Thinking about OSS v5.0 project

Hi all,

After a while I have started to think about creating OSS v5.0. For the time being the audio market for Linux is dominated by ALSA. However there is still strong demand for OSS. So it might make sense to proceed with OSS.

What I have been thinking about is pushing OSS back to the Linux kernel. However there are few things that need to be done before this could be possible:

  • Better integration with the Linux kernel. Currently OSS doesn’t follow the design practices used by the rest of the Linux kernel.
  • Power management. For the time being power management is missing from OSS.
  • The audio core framework requires some rewriting. The current core is 10 years old and the recent additions like vmix don’t fit properly in it.
  • Some key drivers such as USB audio, HDaudio and SB X-Fi require rewriting.

In addition the following enhancements or features have been suggested:

  • MIDI support. For the time being MIDI support is under construction. I have started to suspect that there is still too much “reinventing wheel” problems in the current approach. The best approach might actually be doing all timing in user space. This needs more discussion.

Getting all this done requires some funding. However this is really peanuts. All that is required is salary of a SR software developer for 2 to 3 years. In addition some kind of HW level debugging environment is required. This means roughly an invenstment of 100k to 200k euros.

The exact business model is to be defined. Funding can come from a single source. Alternatively we can create an OSS consortium with annual membership fees which was our original plan when we open sourced OSS.

One Response to “Thinking about OSS v5.0 project”

  1. Sergey Says:

    Please also add MIDI into the list. It should be compatible with existing applications, maybe with ALSA MIDI emulation or with OSS 3 MIDI compatibility layer. Without that OSS is a no go for musicians.

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