[alsa-devel] ESI reply!! (MAYA44 datasheet request)

Claus Riethmueller claus at esi-audio.com
Wed Aug 22 17:22:05 CEST 2007

Hi James,

please let me say first that I am not intending this as any personal comment
as I am pretty sure you are not the only person with similar thoughts about
the discussion.

Yet, I have to say that it is exactly the somewhat ignorant attitude that
turns us and quite a number of other vendors "off" in supporting the ALSA
developer community better. It is what I have refered to in my email to
Piotr that he cut & pasted to this mailing list (without asking for
permission btw.). I have been following the developments at ALSA since many
years now and worked with a number of different developers for different
products to get them working properly. Many of our products are supported
just fine under ALSA and both the developers and the users seemed to
appreciate that fact. Unfortunatly your comments show your obvious lack of
understanding about how some companies are working in this industry and what
sort of approach is needed by you guys to get better support from us. This
is why I used the term "culture crash" in my email.

> So, basically, ESI cannot help us.
> I am amazed that they can write any sort of driver without some sort of 
> datasheet.

Well ... frankly, it should not be your concern on how we are developing
drivers for our hardware designs (which are ours). What you wrote is a cheap
comment and I do not see how it could be an appropriate comment if you look
at everything what I wrote and not just the introduction. The way (format,
style and most important in our case: language) we store our internal
company data is no ones concern except mine and the concern of my employees.

We are not developing our products with the purpose to share this
information with others. It is not part of our business model. We are not a
chipset vendor and we are not making designs that other companies are
supposed to use or work with. Our data is used inside our company and
nowhere else. Every document that goes out to the public must go through a
process that is aprooved by a number of people, written by the actual
responsible person, in our case partially even translated into another
language by someone who is not an expert on the issue and only then could be
sent out. Unless we have to do that to achieve something we want to achieve,
we simply can't do that. This might be different with other companies you've
been in contact with (I saw you developed major parts of the drivers for
various Creative devices and can probably guess that this is where main
parts of your experience come from) where there are more people available
that could get and go through such tasks. I could now add information about
company and market sizes, etc. but that would make everything only more
complicated (that's the type of discussion that is nice in combination with
a few beers in a pub at some late evening ...).

What I did in the introduction of my email to Piotr was to mention this fact
about our situation without going into any details. I am probably saying
more about how our company works than what many other vendors ever would
disclose about themselve. I hoped it would help to improve the understanding
of "the other side". Your comments are disapointing and puzzle me a little
bit, but unfortunatly I have to say that I have expected something like this
from my past experience. Luckily not all ALSA contributors / developers
share your views as the fact that many of our products (as well as quite a
number of products from other vendors) are supported in ALSA at this moment
without having the document (you think) you need, speaks for itself I might

> But I do know it does happen, because I have received datasheets that 
> were only written years after a particular sound card was first sold.
> I would like to stress, that the datasheet does not have to be perfect. 
> We would be quite happy if it has spelling mistakes in, and some wrongly 
> labeled registers.
> I have received datasheets from other manufactures where some engineer 
> has just scribbled some notes on the back of a piece of paper.

At least you acknowledge that this happens which I think is quite positive.
I am not saying that what you mention here resembles what goes on in our
company, but it is not that far from the actual situation. If you add that
our engineers are in Korea and make their notes mostly in Korea, you get a
little bit closer to the real picture. Of course we have documents but they
are not ready in any way that I would approove sending them out to the

> Now, if ESI cannot even provide this, we should highlight ESI in RED in 
> the sound card matrix.

As you can guess, it was this sentence that prompted me to reply directly to
the list. In my opinion, your comment is unfair and simply ignoring major
parts of what I wrote in my mail to Piotr. I have shown a certain level of
commitment and your response basically tells me that you are not even
interested ... if more people would share your views, ALSA would have made
no development at all in the last 5 years I guess.

Our engineers are all happy to answer questions and provide assistance and
help if required. As I said, we are happy to be in contact with an
individual developer who is actually doing the development. It is a lot less
time consuming and for us a lot more simple (actually, I believe it is more
simple for the developer on the ALSA end as well but I realize some people
might disagree here).

I'm sorry if this long mail has distracted a few people from the daily
discussion about fixing bugs and improving code, but I am sure there are
enough people that understand where I am coming from and what I wrote here.
I do not want to start a long discussion here, so I also do not intend to
comment on the whole issue further on the mailing list. Contact me directly
and we can go from there (as I mentioned in my mail to Piotr).

Best regards,

Claus Riethmueller
Managing Director ESI Audiotechnik GmbH

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