aRts - "Test Sound" button failure

alupu at alupu at
Wed Dec 15 22:34:56 GMT 2004

After several days of complete silence it's become obvious
this thread has reached the end of its useful life and since
I started it, it's probably incumbent upon me to close it.
Before I do that, a few loose ends I'd like to take care of.

> - Esben asked Alex:
> Do you use a Athlon-64 in 64-bit mode, by any chance?

No.  I'm an Intel-type of guy.  Currently, P4-3GHz

> - Esben asked Alex:
> I'm using Gentoo. Are you?

No.  I started a while ago with a RedHat 8.0 (2.2.14?) and
by scraping and clawing (mostly compiling sources) I got to
2.6.9, XFree86-4.4 and KDE 3.3.1 (among other things - and in
reaching distance to 3.3.2).
It's a thankless, fighting-the-windmills endeavor
[as to KDE, see for ex. the painful Bug 93184 - easily
avoidable if somebody would take the time to type that
"the XFree86 *development* package is needed for the proper
compile from sources" on the "KDE Requirements" page - but
who's got the time and/or guts to do that?!]
but there's no other way if one doesn't have a life.

> - Alex asked Gary if he was sure the "Test Sound" button
> problem was fixed in 3.3.2

Esben said he no longer had the problem with his Gentoo 3.3.1
(i.e. hope springs ethernal)
Gary never replied (to confirm or renounce his original claim).

My speculation about the possible reasons for Gary's silence:-)

1. In the meantime somebody wrote to Gary something to the effect
"No man, KDE themselves never fixed it in 3.3.2".  Unfortunately
the message was in a *Word* attachment and Gary, as any loyal
Open Source aficionado, rejected it forthwith.
2. Gary went the extra mile and quickly compiled and  tested
aRts-1.3.2 and ran into the same problem.  However, by then he was
little surprised because he had noticed the basic source files,
'' and '' are the very same files used in
1.3.1 (12224 Mar 7, 2003 and 2036 Aug 29, 2003 respectively).
3.  Gary may have switched from Open to Close Source, strange as
it might seem.
What could have really pushed Gary over the edge was when he
realized that the 'arts.cpp' file (the one covering the Control
Panel sound display - with the "Test Sound" button) in
'kdebase-3.3.2/kcontrol/arts' was the same one as in 3.3.1
(22866, Oct 3)!!  Looking closely and realizing that the
"Test MIDI" button action routine, 'slotTestMIDI()'
*still* does absolutely NOTHING to this day was way too much
for him to bear!

On signing off, a few parting thoughts:
1.  Looking at 'slotTestSound()', the method for the now legendary
"Test Sound" button, a workaround (vorbis or no) suggests itself
easily.  I can then package my whole system, call it, say, "alexoo"
and offer it as the latest, greatest 3.3.2 kde "du jour"
(pushing aside - at least for a while - gentoo, knoppix, xandros,
or whichever were the hottest "linux" of today).

2.  A comment on Open Source vs. for money.
Were the 'arts.cpp' by a gainfully employed company, it would have
long been sued out of existence by all the people with carpal
syndrome or broken LCD displays for having pressed the "Test MIDI"
button hard for months on end in their desperate hope that maybe,
maybe one day, sometime, at the proper alignment of the planets,
the button would finally do something, anything at all.
At the very least, the EU would be hard on its butt until they
manage to squeeze any money still left in the company's coffers.
With Open Source (i.e. something "bought" for free), whom or what
can you hold accountable (and get some "redress" out of the whole

Thank you for the enjoyable ride,
-- Alex

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