Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account


Is OpenAL dead?


Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.

  • You cannot reply to this topic
30 replies to this topic

#21 MrDaaark   Members   -  Reputation: 3551

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 25 November 2007 - 11:43 PM

Quote:
Original post by Kylotan
Creative were allowed to kill off their leading competitor and have never needed to innovate since then.
Their competitor being? The only other time I was aware of another company, or another type of sound device was trying to choose the right one in the old DOOM and DUKE NUKEM config programs. I had a SoundBlaster 16 (like, everyone else it seems), and SoundBlaster variants made up about 80% of the list.

The name ROLAND comes to mind.



Sponsor:

#22 remdul   Members   -  Reputation: 176

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 26 November 2007 - 12:21 AM

Quote:
The 2D thing might well be a valid issue, although I dare say the rational for not including it is that you can do the same with the 3D system in place just on 2 axis instead of 3. (I've not tried yet, maybe when I do I'll moan about it, we'll see).
Yes, I tried this by placing a source near the listener, and moving it on a straight line or an arc. But on most Creative cards, the attenuation of sources are inconsistent, it works on one implementation, but not another. With 3d sound you have many more factors that influence the final output, and quite frankly there are few implementations that get all of those factors right.
Quote:
However, based on my short list above, and despite having their hardware I'm no Creative fan (the hardware is great, the drivers are often lacking, although I've been pleased thus far with the recent 2 Vista drivers), your complaints seem... lacking.
Yeah, that always bothered me most. I could very well have excellent hardware sitting in my machine, but the drivers screwing it all up. Frustrating.
I had some hope that with Vista Creative would finally be forced to re-write their drivers from scratch. But they didn't even start working on the drivers until the Vista beta came along, and with Vista adoption failing right now, there's little motivation for Creative to improve their drivers.
Quote:
No one else doing it is hardly Creative's fault.
I thought it was common knowledge that Creative has, and continues to destroy competitors through immoral business practices? I'd rather not go in to it further because it is pointless and will only result into a flame war, but here are some quick pointers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A3D
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensaura
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ensoniq

You even mentioned it yourself: you are no Creative fan, but you do have their hardware. Why is that? Where are the competitors?
Quote:
Who gives away IP? Generally no one; GPUs, case and point.
Both nVidia and ATI have, and continue to share IP (albeit for hard cash) to improve the OpenGL standard. Many, if not most of the OpenGL extensions have been incorporated in OpenGL.
They don't have to give away IP for free. Others can license it. If Creative really wants to push a standard, they just need to expose it through a single interface (OpenAL is that interface). I have the impression Creative does not want to share their IP with other audio manufacturers in order to put them out of business. Maybe Creative even joined the OpenAL party with that purpose in mind?
Quote:
I've not seen anything in the EFX docs saying 'lulz, Creative only, no else use' which would stop anyone implimenting the interface.
I think that technically you're right, but that's not really how it plays out in practice. Maybe it is just me, but it doesn't sit right.
Quote:
The stuff is out there, it's free, it's hardly Creative's fault that apart from them no one else bothers with implimenting it.
I don't know if the poster who pointed it out above is correct, but it seems very much that Creative is backpedaling with regard to the initial freedom it gave to OpenAL users.

[Edited by - remdul on November 26, 2007 7:21:47 AM]

#23 remdul   Members   -  Reputation: 176

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 15 December 2007 - 03:17 AM

There's some talk on the dev mailing list now (sorta rare).

One of the OpenAL developers from Creative is suggesting the new OpenAL Soft implementation to become the new "Sample Implementation". Sounds good!

#24 Roots   Members   -  Reputation: 657

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 15 December 2007 - 03:50 AM

I don't think OpenAL is dead. Its just somewhat stagnant and slow developing because of Creative's tight grip over it. About a year or two ago I posted on the mailing list suggesting ways to improve OpenAL's development model, because at the time I was having a horrible experience with getting my OpenAL engine to work cross-platform. A few engineers from Creative responded and generally agreed with everything I had to say, but said the company probably wouldn't allow the engineers to work on it because it wasn't a "business priority". [mad]


My project was using SDL_mixer, but our latest release uses OpenAL because we required a more powerful library. It seems to be working alright across our Linux/Windows/OS X releases and the playback quality is much better than it was with SDL_mixer. After our initial failure with using OpenAL our team had a long discussion about what library we should use for our game. We couldn't use FMOD because of its licensing and cost (we're a free-as-in-beer, GPL project), SDL_mixer didn't have the features we wanted, and Audiere seemed lacking in a few areas.


