Project Weevil

4Front Technologies dev at
Tue May 31 12:04:38 PDT 2005

Mathew Kanner wrote:

> As for realistic plans, I think some of what we have is
> excellent and we should try to keep it and modernize the sound
> infrastructure in stages.  The first stage would be to redo the middle
> layer buffering.  Then the front end kernel-userland and try to factor
> out OSS support so we aren't so bound to it.

Hi Matt/FreeBSD Audio developers,

As 4Front Technologies gets ready to announce OSS v4.0 later this year
(the 10th anniversary of OSS), we'd like to offer our assistance.

Matt, I've sent you a number of emails offering help to get FreeBSD's
Audio migrated to the OSS 4.0 API which offers 100% backward
compatibility and yet offers some new  audio/mixer features. The new API
will really help FreeBSD developers develop drivers for new devices like
the Intel HDA and USB/Firewire devices. Our extensions are much more
flexible and fall more in line with the audio/mixers found in modern
USB/Firewire/onboard devices.

In addition we're working on a totally new sequencer core that should be
ready by end of this summer.

Scott Long said:
 > ALSA has been the 'next big thing' for the past 5 years, but really
 > doesn't seem to be living up to the promises.

This is true. Infact what we're seeing is that majority of the Linux
audio app developers are actually using the Jack API
( and now Jack runs on FreeBSD/OSS, ALSA hasn't
gained any net advantage over OSS in terms of apps.

ALSA is way too complex at the API layer but still very similar to OSS
at the driver level (naturally since they started from OSS!). We have
developed a ALSA<->OSS library called SALSA (for Simple ALSA) that gives
you some level of translation between the few ALSA-only apps and OSS
compatible drivers and it's under LGPL and we can talk about BSD
licensing it if you find it useful. See:

What we have found is that the OSS API is still the most widely deployed
API since it's easy to understand and easy to write applications to.

Another benefit ofcourse is that when you have closed source apps like
Skype or RealPlayer for Linux or Linux games like DoomIII using the OSS
API, having the OSS API on FreeBSD helps FreeBSD users use such apps via
Linux emulation.

For more information on the upcoming OSS v4.0 API:

Best regards
Dev Mazumdar
4Front Technologies
4035 Lafayette Place, Unit F, Culver City, CA 90232, USA.
Tel: (310) 202 8530		URL:
Fax: (310) 202 0496 		Email: info at

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