Independent ALSA and linux audio support site


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If you want to contact me, just edit the Contacting me section below or click on the "+" on the top bar. Indent your post with ~~~~:, which will be replaced by the date and your username.


Wiki diary

I'm keeping a kind of wiki diary, where I note the changes I'm doing on the wiki. If you are interested in them, just have a look at it: my diary.

Contacting me

Olinuxx 22:05, 27 april 2007 (Paris): Hi !\ Thanks for your quick answer !\ I go to talk with alsa-user :)\ Bye !\ Olinuxx


Julian 00:33, 11 April 2007 (EST): Hi Ingo, thanks for the nice comment. I struggled for hours to get things working, mostly because I couldn't find any documentation. Didn't want anyone else to have the problem.


Frbiscani:Hi Ingo,

thanks for your corrections and thanks for your kind words :) I figured out it was better to write down what I did to configure the card before forgetting it...

I plan to add more stuff to the page in the next days, maybe that page and the usb-usx2y one could be merged since the configuration for the us-122/224/428 is virtually identical.

Hope you will read this, I'm not a wiki expert at all and I could not understand the German in your website in order to decipher your e-mail address :)

Hear you soon! 03:41, 15 February 2007 (EST): Hey Frbiscani! This way to contact me was perfect! I just got an email that this page has been modified (which never happened before). I guess every user gets informed when his talk page has been changed. I'm checking the recent changes all the time anyway, so no worries about that :-) BTW, when editing, you can use ~~~~, which will be replaced by your username and the date when submitting the changes.

I agree with your point about usb-usx2y and Tascam US-224 having similar topics, but somehow, there is a reason for both to be kept. Of course, all devices using the usb-usx2y module have a lot in common and the information about that should be on the according page, but there is also some information that is specific to every device, like the foto and the features. Maybe the configuration part of Tascam US-224 can be moved to usb-usx2y, but I don't know anything about that topic, so just do whatever you think is the best.

Frbiscani 00:04, 22 February 2007 (EST): Hi Ingo, is there a way I can safely try to attempt to unify the three tascam cards (us-122,224,428) under the same page without touching existing pages? A temporary page to be removed later would be perfect...

2007-02-20 - Categories

Ingo, with your MediaWiki experience, could you offer an explanation of how categories could work in the context of this (or any MW) site ? What practical advantage do categories offer over a "flat" namespace ? 21:23, 20 February 2007 (EST): Hi! The main advantage of categories is that they are meant to be used for grouping articles in categories ;-) Therefore, a lot of special functions are realised with them. For example, a simple [[Category:Sound cards]] on the bottom of a page is enough to (1) create a link to that page on the index page of the category to that page, (2) create a link to the index page on the bottom of the page, (3) remove it from Special:Uncategorizedpages. Point (1) also means, that the index page is automatically up-to-date. The downside of these index pages is that they are not as flexible as regular pages. That's why I created Sound cards as second index for the. Obviously, this means kind of a los of point (2).

To be honest, I don't know whether this is THE solution. I don't know whether it is good to uses namespaces either. I just didn't see them being used yet and I don't think that they are meant to replace categories. For example if namespaces would be used, not all articles would appear in Special:Allpages.

To resume: I agree with the very most comments you made today! The only thing I have doubts about are the namespaces. If you wouldn't have made another proposition first, I would have continued to put articles in categories, then I would have created regular pages as second index and I would have linked to those from the main page.

markc 02:35, 22 February 2007 (EST): Forget namespaces, that was my ignorance and not my understanding what they were really meant for. I barely understand how categories work but thanks to the above info, and some direct links you posted elsewhere, I have a better idea how they work now. FWIW the earliest incarnation of the old site software was simply a list of links of all the drivers pointing to their own page. The description next to each link was a brief list of the most common cards that used that driver. This was before there was any general extra ALSA information (about dnsoop and utilities etc) so it was fairly simple and easy to get the core info the site was initially set up for... to provide some guide as to all the confusion that something called a "emu10k1 driver is for SBlive sound cards". This was before the driver matrix was set up on the site when there was precious little web info about the various drivers, especially whatever were the latest ones. These days ALSA comes with the kernel and most distros use udev so the right driver is mostly auto-detected on bootup. I'm just pointing out what was a strong motivation for the site when it was first set up. However, I still think a Drivers: category with a complete list of all current drivers, is one of the most useful aspects of what this site could provide. The example of the emu10k1 page would include all info, or links to other pages, about a lot of Creative cards, then the ca0106 page would have info about other Creative cards, the usb-audio, emu10k1-fpga and emu10k1x pages would have even more Creative sound cards. If we try to provide a list of all supported sound cards and then what driver they use we will end up with a nightmare. If we provide a list of drivers first then allow for a growing list of sound card (entries that become pages when big enough) then it will be possible to write an external PHP app that has a database lookup table for all cards and drivers that then provides a link to the right entry/page in the wiki. That would be a neat separate project. Anyway, my point is that ALSA, therefor we, do have a concise list of drivers that we could use as an index to all sound card specific info... which is really the most valuable info the site can offer (I have such and such a card, htf do I make it work with linux).

