[PlanetCCRMA] Some planet-ccrma wishes for the new year

Jacob Meuser jakemsr@jakemsr.com
Fri Jan 2 17:12:01 2004

On Sat, Jan 03, 2004 at 08:38:52AM +0800, Timo Sivula wrote:
> Hi,
> as I do not (yet) know how the planet-ccrma requirement management is 
> happening, I thought I'd bring up a couple of wishes on this list for 
> commenting. I have been using planet-ccrma for a couple of weeks now 
> and I thought to write down my first impressions while they are still 
> fresh in my mind. Please disregard if I am on the wrong forum.
> First: Planet-ccrma is a great tool and I am very grateful for all the 
> work done especially by Nando on this. Thank you Nando! The proposals 
> before are presented in order to make planet-ccrma even better.
> 1) using the root account
> I think in general it is bad practice to have to use the super user 
> rights to use user applications and this should be avoided. As a new 
> user to planet-ccrma I have so far found two cases where I cannot avoid 
> using the super user password: 
> a) starting the low latency patch
> I remember reading on some of the low latency pages about a solution 
> where the low latency patch can be activated and deactivated with the 
> SysReq key. This to me seems like a good solution and I would hope it 
> could be included in planet-ccrma. Some kind of a graphical status 
> indicator, e.g. a blinking scroll lock led, should be implemented to 
> indicate that the patch is active.

Changing the behaviour of the kernel should only be done by the superuser.

> b) using xvidix full screen video on mplayer with an ati mach64 card.
> This should be possible using the kernel helper software presented in 
> the mplayer FAQ. I have never gotten it to work, I think it would be a 
> great thing if this "patch" would be included in the planet-ccrma 
> kernel.

Changing the behaviour of the kernel should only be done by the superuser.

Sorry, but that's an old UNIX tradition, and is unlikely to change.
As far as turning on low-latency, that can be done through
/etc/sysctl.conf so it's on at boot time.

You could also look into using sudo, http://www.sudo.ws/

> 3) macros to start programs
> To improve the usability of planet-ccrma it would be great if it would 
> come with ready made macros that would do all the setting up needed for 
> programs to start. E.g. starting Rosegarden requires me to a) activate 
> the low latency patch, b) start qjackctl c) start fluidsynth d) connect 
> fluidsynth and the alsa-driver e) finally start Rosegarden. Five (5) 
> steps to start a midid sequencer seems a bit over the top! This is a 
> usability flaw that could be solved by including program start macros 
> in the Sound and Video menu to do this. I think most programs would 
> benefit from this.

Again, this is from an old UNIX tradition, 'don't do more than needed, as
you may do something that shouldn't be done'.  Scripts to start programs
in certain ways are usually the domain of the local sysadmin.

> 4) Soundfonts
> I did not find any soundfonts on my system to use with Fuidsynth so I 
> had to find them from the net. Planet-ccrma could include a selection 
> of GM soundfonts and at least some collections of the most used 
> instruments, such as pianos, organs, strings, string pads, percussion 
> sets and sound effects by default. Also to the Sound Font Archiver 
> Sfark linux version should be included in planet-ccrma as soon as it is 
> available. Further, setting up a apt-get repository at planet-ccrma of 
> free soundfonts could be a good idea.

Perhaps you can start this effort by getting a list of _freely
redistributable_ soundfont URLs.