Documenting hardware support

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raboof
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Documenting hardware support

Postby raboof » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:05 pm

A theme that has come up here a couple of times is the question of documenting hardware support: how do you know in advance whether a device will work, and how well?

This problem is not specific to audio devices, but it seems particulary visible in the realm of USB audio devices. The information is hopelessly fragmented.


This all seems fairly ludicrous... and the situation seems to be even worse in video cards land. How can we properly crowdsource this?

steevc
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Re: Documenting hardware support

Postby steevc » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:21 pm

I've been trying to document what I find out on the LinuxMusicians wiki. The problems I find are that either the information is out of date or it doesn't say much more than 'supported', which doesn't always tell the whole story. We need details of what functionality is known to be working and any extra software required. I've been linking to posts here, on LAU and blogs.

I don't mind where it goes as long as it gets updated. If someone sees an interface going cheap somewhere they should be able to do a quick lookup and find out if it will be useful on Linux. The Unofficial ALSA wiki has some good info, but it could be laid out better. A consistent page template would help.

'Normal' users may mainly just care if they can get stereo audio in and out, but most people here will need more than that.

If we could recruit people here, those on the various mailing lists and IRC to document what they are using then that would be a start.
Steve
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Recording via M-Audio Delta 66 (+Omni i/o) and Zoom H4. Got Korg nanoKONTROL and M-Audio Uno for my Casio keyboard.

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autostatic
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Re: Documenting hardware support

Postby autostatic » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:36 pm

Amalgamate all the available info, choose ONE site to update with all the amalgamated info and always advert and refer to that specific site. And try to contact as much maintainers of this info as possible. Regarding linuxaudio.org, I think Emanuel Rumpf is maintaining the audio interfaces Wiki article.

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Re: Documenting hardware support

Postby tux99 » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:41 pm

As the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 thread has shown, it's not even easy to determine hardware capabilites, so to get accurate information we also need to tell people what tools to run to get the correct info.

I think alsacap could be a good tool for that, but it seems only available in source format and not everyone has gcc and the devel libs installed to build it.

Maybe we should provide the alsacap tool in binary format for the most common distros (both 32 and 64 bit) and then tell people exactly how to run it (which command line switches).

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raboof
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Re: Documenting hardware support

Postby raboof » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:46 pm

tux99 wrote:I think alsacap could be a good tool for that, but it seems only available in source format and not everyone has gcc and the devel libs installed to build it.

Maybe we should provide the alsacap tool in binary format for the most common distros (both 32 and 64 bit) and then tell people exactly how to run it (which command line switches).

Perhaps we should lobby for it to be included in alsa-utils (which also hosts stuff like aplay/arecord, aconnect etc etc)

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raboof
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Re: Documenting hardware support

Postby raboof » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:52 pm

AutoStatic wrote:Amalgamate all the available info, choose ONE site to update with all the amalgamated info and always advert and refer to that specific site.

The obvious place would be the official ALSA wiki, right? Or someplace even more generic? Perhaps it needs to be improved a bit first though...

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Re: Documenting hardware support

Postby tux99 » Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:10 pm

raboof wrote:Perhaps we should lobby for it to be included in alsa-utils (which also hosts stuff like aplay/arecord, aconnect etc etc)

Makes sense, but that will take time and it will take even longer before distros catch up with the alsa-utils version that will include it, so it would still make sense to provide binaries in the mean time.


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