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Re: Resolution to republish MSP as a note

From: Jussi Kalliokoski <jussi.kalliokoski@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2012 19:18:37 +0300
Message-ID: <CAJhzemVp_uCjGM4VmWvpkqwNwrVtdaSRmCFoROQNjihMFOQLFw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Chris Rogers <crogers@google.com>
Cc: Stéphane Letz <letz@grame.fr>, public-audio@w3.org
On Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 10:00 PM, Chris Rogers <crogers@google.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 11:21 AM, Jussi Kalliokoski <
> jussi.kalliokoski@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 8:21 PM, Chris Rogers <crogers@google.com> wrote:
>>> On Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 7:35 AM, Jussi Kalliokoski <
>>> jussi.kalliokoski@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> On Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 4:25 PM, Stéphane Letz <letz@grame.fr> wrote:
>>>>>  >
>>>>> > I'm probably badly misinformed, but the value of high priority
>>>>> threads seems a bit vague to me, since I'm not sure about what's the OS
>>>>> support level for high-priority threads, I think for example in Linux you
>>>>> still have to compile your own kernel to get real high priority thread
>>>>> support.
>>>>> No. You would possibly need a special kernel for very ¨*low latency*
>>>>> thread scheduling, but not for RT scheduling and thread priority
>>>>> management. A regular Linux kernel is now quite usable, assuming the audio
>>>>> thread can take RT scheduling capability, which is given using Realtime Kit
>>>>> in PulseAudio AFAICS or correctly setting a special "realtime" group with
>>>>> appropriate values (see here for JACK:
>>>>> http://jackaudio.org/realtime_vs_realtime_kernel and
>>>>> http://jackaudio.org/linux_rt_config)
>>>> Thought I'd be misinformed! Thanks for the clarification, and sorry for
>>>> the mixup.
>>>>> On OSX real-time threads are actually "time constraints" threads, that
>>>>> are going to preempt any other non RT thread and are "interleaved" with
>>>>> other RT threads. The CoreAudio callback will run in a real-time
>>>>> constraints started and configurated by the CoreAudio frameworks for the
>>>>> audio application.
>>>>> > And using high-priority threads might not always even be desirable,
>>>>> for example in low-end devices it'd be horrible if the UI became completely
>>>>> unusable because an audio thread was occupying the whole thread.
>>>>> But if not RT, then the audio will "glitch"... Do we want reliable
>>>>> audio? or not?
>>>> I think you mean to ask "do we want audio in RT threads", because even
>>>> that doesn't always warrant reliable audio nor does not having it exclude
>>>> reliable audio. The answer to that question would be sometimes yes,
>>>> sometimes not. Glitchless audio isn't worth much if the application becomes
>>>> otherwise completely unusable. Is high-priority audio threads a feature
>>>> that warrants for the complexity that comes with the native nodes?
>>>> Especially given that we still have the possibility of RT thread workers
>>>> open.
>>>> I'm pretty sure that for example my Android phone doesn't run it's
>>>> audio in a real-time thread, even networking connections can sometimes
>>>> glitch the audio. But it's never bothered me, I'd actually rather have the
>>>> UI in an RT thread like iOS does and have that always go before the audio
>>>> and anything else for that matter. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one.
>>> But many people have asked for improvements to the Android audio
>>> performance and do not appreciate high-latency and glitches.  I know that
>>> iOS *does* use high-priority threads and it works great for them, so your
>>> argument seems to be rather weak.  Believe it or not, I think there will
>>> actually be many people who are interested to process live audio in
>>> real-time in web applications, or to play synthesizers using the MIDI API.
>>>  Just because we've had terrible performance on the web with Flash, etc.
>>> doesn't mean we have to stay in the stone age, lagging so far behind the
>>> desktop audio applications abilities.
>> It wasn't really an argument, it was just my personal opinion. And I'm
>> not suggesting we have bad performance, I'm suggesting a different approach
>> at tackling performance issues. I agree that RT threads offer benefits in
>> some cases, but some cases they don't and it should be up to the developer
>> to decide what takes priority in his/her application. Hence I'd rather we
>> try to get RT thread support for workers so that one can just decide
>> whether to use a real-time thread or not by choosing the type of worker to
>> use. If we had that, what on earth would be lagging behind desktop audio
>> applications' abilities?
> But Jussi, I'm approaching the problem from the perspective of what is
> possible to do today using well-known techniques, and not wishful thinking
> of something which might be possible five years from now.  We simply don't
> have the level of technology in our JavaScript runtimes, garbage
> collection, blocking calls, the taking of locks, threading issues, etc., to
> deliver the kind of performance which people expect, and will compare to
> desktop/native applications.  In the meantime, people are asking for
> advanced audio features now.
> Because audio is deadline-driven, you always need to be concerned with
> worst-case performance and not average case performance (for gc etc.)
> Here's an interesting link which explores some of these issues:
> http://www.rossbencina.com/code/real-time-audio-programming-101-time-waits-for-nothing
> Chris

Interesting comments on the article on whatwg mailing list by David Bruant:

Received on Thursday, 9 August 2012 16:19:06 UTC

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