GStreamer 0.10 and GNOME 2.14

As the planning for GNOME 2.14 starts we need to gear up in the GStreamer community too. As we want to switch GNOME 2.14 over to using GStreamer 0.10 there is a lot of work that needs to be done. Releasing 0.10.0 being maybe the biggest one :)

We are pursuing an agressive schedule now and 0.10 should be out sometime November, so that part should be ok.

As for other tasks there are of course the obvious things like porting Totem, Rhythmbox, Sound Juicer and gnome-media over to the new version of GStreamer. But maybe this switch is also a good time to finally get rid of the direct esound dependence in GNOME.

Always been a lot of discussion on what would be needed to ditch the esound dependency, but sample caching and sound mixing seems to be the core issues. We have been talking for a long time of implementing a simple local only sound mixer/sample caching system with GStreamer and than add an abstraction layer on top which will use that system if the underlaying output doesn’t support it for you. So if you use esound it will not use it, or if you use dmix with alsa it will only use the sample cachinh part. Problem of course have always been that those who volunteered to take the tasks of doing this on ended up to busy or got dragged into other more urgent things.

Anyway this is definetly the time to start thinking of what needs doing and who will do what. Don’t want to start switching GNOME over 2 weeks before the release of 2.14 :)

Norwegian politics

Not everyone agreeded with my previous post about the Norwegian election. Especially my comment on the vote numbers seemed to hit some tender spots. As some people pointed out, if you add the votes of one of the parties which didn’t get elected to parliament then the figures look differently, but then again if you are going to start adding the votes of the non-represented parties then you can’t stop at one, instead you would need to add up the votes of all the unrepresented parties and assign the to your block of choice (haven’t bothered doing so myself to check what the results then would be).

The fact remains that among the parties represented in parliament you have now a majority in terms of representatives which got fewer votes than people who are the minority in terms of representatives. This is due to two factors, the primary being method for allocating representatives, using Lagües allocation which favour the biggest party. This I have actually little problem with as it do have some good effects, like strenghtening the parliamentary support of any election winner and through that easing governance (although Norways solution is to weak to have a real impact in that regard, unlike for instance the Brittish election system). The other reason and which is the thing which I strongly dislike is the the part which discriminates against central areas like Oslo, treating votes there like secondary citizens whose votes are worth much less than for instance the votes of people in northern Norway.

The justifications for this system looks to me to be made up mostly to defend status quo as it serves the interest of the majority of parliament fine even it if degrades the majority of the electorate. Cause if the arguments used where genuine then Norway would opt to move towards a two chamber system like the US where one chamber is based on population numbers and one chamber is based on geographic units. Such a system gives both fair representation to all and safeguards the interests of the less populated areas. While the current system just gives the less populated areas undue power. And before someone points it out, I am aware that Norway in theory have a two chamber system.

So back to my post from yesterday, my complaint about the vote numbers where mostly based on the frustration with the Norwegian electorate inability to go forward instead of backwards. As it could very well be that even if you remove the geographical discrimination from the Norwegian election system, the Lagües model could still have wielded the a similar outcome (to much work to actually calculate it to find out).


#1 David Nielsen on 09.15.05 at 01:36

I would fully support both the much needed mercy killing of esd and moving GNOME to GStreamer 0.10, you guys have done good work and I can’t wait to get my filthy little paws on it for testing.

#2 Foxtrot on 09.15.05 at 01:55

Just realized I’d received a reply to my previous comment.

Mr. Anonymous, I don’t really find the vote numbers that interesting. That was left there as a cynical remark to discourage you from replying. I’d written a long text about why I dislike the socialist side or Norway, but I decided not to bother posting it, so as to focus more on the software side of things while expressing my support of Christian in his political views. As for the university votes, most young people (I know, I’m one of them) either don’t research politics before they make a statement, don’t care, or just vote based on propaganda from those around them. Their teachers spread propaganda about the right side because they’re scared they’ll lose their jobs. I’ve experienced this first hand for some time now.

It’s interesting that you seem to imply that I don’t know the difference between communism and socialism, the latter only being an extreme welfare state. It’s also interesting that you don’t consider the idea that money is important to people, especially considering that SV’s response to any problem is simply to take money from the wealthy (i.e. the employers that make sure you have a job) and give it to a state institution without thinking for a momeny that this might not give the desired result without any further thought.

