Spent quite some time today trying to sort out the auto* stuff for libmms and its corresponding gst-mms plugin. Libmms from CVS now at least builds and dists nicely after my fixes, and the patch I sent of to mathrick for gst-plugins merges the plugin into that module nicely. All we need now is for Matrick to fix asfdemux to handle the incoming packets properly. Of course we still need either a native WM9 decoder or a binary dll loader to get video working for most asf streams, but even without that it means we could have our applications supporting wma based webradio’s for instance. Libmms is a nice example of cross project pollination as the code is originally from Xine and relicensed to LGPL with the developers permission, a big thanks to Thibaut Mattern who is the original author.

Happy to see Jorn being back in . Seems Ronald’s improvements of Totem+GStreamer convinced him that the time has come for getting Muine onto the GStreamer lovetrain.

Discussed a bit today about copyright statements in files and what they mean. Most people include a copyright/license header in their files, but most of those headers are not kept up to date or even point to valid copyright owners AFAIK. I mean in GStreamer most plugins say copyright Erik Walthinsen, cause his name is what is in the template/most other plugins. But since there has been no valid copyright assignment done, this is of course a false statement, the copyright is not Erik’s (in most jurisdictions at least),
it is still with the author of the code in question. Also people tend not to add themselves to the copyright when they edit the code so even if Erik was the original author, he is no longer the single copyright holder anymore even if the copyright header of the file says so.
Secondly a lot of projects, like GTK+ and Xine, state in their headers that the copyright is with the GTK+ project or the Xine project. Which I think is false as there is no copyright assignment done to these projects, and none could be done as they are not legal entities.

The lack of care for such copyright headers raise a few legal questions/problems. For instance it do create some unclarity in case of relicensing request, eg. who do you need to ask. Another question is if invalid copyright headers have any influence on legal validity of the copyright or your ability to defend your copyright in case of a legal struggle. I don’t know. I seem to have read that under US law if you don’t uphold/protect your copyright you will lose is, which if true, could be interpreted as meaning that if you don’t add your name to the list of copyright holders or put in a misleading copyright statement your claim of copyright can more easily be taken away in the case of a lawsuite. I tried looking at the GNU homepage to see if they had any advice on these issues, but I couldn’t find anything. If anyone out there know some links that talk about the important/unimportance of these copyright headers please let me now.

A CVS branch has been started by Wim to implement the design proposals he mailed the GStreamer list with recently. Some things are already working well in that branch so hopefully it will soon reach a stage where its enough of a proof of concept to make it an official 0.9 branch. Very cool.

Seems I got elected onto the GNOME Foundation board of directors, interestingly enough I would not have been elected if the board had been 7 members this year instead of 11 as I wanted :). Anyway I look forward to working with the other elected members to try and make the board more relevant to the community, so that next year we don’t have to once again explain what the board do and what it doesn’t or what it exactly have been doing. Lets see how it works out.

My interview with the amaroK team went online today. Lots of love in the comments, but at least a guy commenting on the dot got my little girlfriend joke :)

Been wondering lately if I should quit Fluendo and start a employment agency, seems like being asked to recommend people for jobs are getting more and more frequent. Could be related to the stories that have started popping up of shortages in the labour market for people with linux hacking skills. Of course some of these requests do come out of the blue. Anyway if anyone reading this and who think I have fairly good chance of knowing who they are/what they have done and want to code for Google in California or Dublin please let me know and I put you in touch.

Going to a concert with Thomas and co. today to see a Belgian band at the Razzmatazz. Second time I am there this week since I went to see the Rasmuss on Monday. Monday Razzmatazz was filled with Finish flags, I guess today I see Belgian ones. I hope Lene Marlin comes down for a concert soon so I can go to a concert and wave the Norwegian flag (or maybe I skip the flag waving part :)

The pains of relicensing

We have a long standing and ongoing process underway in the GStreamer communtity to purge GPL code from our gstreamer and gstreamer-plugins module. The vast majority of the code has always been under the LGPL, but especially in the plugins module there has been a couple of sins. Managed to clear up one of those today with our Monoscope visualization plugin. Problem was that the code in question had 4 authors. Two people who wrote one pair of files each which where then combined later by the third guy to make a alsaplayer plugin and then the 4th guy who took the alsaplayer plugin and made it into a GStreamer plugin. I was quickly able to get hold of one of the two original guys who gave me permission to relicense to LGPL his two files. The third and fourth also gave permission for this, but I had problem finding the second of the two first guys. But the third guy then told me that the code used to be under a no-advertising BSD license, but he had gotten permission to relicense it to GPL for his use. So the solution then was to revert this two files to the original unreachable authors BSD license which means the plugin is now a mix of BSD/LGPL files which is almost as good as all files being LGPL.

Cleared up the h263 plugin license in bugzilla, so hopefully Zaheer can merge that soon. Working on the licensing of the DVB plugin in gst-sandbox, but I need to get hold of someone at Convergence to get permission to relicense four mpegtools files from them.