Update: Perhaps what I am trying to suggest is that each driver could be it's own category so that when a new sound card page was set up that it belonged not only to the sound card category but the right driver category as well. Then if a user clicks on the sound card category they see all sound cards, or, if they click on the emu10k1 category they will see a subset of cards that only belong to that driver. I don't think MediaWiki allows for hierarchical sub-categories so we can't have Drivers:emu10k1:some_card so the next best is just to make all drivers into categories... assuming my suggestion makes sense. 03:43, 22 February 2007 (EST):I didn't see your update yet when I posted the text below. Fortunately, Mediawiki DOES allow subcategories! (See Special:Specialpages, Special:Categories, Special:Uncategorizedcategories, Special:Uncategorizedpages) If you add [[:Category:<categories-name>]] to the index page of a categorie, it becomes subcategorie of \<categories-name>. Putting every sound card into a category named after its module is a good idea. They should just stay in the sound card category, too, so a user looking for his sound card would find it on the categories index. As an article can be in two categories simultaniously, this is absolutely no problem to realize.

Update: Forgot about the Driver: prefix. Such a prefix seperated with a colon is for namespaces, not for categories. Adding pages to categories doesn't affect its name. It's only a matter of whether the pages contains the string [[Category:<categories-name>]] or not.

markc 04:16, 22 February 2007 (EST): (I don't always use an extra indent because the comments start to become vertically crushed on the RHS, especially on narrower screens.) Ah, thanks for that clarification. That is also good news about sub-categories and being able to use multiple categories on each page is like the use of "tags", so we have the best of both worlds, hierarchical groupings and tagging. I didn't appreciate that you have already created both the "Sound cards" and "ALSA modules" categories. I also keep thinking that "ALSA modules" are "Drivers" but that is my old-world confusion. We do indeed have a problem if the second most familiar person with this site, me, is not aware of a lot of the new structure you have put in place (I did have a months holiday earlier in the new year though). Perhaps if we start using a parent Testing: category then we can be free to experiment a bit more, and try out pages that other people can contribute to and comment on. I don't think it's the end of the world if we can't prevent them from showing up in searches as I can try to simply remove them all from the MySQL database in a few months time (assuming that is feasible.) If you think this is a good idea then let's start with your double column Main Page idea and start to set up the main index pages from it. 04:45, 22 February 2007 (EST):Using the "Testing:" prefix is fine for me. Users will see it and be able to classify these page as "beta". We also could create a [[Special:Allpages?namespace=10 | template] box indicating the testing status of the page ({{template-name}} is replaced by the content of Template:Template-name wherever used). Ok, so if we agree with each other, let's go ahead and do it! The only thing I have to tell you is that time is a precious resource for me at the moment because of three big exams ahead. For the next month, I'll do as much as I can without neglecting these exams, but that won't be that much...

markc 09:04, 22 February 2007 (EST): I agree. If you set up the Testing category and move your Proposed2 page to Testing:Main_Page then I'll try and find some time to add more Testing pages. Perhaps we can use something like Testing:Sound_cards__emu10k1 to represent that the testing emu10k1 page is meant to end up in the "Sound cards" category. The double underscore is a bit ugly but the whole Testing category can hopefully be removed in a few months. Once we get this major layout change swapped in as the real deal then normal new pages and incremental changes should suffice. I wish you the best of results for your upcoming exams. 09:39, 22 February 2007 (EST): Thanks for wishing me good luck! I hope, I don't need it ;-) Alright, I created a category Category:Testing (BTW: this has been done just by creating the according page with and moved the new main page and the usx... page into it. I just wanted to mention that moving pages always creates a link from the old to the new location, which I think is not desirable with such temporar pages we are dealing with right now. That's why I deleted the link Main_Page:Proposed2. I also changed the appearance of my proposal a bit (now on Testing:Main Page): the two sections are now separated like I planned it. I hope you like it :-) 03:34, 22 February 2007 (EST): I agree with you that information about every driver is one of the most important aspects this wiki should provide. The good thing is that it does that for the most common drivers. There is a category "ALSA modules" with all the pages about modules. Its index can be accessed at Category:ALSA modules. I also created a regular page as second index, which is more flexible: ALSA modules. The pages in this category belong to that category because they contain [[Category:ALSA modules]]. There is also another category: Category:Sound cards. I've put articles about specific sound cards in there. Again, I created a regular page as index: Sound cards. What needs to be done now is add a == Devices using this module == section to every module page and a This device is using the module module. comment to the sound card pages.

