11 October 2010
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Perhaps it’s too strong a statement but at the moment it’s true. This morning I wanted to play a video so I used the default GNOME media player. The video was playing but I couldn’t hear anything. I then spent about 15 minutes in the GNOME and PulseAudio controls turning switches off and on, increasing and decreasing volumes, trying anything so that I could hear the video’s soundtrack. Finally I got it working and watched and listened to the video. I had to stop watching before the end of the video so I shut my PC down. Later, when I wanted to watch again I opened the video in the GNOME media player and again couldn’t hear anything. I againspent about 7 minutes fiddling with controls until finally I could heard the video’s soundtrack.
If I was a sound engineer and fiddling with audio controls was what I did for a job, I’d probably enjoy this. Since I just wanted to watch and listen to the video, I was getting quite angry. Maybe my problems are not due to PulseAudio but some other issue. I can’t imagine what it could be, and can’t seem to find a sequence of steps that works every time.
This is one of several things that frustrates me at the moment. I hope that one day I’ll work out what’s going wrong and that playing a video will again be a simple task, as it was before PulseAudio was introduced.
8 October 2010
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NOTE: This blog entry was published on Devil505’s blog, on 13 September 2010. With his permission I have translated it into English and republished it here.
Last week I started a sort of Frugalware Linux project, porting the Ubuntu project Ayatana. Simply put, the system includes Ayatana indication and reporting used by default on Ubuntu and the Unity menu for Ubuntu’s netbook version. You can find more information about Ayatana on the Ubuntu wiki.
I first followed Arch Linux by focusing on the indication system. I don’t want to make Frugalware like Ubuntu but I found some interesting parts of Ayatana so I thought, why not make them available to Frugalware’s users? The indicator-applet package is available in the ‘current’ repository, together with indicator-me, indicator-messages, indicator-monitor, indicator-session, indicator-sound and xchat-indicator. Below are screenshots which illustrate some of the indicators in action.
I do not certify that it works 100% because certain things like new mail notification are not fully developed. Sound control works if you use pulseaudio. indicator-me is able to import my email accounts from Pidgin.
I am currently using versions also used by Ubuntu Lucid (Updates) for more stability. The versions used by Ubuntu Maverick would require me to update the Ido library to version 0.1.11 and that’s just not feasible at the moment.
It’s not yet been decided if notification-daemon will be replaced by notify-osd. Admittedly notification-daemon has not really evolved since the last commit date of 2009. To my knowledge, no distro (besides Ubuntu and its derivatives) has officially abandoned notification-daemon for notify-osd’s benefits. Bouleetbil, the maintainer of GNOME in Frugalware would not consider this change at the moment, but the debate remains open. Some parts of GNOME need to be patched to use notify-osd and Frugalware’s policy is to avoid unofficial patches where possible.
In the meantime, you can test notify-osd test this way:
# pacman-Rd notification-daemon
# pacman-U http://ftp.frugalware.org/pub/other/people/devil505/devil505/frugalware-i686/…
If you want to revert to using notification-daemon, uninstall notify-osd with pacman-Rd and then reinstall notification-daemon.
When it comes to Unity, I’ll leave that aside for now.