Minimal volume management daemon
Since I was a XFCE user I have been using the xfce4-volumed app, a daemon which makes the volume up/down and mute keys work automatically and also shows nice notifications.
Long story short, I stopped using XFCE and I wanted to get rid of some stuff from my system (e.g. xfconf and gstreamer) with xfce4-volumed being the only thing left using them. Not finding any better alternative, I have decided to write my own version:
Differently from xfce4-volumed, my version uses the ALSA (asound) and X11 APIs directly and does not require xfconf (or anything else really). You can find it on GitHub.