't FreeBSD problem.  We've been stagnant in sound
infrastructure, both in the human and software sense.  Other projects
have continued along without us.  We don't have anybody that really
understands the sound infrastructure, esp given that locking was an
after thought that makes things infinitely more complex.

	(BTW, Orion gave up his commit bit about a year ago, due to an
increase in demand on his time, a baby)

	To me, the worse aspect is that new people are scared off
either by the perceived complexity issues or general unwillingness of
the powers that be to accept a new direction.

	To move forward we need to:

- Get a new sound team.  I don't know how to go about this, maybe a
  general call to arms, or an appointment from core or maybe a
  guillotine backed revolution.

- Set a list of priorities and start working on them.  I see the major
  TODO items:

  - Review this list
  - Figure out which PR are still applicable, close the rest.
  - Move forward with features, other projects have far surpassed us.
    To me the most glaring difference is that we are stuck with a
    simplistic view of "Mixers" and cannot export the sophisticated
    controls that present days devices contain.  NetBSD, ALSA, that
    commercial project have all taken this on.  We could embellish or
    just plain drop our mixer support while keeping what was good from
  - Or, just port the NetBSD sound infrastructure.  Sometimes, when I'm
    depressed, I look into the feasibility of this.

	So there it is.   How wants to be part of freebsd sound?  Many
open positions, but the pay sucks.


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