[SDL] I need input for an article on SDL

Joseph Carter knghtbrd at bluecherry.net
Wed Jul 10 22:27:00 PDT 2002

On Wed, Jul 10, 2002 at 09:45:43PM -0700, jvalenzu at icculus.org wrote:
>  > OpenAL is a standard developed behind closed doors with little
>  > documentation and basically no serious interest in Linux at all.  Oh sure
>  > it runs there, but this only marginally significant given that there is no
>  > real support for any of the 3D sound features in Linux.
> I hate pointing it out but gaming on linux is a margin market anyway.
> I doubt you're serious about addressing what support for "3D sound
> features" but I can say that having a solid software renderer was and
> is my goal with the linux reference implementation.

Great - if you want a 3D sound API for two speaker systems.  Meanwhile, 4
and even 6 speakers are supported by several drivers now.

> The point I really want to address is the documentation for openal is
> freely available, on the web and in cvs.  If you gave it even a
> cursory look you'd have to concede that it complete and thorough.

Cursory look eh?  How's README for a start?:

OpenAL portable audio API.

See ./docs/index.html for more detailed information.

Okay, let's do that:

  This document has been removed.
  See <a href="http://www.openal.org/">www.openal.org</a>
  for information.

The website (http://www.openal.org/info/) refers back to the CVS.  There
are SGML docs, but these total a mere 7300 lines total for the entire
library, in pretty-printed SGML source code.  How you document 15 megs of
source code completely or thoroughly in 7300 lines of mostly markup is
beyond me.  I know enough to write a simple mixer able to handle 8 sounds
for two channels with independant volume and attenuation, but I can't
follow what is in the documentation directory.

>  > And let's not even discuss the braindamaged extensions in the Linux
>  > reference implementation like incorporating mp3/vorbis libraries, courtesy
>  > of Loki.
> No, lets.  I'm responsible for the extensions, not Loki, and I'm
> fascinating to hear what second guessing you have for them.  If my
> suspicion is correct you are as uninformed on this subject as the
> library in general.

Does the word "bloat" mean anything to you?  It'd be one thing if we were
talking about hardware acceleration here, but we're talking about extra
dependencies on half a dozen libraries to add support for mp3 and vorbis
in software as part of the reference implementation.  OpenGL is useful
because it is simple, well documented, and reasonably self-contained.  So
far, OpenAL is none of these things!  In fact, the package available for
my dist depends on libaudiofile, libesd, SDL, SMPEG, and libvorbis.

What, no libasound?  hah.  I know I saw code for that in CVS...

Joseph Carter <knghtbrd at bluecherry.net>        Certified free software nut
* TwingyAFK is shopping for 17" flat panel
* aav sells TwingyAFK a piece of plywood

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