So, it is finally September. To be honest it has mentally been September for me since I came back from Ireland just over a week ago. Depression seeps over me at the thought of the dark winter ahead.
On the coding front have managed to make some progress - and boy is ALSA complex in comparison to the throw it all together and add a few ioctls approach of OSS/Free.
Discovered that I needed (at least) alsa-lib and alsa-utils to build my driver and went through a few days of difficulty to get them cross (and static) built. Some of the bits and pieces still aren't built statically (there seems to be a problem with the way the alsa-lib configure script handles static builds - it built the main libs as static, but not the rest).
The people on the alsa-dev mailing list and the #alsa channel on freenode have been helpful at all times though.
OK, now have the tools to test my driver (to see if I am headed in the right direction), when I discover the need to built in some mixer code (another change from OSS - I could build a very simple driver without any mixer ioctls though obviously it would be all but useless, here it just won't work without proper mixer code).
Despite the moaning, I can see the power alsa brings - the OSS driver and the recently completed BSD driver - use only two out of 64 channels - if I can get the ARM7 code right then alsa will allow me to use all 64 :)