I had wanted to create a fork of OpenAL and give a big "F U" to Creative. Last I looked at the OpenAL code base, it was a mess. There are completely separate code bases for Linux, Windows, and OS X, and as you can guess this causes some grave problems when trying to use OpenAL for a cross-platform product (we had to hack around at least one of these problems for our latest release). Also I don't think its easy to contribute to the OpenAL source unless you work at Creative, and do only the things that Creative wants you to do with the code.


If there were a better alternative than OpenAL that suits my projects needs, we'd likely fly over to it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately OpenAL remains the best solution for us, so we have to put up with the BS associated with it. I'm interested to see where the OpenAL Soft goes, and if it becomes an actual fork of OpenAL that is truly free (FreeAL?).
Hero of Allacrost --- http://www.allacrost.org
A free, open-source 2D RPG in development.

Latest release Oct. 10th, 2010.

#25 KCat   Members   -  Reputation: 185

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 15 December 2007 - 07:32 AM

Hello. Found this thread through a discussion in #openal on Freenode. :)

Quote:
Original post by Roots
I don't think OpenAL is dead. Its just somewhat stagnant and slow developing because of Creative's tight grip over it.

I wouldn't even say that. It's somewhat stagnant sure, but the very latest open source sources have always been available from their SVN repo. As it says on the downloads page, first thing under the OpenAL Source Code heading:
Quote:
The OpenAL source code is available via Subversion from http://www.openal.org/repos/openal. Links to Subversion clients can be found on the links page.

From the command line, you can do the following to retrieve the current trunk:
svn checkout http://www.openal.org/repos/openal/trunk openal

The very latest Linux/Unix version, based off the original Loki implementation, is there (under OpenAL-Sample), as well as the Apple-controlled OSX code (whether or not it's the actual code as shipped with the Mac, I have no idea), and the latest Creative-controlled Windows code (before it closed up). Even FreeALUT is there (under alut). All of it under the LGPL.. except the OSX version which actually seems to be under an X11-like license.

The only thing stopping anyone from working on it (improving the code, creating extensions) is that no one wants to.

Quote:
Also I don't think its easy to contribute to the OpenAL source unless you work at Creative, and do only the things that Creative wants you to do with the code.

Not entirely true. I can't say the same about the Windows or OSX code, but ever since Loki went belly-up, the Linux/Unix code (the "Sample Implementation") has been an entirely open-source community driven project. The only direct ties Creative has with it are that, besides controlling the core API, the mailing list and repo used for its development are on their servers. But no one's prevented from trying to move it elsewhere if there was a benefit from doing so, and they could convince the maintainers (who don't work at Creative, btw).

When I started with the OpenAL code, I initially tried to work on cleaning up the SI. The only troubles I had with submitting patches was that the maintainers were very busy and don't have much time to dedicate to OpenAL. But even still, because I was doing so much work on it, after a few months the maintainers asked if I wanted write access to the SVN repo. I said sure, and after Daniel Peacock (the guy at Creative in charge of the SVN repo's access control) came back from his vacation, I got it. No hassles.

I've since decided that the SI is more or less a lost cause, which is what lead me to fork the original Windows code as a pet project. And while I have no intention of moving development of OpenAL Soft away from repo.or.cz (I like GIT too much), it's likely that Creative's OpenAL repo, which I still have write access to, will hold a mirror of the main development branch of OpenAL Soft as the "new" SI. I've also been told that Creative would likely have no problems hosting downloads of the SI at openal.org, as releases are tagged and put together (the last release, 0.0.8, is there).


As for EAX/EFX, IP, and patents, last I knew, Creative is under a will-not-enforce agreement of its patents against open source projects. I have expressed my desire for implementing EFX in OpenAL Soft multiple times on their mailing list, and they've never said I can't or shouldn't. Though if you need/want to go commercial, I don't know the situation (eg. if you're allowed to use a lib that implements EFX, as long as your product doesn't use it; it'd be kind of silly to not allow that, though).