This, at least, would allow the user to find out (a) which module his sound card uses IF it's in the list, (b) tweaks about his sound card, (c) tweaks about his module IF he knows which module it is, (d) tweaks of other sound cards using the same module as his one which might work for him too. Much more can't be done with just a wiki. An extension of that would be very similar to what the official sound card matrix is. It'd be great if there was such a matrix linking to the pages of this wiki, but I don't know whether the effort of duplication is worth it... Maybe it's enough to have an introduction explaining what modules are, and that there are two places where to find information about them: official matrix + this site. (This introduction should be linked to from every module page in the See also section).

On my 4-5 fights against soundcards ;-) I didn't have to bother with modules anyway. My problems were first that I didn't understand what modules, sound servers, pcms, drivers, virtual devices, plugins etc etc were. Once I understood most of that, the questions became more like "how is the syntax of the asoundrc file", "how to I use the softvol plugin" etc. Maybe I was just lucky that my sound cards were mostly supported, but I'm sure that there is a big need of explanation of above mentioned questions! (The special page Special:Popularpages convices me that other users think so, too) This wiki is the perfect - and unfortunately only - place to provide such information. The ALSA core developpers don't want to bother with "trivial" problems unexperienced users might have.

What I'm trying to find out is how this wiki should look like. To resume my point: I think it should provide as much general information as possible, so every user will be able to understand the structure of the problem he is dealing with. Once he understands all that, the wiki should try to help him to solve even specific problems as well as possible. I'm mentioning the points in this order because improving the first thing helps more people with less effort.

Last but not least, what I'd suggest what has to be done now: (1) create a new main page, (2) write introductions into important general topics (e.g. "how do alsa, arts and the like, modules, kernel, pcm devices fit into one picture", "asoundrc configuration", "explanation where to find information about modules and soundcards" etc), (3) improve module and sound card pages, (4) improve other documents (howtos, module documentation...). Points 3 and 4 don't striktly need to be done in this order, but 1 and 2 should come first. All that is a hell of a lot of work, but once we decide about what should be done, at least there is a goal to work towards!

Frbiscani 22:09, 22 February 2007 (EST) I agree with most of what you said here. There are a lot of topics which are covered almost identically over many pages (for instance the configuration of "modules.conf"). Such common stuff should go in a separate page and then referred to in the specific driver pages, to avoid duplication of efforts. I think it is also important to have a clear welcome page that can swiftly steer users in the right direction. There are users that will be interested only in get their on-board audio working, other will be interested in low-latency and more "pro" features, and so on...

I've discovered the testing page of usx2y, I'll try to unify us-122, us-224 and us-428 in the next days. As a side note, is it possible to upload images to the wiki? I need some screenshot of qjackctl in action to explain how to use us-224's control surface in ardour... 23:04, 22 February 2007 (EST): I fully agree with what you said and am glad you are participating :-) Unfortunately, image upload is disabled at the moment. I don't know whether this is intentional or just the default setting that hasn't been changed. I think it could be usefull to have such a feature (if possible). Maybe Mark can say something about it?

Z421 09:52, 21 February 2007 (EST):

thanks for putting my entry in ice1712 the the correct section. i'm not really used to use wiki's. ;)

Uploads enabled

markc 23:37, 22 February 2007 (EST): Over on the LHS in the toolbox, once logged in, you will see an "Upload Files" link. Untested as of this note and this system runs in safe-mode so it may give an error. 00:46, 23 February 2007 (EST): File upload works great! Thanks a lot! I uploaded Image:Merge-arrows.gif to test and also to have a local copy.

Translations of this wiki

Andron 02:22, 24 February 2007 (EST): Hi there, Ingo! Thank you for such titanic work at this wiki. I'm just want to ask you, what do you think about translations of this wiki? I'm want to translate whole wiki to Russian, and include some translated materials in new book (in russian language) about professional audio production in Linux environment. Also, I'm want to know about license, which cover materials of this wiki. 08:48, 24 February 2007 (EST): Hi! I'm glad you are interested in the wiki! I justed asked Mark about the licence, because the according page has not been filled with content yet. Once this is done, you are free to do whatever you want with the wikis content as long it is permitted by the licence. I'm not a legal expert, but I think you can copy and modify it, as long as you don't earn money with it or so... Translation is one kind of modification, so it should be allowed.

I'm not sure whether you wanted to translate the wiki in order to have a russion version of it or whether you wanted to take parts of the wiki to use it as part of a russian book. If you really want to translate the wiki, I think there is a possibility to make the wiki multilingual, but I really please you not to do it. The translation would mean so much work that you would almost certainly have to do alone. If you would put this effort in improving the english version, I guess this would be help a lot more people! I don't want to discriminate non-english speaking persons, but I don't think that we help them with a (most likely) uncomplete translation of material that is already uncomplete itself and out-of-date since years... However, as said before, if you do want to translate the wiki, I'm sure this can be arranged and I will definitely support you!

Filiprino 09:37, 1 May 2007 (EST): Ok, I'll subscribe to the list, sorry for posting on the wiki page ;-)

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Category: Sound cards