I suppose you didn’t see the live debate when a researcher was interviewed about the needs of the school, and basically described H’s plans for the future of the schools. I suppose you didn’t hear Kristin Halvorsen dismiss these facts as irrelevant and said that more money and more teachers is all that matters. If that was all that mattered, Norway’s schools would rock. They don’t.

It’s also interesting that you say that gas prices don’t matter in one of the world’s richest countries. After all, everyone can afford gas, right? Wrong. For many, cars are not a viable alternative because they’d rather spend their money on other things than gas. This means less freedom for the individual.

I’m also aware that it’s very important for the left side that no-one is poor (whatever ‘poor’ is in Norway), and Ap has graciously devoted themselves to giving everyone work. Of course, state employees don’t really produce values, and thus this becomes a matter of welfare rather than producing values through industry of investment, but at least it looks good on paper, just like it did in various communist countries when they we combatting unemployment.

There are two parts of the left side’s program I agree with, however. We should built gas power plants, as that will keep us from buying polluting coal energy from Germany, and will drive electricity prices down, making Norway more lucrative for businesses, and we should try to get the people to join the EU so we get a say in its affairs instead of having no influence and still obeying its every whim because of EØS. Of course, Sp (or SV, their websites are so awful I can’t proofcheck) wants to leave EØS, NATO and Iraq (the UN asked us to help them), all of which would be horrendously foolish. Luckily, they’ll have no influence whatsoever since Ap got most of the votes anyway.

Lastly, I find it extremely interesting that you tell an open source contributor to “think of someone else for a change”.

We can maybe continue this discussion over e-mail. I think this is extremely interesting (no kidding, I love debates).

#3 The Badger on 09.15.05 at 02:06

“we should try to get the people to join the EU so we get a say in its affairs”

An almost hilarious comment in the light of the software patents charade which really did open the door on the EU’s “democratic” processes. Although, I’d agree that joining the EU in order to not ratify some iteration of the flawed EU constitution might be an interesting tactical idea.

#4 Foxtrot on 09.15.05 at 03:34

I don’t see how it’s hilarious that we get a voice, however slight, in European affairs when we adhere to their rules anyway through EØS. I’m not going to pretend that they will care about most of what we say, though. :-)

I’m sorry if I’m being too Norway-centered on a GNOME blog, btw. Just want to try and stand up for my views when people comment on them.

#5 AdamW on 09.15.05 at 04:07

“As for other tasks there are of course the obvious things like porting Totem, Rhythmbox, Sound Juicer and gnome-media over to the new version of GStreamer. But maybe this switch is also a good time to finally get rid of the direct esound dependence in GNOME.”

YES YES YES a thousand times yes. rm -f /usr/bin/esd is getting kinda old. esd and arts are fundamentally broken and doing more than anything else to frustrate people trying to play sound on Linux (if you don’t believe me, hang out in a user forum for a while and read all the posts about sound issues). You got my vote. :)

#6 Øivind on 09.16.05 at 00:30

Okay, I’ve got some numbers for you (off the official results at

The “red” alternative (AP, SV and SP) got 1,266,813 votes in total.
The “blue” alternative (H, V, KrF) got 706914 votes in total.

Now, clearly, among the two coalition alternatives, the red alternative won by the numbers.

You’re right, however, that the “right side” got more votes in total if you add FrP to the equation (total votes 1,289,088), but seeing as FrP and the blue alternative refused to cooperate this year (politic stances too far apart according to the biggest blue alternative party, Høyre, and because of prime minister Bondevik according to FrP), looking at it this way was and is out of the question. In addition, you’d have to add RV to the red alternative numbers – since they clearly stated they wanted to remove the sitting government – bringing the red side totals to 1,299,168 votes.

That’s 1,299,168 votes for the “red” side including supporting party, and 1,289,088 votes for the “blue” side including supporting party.

Other parties have publically refused to take a stance on the coalition issue, so they’re completely irrelevant.

Also, if the system didn’t incline to favour non-major areas of the country like it does now, RV would probably have gotten a mandate based on actual vote numbers.