Quote:
1.1 is the version of the current OpenAL specification, and 0.0.8 is AFAIK the version of their (SI?) implementation.

0.0.8 is the release version of the SI, which implements most, but not all, of the 1.1 spec. The two numbers have no other correlation. (OpenAL Soft implements all of the 1.1 spec, btw).


And an interesting idea to toss out there, for those who want to see OpenAL evolve.. perhaps some people could get together to form an not-for-profit open-source Foundation or Group specializing in audio design and APIs, and ask Creative if they can help control the API and feature set as it goes into the future. Who knows.. I'm sure Creative is feeling a nice pinch from consumers not caring much about audio cards these days, and not being near the top in the professional market. Perhaps someone to help push the OpenAL API forward is something they want, and that we'd all benefit from.

- Chris, OpenAL Soft maintainer

#26 remdul   Members   -  Reputation: 176

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 15 December 2007 - 09:58 AM

Thanks for your comments Chris. Your work is very much appreciated. I will most certainly be switching to OpenAL Soft. :)
Quote:
And an interesting idea to toss out there, for those who want to see OpenAL evolve.. perhaps some people could get together to form an not-for-profit open-source Foundation or Group specializing in audio design and APIs, and ask Creative if they can help control the API and feature set as it goes into the future.
Has Creative ever had talks with Khronos Group?

#27 KCat   Members   -  Reputation: 185

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 15 December 2007 - 11:17 AM

Quote:
Original post by remdul
Thanks for your comments Chris. Your work is very much appreciated. I will most certainly be switching to OpenAL Soft. :)

I hope it works out for you. :) Feel free to ask questions if anything comes up.

Quote:
Has Creative ever had talks with Khronos Group?

Not as far as I'm aware, but then, I didn't even know the Khronos Group existed until the news that they were getting the OpenGL API from the ARB. I'm sure quite a lot of their attention has been towards the GL3 API, anyway.

#28 phantom   Moderators   -  Reputation: 6871

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 16 December 2007 - 01:38 AM

Khronos is split into working groups; so if they did take on OpenAL for example, the working group for that would have no direct ties (and thus no impact on) the development of their other APIs.

On windows, does OpenAL Soft build as an Enumeratable dll? So, if I was to build it and drop the dll into my apps dir, then grab a list of OpenAL 'devices' would it show up along side the Creative ones I have installed?

#29 KCat   Members   -  Reputation: 185

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 16 December 2007 - 06:21 AM

Quote:
Original post by phantom
Khronos is split into working groups; so if they did take on OpenAL for example, the working group for that would have no direct ties (and thus no impact on) the development of their other APIs.

I see. Well, I took a look at khronos.org, and a quick search for OpenAL brings up a few forum posts asking for its adoption, but I didn't see any response from Khronos members.

Quote:
On windows, does OpenAL Soft build as an Enumeratable dll? So, if I was to build it and drop the dll into my apps dir, then grab a list of OpenAL 'devices' would it show up along side the Creative ones I have installed?

An enumeratable DLL is a regular OpenAL DLL, just with a different filename. By default OpenAL Soft builds as openal32.dll in Windows (the only dll that apps are directly concerned about), but simply renaming it to soft_oal.dll, or any name that ends in oal.dll, and putting it somewhere in the DLL search path should automatically add OpenAL Soft devices along side an existing list.

Relating to that topic though, it may be confusing to users to see OpenAL Soft's device names next to the device names in the wrap_oal.dll driver Creative ships in their redistributable. The names shouldn't clash, however.

#30 phantom   Moderators   -  Reputation: 6871

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 16 December 2007 - 01:22 PM

ok, cool; I was planning to use OpenAL in a 2D engine type thing I'm putting together however with reports of lack of support and poor drivers an alternative sound system was pretty much required. I was planning on just throwing a wrapper around another API but this should save me some worl [smile]

#31 KCat   Members   -  Reputation: 185

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 20 December 2007 - 06:34 AM

For anyone interested, OpenAL Soft's GIT repo now has a branch with preliminary EFX support. More info is available on the mailing list post here: http://opensource.creative.com/pipermail/openal-devel/2007-December/004985.html




Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.



PARTNERS