"Anybody who has been sufficiently distant from the disturbance
on the fedora-devel mailing list can be forgiven for wondering what
is going on here. In short: changes to the PulseAudio volume
control widget shipped in Fedora 11 have made it hard for some
users to get sound out of their systems in the manner to which they
have become accustomed, and they're not happy about it.
"The longer version goes something like this. The low-level ALSA
sound system provides a great deal of control over the underlying
hardware, exposing all of the knobs supported there. Volume-control
applications have typically made all of those knobs available to
the user. That sounds like the proper way to give users full
control over their hardware, but, as anybody who has pulled up the
mixer on moderately-complicated hardware knows, the result can be
an unbelievable mess of confusing sliders. See this image for an
example. There is a clear usability problem here."