Anyone who have a 770 I recommend you upgrade your firmware by downloading the latest image from maemo.org. It is much more stable and seems faster than the normal production image for me. Also be sure to grab some extra Applications.
GNOME 2.14 and GStreamer
One question posted to my last blog entry which also pops up on IRC at times is the question of when GNOME will be ported over from esound to using GStreamer everywhere, so people can get sound events etc. and so on without using esound. I also noticed the issue being mentioned in the Ubuntu wiki of things they hoped for. The reason it hasn’t happened yet is due to both the eternal lack of developer resources, but probably more importantly some uncertainty about how to do it in a way which not likely to cause tons of issues.
Today esound provides three things to libgnome: a simple play_file API, sound sample caching and remote sound playback. It also provides some well tested backends for a lot of different platforms.
GStreamer could easily provide the play_file API, and at the same time improve format support a lot, so that part is relativly easy to address. Since GStreamer have a esound plugin and also plugins for other popular soundservers the third item is also taken care of.
The problem is what to do with the sample caching. When this has been discussed in the past the idea proposed was that there is some sort of API added in GStreamer which provides abstraction for sample caching with some kind of fallback when the underlaying system don’t support it.
Especially this last item could be a lot of work, depending on how ambitious you are. The simples solution is not to cache when the underlaying system don’t support it, and I am starting to feel this is the approach we should go for.
So anyway the job is relativly well defined, but since it touches core modules in GNOME which calls for extra carefullness and needs some GStreamer devel design work and implementation it has so far been something no-one either confident enough for and/or felt they have time for. So in terms of developer resources we are stuck between new contributors feeling the task a bit overwhelming and experienced contributors being swamped with items they feel are more critical.
Anyway, I still hope we get around to doing this switch soon, we know it is much wanted.