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Re: [Portaudio] Re: portaudio in Debian, license updates?

Ross Bencina schrieb:

> There are numerous active commercial applications which depend on
> PortAudio.. it is far from dead and gone. Quite naturally I believe it
> to be a technically superior solution to RtAudio, primarily because
> (last time I checked) RtAudio does not attempt to solve many of the
> technical problems which PortAudio does.

I agree that PortAudio has many functions and design elements that are
not (yet) in RtAudio. The desire by the Audacity development team to
look at other APIs is because of the following factors. Note that I can
only speak for myself here, though I think that other members of the
team may share some of the thoughts outlined below:

* While I agree that there may be constant development on PortAudio v19
CVS, I cannot see that there is a definitive plan to release a new
stable version or even incremental releases to v18. It is very
frustrating having to use a library in a stable product that has been in
beta state literally for years. I'm not saying, you should release a
stable v19 tomorrow. But at least making incremental releases with a
clear management of bug reports and clear priority assignment on those
reports would help the process. This would also assist in release
planning for applications depending on Portaudio.

* Portaudio v18 is way to outdated. For example, it does not support
ALSA on Linux, and it does not have the same latency management
Portaudio v19 has. Therefore we must move away from it. I assume the
"commercial applications" you're talking about use Portaudio v18.

* Portaudio v19, on the other hand, is simply not usable on some
platforms. E.g., I am a maintainer of the German Audacity forum
(http://audacity.fuchsi.de/) and I regularly receive reports that
Portaudio v19 does not work correctly. Speaking for myself here, I have
two machines here with ALSA (Ubuntu 5.10), and all ALSA apps I've tested
so far work, except Audacity, when compiled with Portaudio v19.
Sometimes playing works, but after some seconds, the application just
hangs. Another field of problems is on the Mac. It seems that there are
lots of Mac users who are having problems with Portaudio (v18 and v19).
We're not talking about multichannel soundcards here, but about USB
mics, simple USB sound adapters etc., stuff that really should work. I
understand that you didn't write the Mac port for Portaudio, but still
switching to RtAudio might be of help here :)

* There are a number of patches which were submitted to PortAudio by us,
which have not been incorporated into PortAudio. This is one of the
reasons why we maintain a locally patched version of PortAudio. It would
be good to have a formal patch management, like the one that is
available on Sourceforge, so we would know which patches are accepeted
and which ones are rejected and for which reason.

As I see it, the goals of the projects Portaudio and Audacity just seem
to differ. While development of Portaudio seems to incorporate a "it
will be ready when it is done" approach (which I think is perfectly okay
for an open source project!), Audacity needs something that works _now_,
and on all platforms. This is why we're looking at alternatives.


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