Sent out the press
yesterday about Fluendo’s sponsorship of Xiph.org to add RTP support to Vorbis and Theora. Got good response on it from the community which gives a nice warm feeling :)

Transgaming released a new version of their Cedega windows emulation package for games with World of Warcraft support today. Which probably means that they will have me on their subscriber list when WOW is released here in Europe in Februrary. Unless of course my facination with WOW has died down by then. My fascination with any game tend to be shortlived, even those I haven’t really played but just like the concept of. Still don’t understand how a big company gave have Sam Lantiga on their payroll and not take advantage of it to make their application run on both Windows, Mac and Linux using SDL. Then again I shouldn’t wonder as I know how big corporations work….errr…how dysfunctional they are I mean. Maybe I should just stay loyal to good ol’ nethack.

Spent time today going throgh GStreamer bugzilla trying to triage bugs. I think that when you go past 200 bugs it becomes very hard for developers to keep up with bugzilla and bugs/patches etc. gets lost. Personally I think that the almost 1000 open bugs against Nautilus probably is a big problem for the developers as I doubt they can really handle it in a good way, or rather I know they can’t handle it as I have old Nautilus bugs that have never been looked at.

GStreamer is at 300+ bugs today including NEEDINFO’s. I hope to triage that down closer to 200 eventually, by doing some triaging work like a did today. Have to say I am tempted to close ‘nevergonahappen’ enhancements bugs. If someone wants a GStreamer plugin for ZX Spectrum music they will either go wanting or write it themselves, don’t think having an open bug for it in bugzilla will make it happen.

Then again we have a bugzilla for a Super Nintendo music plugin, and I saw today on planetkde that Michael Pyne is working on such a plugin for GStreamer…so at least one such enhancement bug will get closed soon :)

Sent of a bunch of mails to people asking for GPL to LGPL relicensing of their code as part of the neverending effort to get GStreamer CVS 100% LGPL compatible.

Appartment starting to look decent after I got some of the old furniture thrown out yesterday. Since my landlord got killed I feel much more free to throw away anything that was in the appartment which I don’t like. I guess the old saying is true, One mans death is another mans gain.

One of those days where I did a little bit of everything and is left at the end of that day wondering what I did. Got Novell Linux Desktop installed on one machine to test, did some QA on gst-plugins, wrote a draft for a press release to go out later this month, did some research to find some more contacts and answered mails etc.

Not sure how I feel about Novell Desktop Linux. Nice graphics during boot etc., but YaST just feels like a return to the days of linuxconf on Red Hat. Somewhat better than linuxconf, but still feeling like something made long ago with a GUI glued on for show in recent years. For some reason I am not getting a list of new packages in Red Carpet, which I doubt can be correct considering how long NLD has been out.

Also installed FlashLinux onto my penndrive today. Very very nice. Think I will try to tweak it to use it as a demo tool for Flumotion. FlashLinux is in my opinion a ten times better solution than liveCD setups as it actually allows you to store stuff on it.

Party/dinner with work today, hope I manage to find the place :)

Took a look at the Planet code on GStreamer today, so now Owen FG is syndicated onto Planet GStreamer and soon bilboed will be so too :)

Think one of the hardest things when you have a cool company like ours and you have something really cool up your sleave is keeping the flytrap shut until the press release is out. Rather painfull actually. And as soon as this one is out on Monday I already have another one that needs writing which will be just as cool. Life is unfair sometimes.

Stefan Kost posted a nice new screenshot of Buzztard today in his blog/planet gstreamer. Musicians out there take heed.

Discovered that the theoreticaly fixed bug when using SVG images as background is still around due to some ugly overiding of the control center (in which the bug is fixed) by Nautilus where the bug is still reining true. Please for the love of Odin’s beard can someone fix this.

Getting some guests soon so I guess this weekend will be dedicated to getting the appartment shaped up. I just hope Ismael get the city council to come here soon to grab all the old furniture etc.

First day at work without Johan. Office felt strangely empty without him, loosing my only fellow scandinavian co-conspirator. But Johan let himself be seduced by Lambada dancing girls and there was little we could do to measure up to that. Office will soon fill up again though with Wingo and Jan coming onboard. And of course we will get a short fleeing glimpse at Johan again at the Ubuntu conference latere this month.

Had the first encounter in a long while today with Mandrake, installing Mdk 10.1 on a laptop for testing purposes. The experience was a bit mixed. Some things in Mandrake are nice, like their rpmdrake tool, other things like the network config GUI felt a bit kludgy (it did work though). Not sure how big a fan I am of the menu layout either and it seems you get a rather strange selection of software if you choose to install both GNOME and KDE. Fredric was very helpful with getting me started with getting Flumotion installed and I was able to help sort out a few packaging issues. There is still a core issue with overlaying not working, but Thomas promised to look into that. Probably a bug in either the version of python_imaging they ship or with the packaging of the version they use, but we find out soon enough.

Updated everything from CVS and went through our media testsuite and tried playing a DVD with Totem. A couple of more troublesome files in the testsuite is now working and it is starting to look mostly green instead of mostly red on the testchart, and playing a DVD with Totem kinda works, sound is still a bit borked but the image is perfect. Hopefully we can set it up so Ronald borrows one of the laptops we have here in the office to have some realistic usecase to solve those issues which are CPU usage related (currently DVD sound and Matroska playback). The combination of Ronald DVD fixes for Totem and Martin Soto commiting many of his fixes upstream which he made for his python based DVD player called Seamless
it seems we are getting there fast in regards to fullproof DVD playback.