What process do I need to go through to have this problem evaluated as to whether it is officially a 'bug' or not?
First we need to determine whether this is actually a problem with FluidSynth 1.1.4 or if it's caused by interaction with something else in Ubuntu 11.10, such as Jack. It would be helpful if someone else could confirm the bug, as it's very difficult to work on a bug if only the reporter has the issue.
I would be happy to try to reproduce it, but as I said previously, I can't upgrade to 11.10 for a few more weeks, because I depend on FluidSynth working. Since you are suggesting that the problem is with FluidSynth 1.1.4 and not other components of Ubuntu 11.10, if that is true, I should be able to reproduce it simply by running FluidSynth 1.1.4 on an older version of Ubuntu (I'm running 11.04). I have the latest build of FluidSynth running here.
In any case, you can certainly file a bug in the FluidSynth bug tracker right now (but we'll probably still keep most of the discussion on the mailing list, where we are more likely to see it). If it turns out not to be a FluidSynth bug, we can send the report elsewhere and mark the bug as invalid in Fluid -- so don't be afraid to open a new ticket.
To help us reproduce the bug, please give detailed instructions on exactly the procedure you use. Please note:
1. Whether you are on 32-bit or 64-bit (maybe you already said this, but please re-state it -- I am on 32-bit Ubuntu so this could already be a point of difference).
2. Exactly what commands you use to set up Jack. Please be detailed because, for me, I haven't managed to set up Jack properly before.
3. Exactly what commands you use to run FluidSynth.
4. Provide the MIDI file you are testing with.
You can post the MIDI file either as an attachment to the ticket on the bug tracker, or in this mailing list. It would probably be best to attach it to the ticket so that it's visible. If you don't want to make the music public (e.g., if it is copyrighted or something like that), you could email it privately to David and myself and anybody else who is interested.
Then I will try to reproduce it on FluidSynth 1.1.4 on Ubuntu 11.04.
To me, this problem kills my future prospects. The music education package I am poised to put out depends on FluidSynth (actually Qsynth, which uses it).
I could distribute my package, and people could get all excited about it, but when they installed it themselves (instead of using what comes with the package), they would find that the installed version won't even play the demo-music, even on a fast machine.
What I had to go through to compile the older version on the current level is not something I could expect a new user of Linux to do.
There is no path forward if this cannot be fixed. But of course, those are the chances I take when I attempt to develop something.
It would be very helpful if I had some indication of whether or not this problem will be addressed, or even looked at.
Yes, we do not want FluidSynth to continue along having a bug like this. But please note that a) we have not yet confirmed that it is a FluidSynth bug (as it might be something specific about your system), and b) we can't give you a time frame on when it will be fixed.
Open source projects without corporate funding, by their nature, are developed on an ad-hoc basis. I don't think anybody who works on FluidSynth is being paid to do it, which means you are relying on the spare time of volunteers to look into this bug. In my experience, having to wait two weeks from reporting a bug to having someone look into it is quite normal. Depending on how complex the issue is, it can take months before it is resolved. But if this is a real bug, we will try to address it.
I would suggest you:
1. Open the ticket, so we have a place to permanently put files and observations relating to this bug, and
2. Attach detailed reproduce instructions to the ticket. (It is better for that sort of information to be on the ticket and not just floating around in the history of the mailing list discussion.)