Illegitimi non carborundum


Some KDE PulseAudio bugfixes

Confession time. I think I cocked up. Someone was asking me about why the HDMI was the default sound device in Phonon when used with PulseAudio. I patiently explained that this was a bug a while back but I fixed it.I diligently went to look up the relevant commit refs and then realised that I hadn't actually committed the fix. Whoops. It seems I fixed that bug during a late part of the Mandriva development cycle and only applied the code changes as patches on top of the source rather than committing them properly. I think I did this because I wanted wider testing before deeming them "ready" for upstream inclusion but then basically forgot. The other reason was perhaps that I was ashamed of myself for using a bubble sort - I really need to make an ordered pa_hashmap for this as I've found myself needing it a couple times now and will definitely need it in the future too. Another item on my todo list!

So apologies for that. I know some distro maintainers look at the Mandriva packages subversion for patches etc. so I'm sure some folks will have these fixes already, but it was a mistake not to push them upstream sooner.

Anyway, fixes are pushed to upstream master and stable-queue and will be part of the (hopefully) upcoming bugfix release.


Compiling and running PulseAudio from git

A few budding developers have asked me recently about this and to make life easy, I decided to write up this guide! There are some gotchas to look out for so please read carefully!


There is no spoon (but there is a fork)

As many followers of the Linux ecosystem will already be aware, Mandriva Linux (my personal distro of choice) has been through some turbulent times of late. Financial troubles meant that Edge IT (a subsidiary of Mandriva SA) was liquidated and all employees made redundant as a result. While it was not widely known, many of the core developers were technically employees of Edge IT rather than Mandriva SA, so this lay off was actually quite drastic.

Those of us involved in the community surrounding Mandriva have obviously been worried that the future of our favourite distro is in doubt, so it is with great pleasure that I pass on news of the upcoming fork of Mandriva Linux: Mageia

Obviously the obligatory slashdot story only really draws comments on the choice of name. Personally, I quite like it (more so than the name "Mandriva" (which itself was a contraction of Mandrake and Conectiva - partly due to the use of the name Mandrake drawing some legal issues)). And choosing a name is no easy business: there are trademark issues to consider and domain names to secure: this can seriously limit your choice. Regardless of the practicalities, "that which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet". In other words, the name doesn't matter, what really matters is the work done and the contributions to be made to the wider Linux ecosystem.

Mandriva has long been regarded as a good participant in upstream projects, contributing to the Kernel, Graphic and Audio subsystems as well as being a very active contributor to higher level desktop environments such as KDE (and GNOME and XFCE and others too). With so many of the key contributors following this fork and contributing to Mageia, I feel this tradition will continue and grow with time.

So, as I said in one of the many "goodbye" emails I've had to write following the lay offs: The future is unwritten. Let's write it!