UDS Mountainview

So Wim, Tim and myself are back from attending the Ubuntu Developers Summit in Mountainview, California. It was a great conference and it was good to see how the Ubuntu community works up close. While I did attend an earlier UDS in Mataro outside Barcelona for a few days this one was a very different experience as multimedia was at the top of the agenda.

The specification for easy codec installation will hopefully help move things forward in userfriendliness quite a bit. Tim wrote the GStreamer
part of with input and help from Wim during the conference. The whole spec is not really tied to Ubuntu so our hope is that the various distro’s will hook their own systems into it just like Ubuntu plans to. My thinking at this point is that we will also hook our commerical plugin offerings from Fluendo into this setup.

Another specification which got a lot of discussion was the audio jumble one where
basically PulseAudio was basically chosen as the way forward. The plans in this area coincides well with the plans of other distro’s as well for example the work and plans of Monty for Red Hat/Fedora. A topic that came up a bit both in the meetings and also in private conversations aftwards was about the relation between pulse audio and GStreamer and the ‘border’ between the two. In regards to the first the answer is pretty straight forward, GStreamer is no sound server and thanks to Lennart we have a good Pulse Audio GStreamer output plugin. When it comes to the ‘border’ I think the broad lines are drawn already, but the finer details will have to be measured out over time. My general answer when asked about it was that I thought Lennart wanted PulseAudio to do more than what we in the GStreamer camp would have it do, but since he was the one doing the coding on Pulseaudio and not us, it wasn’t our place to critisize his choices.

There where also some nice coding done during the conference. Wim implemented full RTP support for both Vorbis and Theora in GStreamer during the conference, meaning that we took a big step forward in being able to provide a free RTP based streaming solution. The next step in the process is to merge in the RTP branch into Flumotion head and get that working with the new RTP modules.

Wim also did a lot of work on Ogg trick modes during the conference and was able to play a vorbis file backwards before we left. Still some more work needed before this works perfectly and also for Theora, but having it supported in a free codec feels good as it has only been implemented in our commercial windows media codecs so far.

As Jono mentioned in his blog there was also quite a lot of buzz around Jokosher at UDS. The effort that has been put into helping out the Jokosher team with resolving bugs in GStreamer and Gnonlin I think is reaping great rewards through the great steps forward that Jokosher is taking. The work on Gnonlin will also yield great returns for Pitivi as most of the issues fixed would have popped up in Pitivi too. The plans for network instruments that where discussed in conjuction with the work done on telepathy was another highlight and something I think could be a real killer feature for both Jokosher and Telepathy.

There where of course many other important topics that was discussed and planned for during the summit. For my own part I found the great work done on improving Bluetooth support to be quite exiting. This was also an example of how Nokia’s increased involvement due to the Maemo and 770 projects continues to be a positive addition to the community and also shows how Nokia strives to be great community memembers be reaching out to the wider Linux/GNOME bluetooth community, like Marcel Holtmann who was present at the conference. The work that Marcel Holtmann is doing in this field is nothing short of amazing and will be a big step up from the current meager offerings of the gnome-bluetooth manager.

The conference also provided a opportunity to hang out with David Schleef again. We managed to squeeze in an evening in San Fransisco, seeing David’s abode, going out for some Japanese food and drinking some local brews and a nice bar called the Toronado. We have a new release of Schroedinger ready so I just need to update the webpage and send out a release announcement. Will get the MPEG Transport Stream muxer out at the same time.

Returned to Barcelona on Saturday, didn’t get much done for the remainder of the weekend apart from sleeping and catching up on the two episodes for Battlestar Galactica that I missed while away :)

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