Why is the device selection drop-down so crowded in Linux

Hi everybody,
I am a long-time user of Audacity and appreciate its versatility. We use it for production in our volunteer radio studio after running our systems on OS-X w/ Audacity for a long time. One thing that drives me crazy about Audacity (I don’t even know if the blame should be lay at the feet of audacity or if it as a pulseaudio or ALSA thing) and that is the huge number of inputs that show-up under the mic input selector drop-down - I have 3 different cards to select from including Pulse (including my graphics card for some reason) and each of them has 2 sets of Front Mic, Rear Mic and Line, both 1 and 0.

Where do these extraneous mics and lines come from, why does each card have 2 sets and is there anyway to simplify this. I’m mostly curious from a end-user/designer perspective because this has been a major hassle at times for end-users at our studio when somehow the mic gets switched and then there is no obvious choice. We have trained people on how to troubleshoot the problems and mostly have it working but I am just wondering where the extraneous information is coming in from and if there is an easy way to simplify the selection from the audacity perspective or even lock the selection on a specific card.

They come from your sound system.

On launch, Audacity queries the sound system for a list of available devices. The options that you see are the devices that your sound system says it has.
The list can be updated by using the “Rescan audio devices” command (near the bottom of the Transport menu).

To see a raw list of details provided by your computer’s sound system, click on:
“Help menu > Diagnostics > Audio device info”