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RFC: Disable the ALSA driver by default.

From: Trevor Saunders
Subject: RFC: Disable the ALSA driver by default.
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:23:41 -0400

On Fri, Aug 29, 2014 at 04:14:00PM +1000, Luke Yelavich wrote:
> Hey folks.
> One thing I have seen mentioned in many a discussion about speech-dispatcher 
> in the recent past is about the state of the ALSA output driver, and its 
> tendency to crash. I am wondering whether it is worth considering disabling 
> the ALSA driver by default for now, and only building it if the user 
> explicitly enables it at build time. For now, we have the libao driver as an 
> alternative, and libao can be configured to use ALSA directly. Longer term, 
> it would be better to have a direct ALSA driver, but until someone can take 
> the time to fix its bugs, I'd rather users have a stable ALSA experience for 
> now.
> I haven't tested the ALSA driver myself recently, but I used to have regular 
> crashers when I did use it, and that was on a single CPU/single core system. 
> Given that the ALSA driver issues are likely threading related, I dare say it 
> is much worse on multi-CPU/multi-core systems.

istr it was actually some sort of buffer under / over run.  Anyway I
don't think its gotten much worse over the years as I've gone from
single / double core machines to 4 or 8 core ones.

> This is something I am considering for the 0.8.1 release. Any thoughts, or 
> alternative suggestions are welcome.

I think the goal of getting people to not use the alsa driver when they
have alternatives makes sense.  However I wonder if it wouldn't make
more sense to just change our defaults to prefer libao to alsa.  I think
we could probably just switch the order of the alsa and libao checks in
configure.ac to accomplish that.  I do wonder though why it is that we
don't add all the audio backends we find to default_audio_method given
it supports more than one at least in theory.


> Luke
> _______________________________________________
> Speechd mailing list
> Speechd at lists.freebsoft.org
> http://lists.freebsoft.org/mailman/listinfo/speechd
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