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pterjan's diary


2009-01-26

  GNOME Pulseaudio

Today I updated to unstable GNOME and got a dialog telling me that some applets had been removed from my panel. Indeed I no longer had volume control.

It was replaced by gnome-volume-control-applet, which was running but did not display the icon.

The reason is ** (gnome-volume-control-applet:12914): WARNING **: Connection failed, which means in an obvious way that I don't have pulseaudio running.

This new gnome-volume-control only knows about pulseaudio, so if you don't want to have pulseaudio running, just stop changing volume or change desktop.

  GNOME null_applet

And what is 12593 pterjan 20 0 55188 26m 10m S 0.0 3.6 0:00.36 null_applet ? I hope it does a lot despite its name given the amount of memory it uses.

Today's TSUKKOMI(Total: 35) [Add a TSUKKOMI]
  Wouter (2009-01-26 22:39)

This has been discussed recently on (iirc) desktop-devel-list, but I haven't followed it closely. Check the archives.<br><br>And the null_applet is a work-around I think.

  fatal (2009-01-26 22:45)

http://mail.gnome.org/archives/desktop-devel-list/2009-January/msg00180.html

  Zeeshan Ali (2009-01-26 22:48)

Why wouldn't you want to have PA on a modern desktop environment? :)

  fatal (2009-01-26 22:49)

"This new gnome-volume-control only knows about pulseaudio, so if you don't want to have pulseaudio running, just stop changing volume or change desktop."<br><br>... or use the old (gst-mixer) volume control?! But ofcourse, being a drama queen is so much more fun!<br><br>Bohoo, look at me. I want to use the new fancy PulseAudio features without running PA. Not possible? World destruction is closing in!<br><br>Get a grip dude!

  Pascal (2009-01-26 22:54)

I don't need any functionality of pulseaudio, the only one I see is memory and CPU use, and bugs with numerous apps. I only need to listen to my music in the speaker.<br><br>OK the old volume control is called gst-mixer, I'll look at using it.<br><br>Reading http://mail.gnome.org/archives/desktop-devel-list/2009-January/msg00205.html makes me very angry.<br>It basically says "Yes we lose a lot of functionalities and can't fix that for now but you can use command line instead".

  Damien (2009-01-26 23:14)

I guess that's the free-as-in-cheap-or-loose-ends software spirit :)

  erwan (2009-01-26 23:15)

I would be happy to use pulseaudio... If they finally fixed it! I don't care what layers I have as long as sound works. But PA is so buggy my laptop becomes silent after a while when I use it.

  Michael (2009-01-26 23:23)

If everyone would *please* just give Pulse the chance it deserves. I too have tried Pulse in the past and it did not work very well but A LOT of work has been put into it and it now works GREAT on distributions that actually care to setup it correctly :)

  Henry (2009-01-26 23:50)

I'll give pulseaudio a chance when it stops being a buggy cpu hog. Moving to pulseaudio in the future may not be wrong, but it's clearly not ready yet. Things like this have the potential to turn the next Gnome into a KDE 4 type fiasco.

  klaus (2009-01-27 01:16)

@Michael: Wow, you actually manage to lead this discussion into distro bashing ;)<br><br>I haven't seen any distro where pa works correctly yet. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti PA. It's just that when it's activated I get too much trouble... Maybe in a year or two, PA will be really nice. So nice I wont notice it's running :)

  Davyd (2009-01-27 01:19)

I wrote the null_applet years ago. It's purpose was for when an applet was removed from GNOME, it would be started up, tell you that applet had been removed and remove the applet from your configuration.<br><br>Unfortunately because of the way applets work, it's not then possible to shut the applet down without generating a scary error for the user, so it just has to wait until the next restart of the panel.

  klaus (2009-01-27 01:23)

Zeeshan Ali says "Why wouldn't you want to have PA on a modern desktop environment? :)"<br><br>LOL<br><br>It's tempting to reply "Why would I?" But I actually know some benefits of PA. They are however way smaller then the disavantages (for the moment)... For me that is.

  liberforce (2009-01-27 03:10)

What pisses me off, is that we're once again abusing the notification area with something that should be an applet... <br><br>Please developers, use the notifications area for non-essential notifications that can be ignored, and not to store permanent icons (yeah, pidgin, ekiga, rhythmbox, I'm looking at you), as stated in the HIG.

  Dylan McCall (2009-01-27 03:48)

"What pisses me off, is that we're once again abusing the notification area with something that should be an applet... "<br><br>I've been thinking about that, lately... Really, we've pretty much lost that battle. It's time to stop fighting it.<br><br>Libnotify (the information bubbles one), with a few minor tweaks, could be used to implement notifications (hey, look at that! that's what it's SUPPOSED to do!) and then the notification area stuff could be gradually renamed / enhanced into simply categorized "applets" that get placed automatically as the rest of the system sees fit (which is something the GNOME Panel project was looking at doing via a redundant API).<br><br>The new notification area stuff would be used for data representing running applications and functions that can be performed with them directly.<br><br>For extra clarity, bridges could be built between that and libnotify to ensure that the two are never confused again.

  Michael Krog (2009-01-27 08:18)

"Why wouldn't you want to have PA on a modern desktop environment? :)"<br><br>Because a regular user dont get any benefit from it - only new bugs. And after all, isnt 'regular users' what the Linux environment needs? Or is it 'hackers only'?<br><br>Things like "use the old (gst-mixer) volume control?!" makes me scream. It is like saying to a woman(they too are regular users) who bought a new car: "Try using another dashboard!"<br><br>I tend to believe that the freedom in software we all benefit from so much, needs to be delivered in more controlled(and simplified) manners in order to better reach regular end user.

  Pascal (2009-01-27 10:40)

Davyd: OK if it's a one time thing, I can live with it :)

  Eskild Hustvedt (2009-01-27 11:06)

Pulseaudio is the first thing I remove when I install a Linux desktop these days. And lo and behold, sound suddenly starts working reliably. It might get good and useful at some point, but right now you're forcing something that provides features only a few percentages of "normal" users will use, and that stops stuff from working.<br><br>People want their sound to work, if there is a chance that the new shiny fancy sound server makes it not work in some cases then that's far from OK.

  James (2009-01-27 16:48)

Notification icon vs panel applet - what ever happened to desrt's GSoC work to unify the two?

  oliver (2009-01-27 20:10)

liberforce: so if eg. Pidgin would use an applet instead of being in the notification area - would it still work under KDE? So far I have not found a way to use Gnome applets in KDEs taskbar, which already makes lots of interesting apps unusable (Deskbar for example).<br><br>(Of course the problem also exists the other way round - KDE applets don't seem to work in Gnome panel. I'd love to have the bar-chart system monitor applet in Gnome, but no way so far)

  Adam Williamson (2009-01-28 01:37)

Dylan: "Really, we've pretty much lost that battle. It's time to stop fighting it."<br><br>No, we haven't. The average Linux system has maybe five things in the notification area. The average Windows system has about 20, with a *little arrow to hide most of them* (that's long been my favourite example of the utter brokenness of the Windows UI). It may not be perfect, but we're doing a damn sight better than Windows, and it'd be a shame to give up and just let the barbarian hordes fill up our panels with crappy useless icons.

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