GStreamer 0.9

Things are buzzing with the 0.9 branch these days with bugs getting fixed or plugins ported non-stop. Currently have 42 plugins on my install which is a whole lot more than before I left on vacation. Also did my first successfull transcode yesterday transcoding a variable framerate video file into a static framerate videofile successfully. Since that didn’t work in 0.8 it felt like an extra victory. Nice thing is that a lot of the plugins get cleaned up as part of the porting, so the quality of the plugins are increasing a lot as part of the update.

New arrivals

Jaime arrived today and so did Michael. Jaime is staying at my place while she is looking at a place for her and Jan to stay (Jan is set to arrive within a couple of weeks, all depending on how fast the spanish embassy in Sydney work). Michael will be staying at Wim’s place while looking for a place to rent and he will be starting his work at Fluendo next monday. Hopefully we have the laptops and furniture ready for that :)


Yannick and Gustavo from Nokia is interviewed on the latest LUGRadio show, be sure to listen in as its quite interesting. They also talk a bit about why they choose GTK and GNOME technologies instead of going with qtopia for instance, which was already there. The freedom that the LGPL gives, used by GTK+ was an important factor for them and I think going forward we will see how important this is in many situations.

One thing that struck me for instance, who work on multimedia stuff, is that we might not be able to do opensource Qt based applications using GStreamer (or any other multimedia framework for that matter) that ships with non-free plugins. The reason for this is that the Qt license (and I think this applies to both the GPL and the QPL) demands that all software linked to it is under a compatible license. So what we have been doing for instance with sponsoring Totem development, in order to make it work better both with free software plugins, but also of course with closed source plugins we are making, is simply not viable with Qt based software. In the sense that even if the Qt-based player where under the BSD license it would still put demands on the license of GStreamer plugins. I did try to get Markey to LGPL or GPL+exception Amarok some time ago, but maybe getting him to do so wouldn’t really help, as Qt licensing would kill the issue anyway. Could be that the QPL (as opposed to the GPL) would allow this in some form, which I will have to investigate at some point, my current memory of it is that its like the GPL but allows linking to OSI approved licensed software. Anyway, it just underscores why I feel core libraries like GUI toolkits etc., should be under licenses which puts no demands on other parts of the system.


Talking about licensing. I wonder if Google have managed to put themselves into the center of a licensing storm. The recently released Google player used the Videlan client as its foundation, which is under the GPL. Something Google acknowledges. At the same time I assume Google have paid the patent holder for the use of the patents regarding mp3 and mpeg4 for instance. The problem is that these patent licenses are considered to violate the terms of the GPL, which why even if they paid all relevant patent license fee, Red Hat or Novell would never consider shipping Xine or Mplayer on their desktop offerings. Well Google is doing this, which means that either have negotiated terms for their patents use which means anyone can take the google player code and use it as the basis for their own playback system, saying that they have a fully paid up patent license courtesy of Google, or anyone with a VLC copyright can sue Google for a GPL violation. I did mail the Google email address listed for questions about their code, doubt I get any answer though as their lawyers have probably asked them to shut up about it as answering can probably only get them in deeper.