Elisa Press release finally out

So finally managed to put out the Elisa press release. It had been a good while since we last sent out a press release so it was good to get it out and hopefully get in the habitt of doing them more often.

Loic also put up some new pages on the Elisa Wiki describing the split-out of the Toolkit from the application. Very nice overview of what features are in the toolkit, how it works and where we are seeing it go forward. Also based on a discussion I had with Matthew Allum we added OpenGL ES as an explicit target for Elisa.

In other cool news so did Stuart ‘Young Whippersnapper’ Langridge put up a webpage for Jackfield. Jackfield for those you missed Stuart’s talk during GUADEC is a engine for running MacOSX Dashboard applets under GNOME. Be sure to check it out and send Stuart patches to make your favourite Dashboard applet work.

LugRadio live

So I am back after spending the weekend in England attending LugRadio live. Had a great time there, Jono and Stuart for insance are two likeable young lads, but it is a good thing they have older more experienced people like Ade and Matthew to help them.

The conference was a blast, with beer and interesting talks both flowing freely from the early hours of the day.

From a GStreamer perspective it was a great conference with talks on GStreamer projects such as
GStreamer itself,
Lowfat and

Michael Meeks also talked a little about GStreamer in his OpenOffice talk and explained that they are now working on adding GStreamer support to OpenOffice in order to do embedding of audio and video in OpenOffice documents etc., very cool stuff.

The generic GStreamer talk was my own and went ok apart from my demo section getting butchered by power supply issues. For some reason I had trouble getting reliable power out of the UK socket I was using (with my European power plug) so my power went away halfway into demo’ing Elisa. My screen setup was a bit stupid as I had to look at the projected bigs creen myself to see my slides which hampered the ‘look at the audience’ part of doing a talk.

Got to talk to a lot of interesting people, like the internets
Ted Haeger the host of Novell Open Audio who came away from the conference a beard richer.

Also got to discuss a little with Paul Cooper about next years GUADEC which will be in Birmingham. I have some ideas on an addition to draw in a wider audience and grow the community which we will look into the plausability of pulling off.

Due to EasyJet having cancelled our Sunday night flight, me and Edward stayed on until Monday. Luckily Matthew Allum and a very pregnant Sid was kind enough to let me stay at their place for the night. Their two dogs aka the Pugs where a little freaky looking in my view, but they more than made up for it by being very friendly and fun.

Slept very well on their sofa after two days in Wolverhampton sleeping in a sauna-like hotelroom while fighting a constant battle for space. Spent a easygoing Monday with Matthew, following up on some work items and discussing the state of the world with Matthew. Also we did a very nice lunch in the nearby township. Always enjoy talking with Matthew a lot, I think we are on the same page on most issues.

In the afternoon I went off to the airport to hook up with Edward again who had stayed the night at his brothers place. Think we where both rather tired after a great weekend, but we managed to get ourselves onto our airplane for the return to the city by the sea.
A big thanks to Ade, Jono, Matthew and Stuart and the LRL volunteers for organizing a great LugRadio live. Sure to be back next year! P.S. Make sure the Guinness is colder next year :)

The thing is, you see, that the strongest man in the world is the man who stands alone, Henrik Ibsen

Fluendo wrestling day

Every Wednesday we hold a wrestling tournament here at Fluendo in order to keep in shape and stay sharp. In the photo below Matthieu Garcia, our codec optimisation specialist shows of his headgear for the wrestling. Matthieu the wrestler

OpenGL to be sold?

I saw this article/blog on businessreview online which features an interview with the SGI CEO. One of the things he says is that OpenGL might be sold as part of SGI’s restructuring. Considering how we are putting all our eggs in the OpenGL basket currently, with projects such as XGL, AIGLX and Glitz I hope this gets picked up by a friendly entity, especially if there are some patents still attached to OpenGL.

Motorbike racing in Barcelona

As it happens one of Fluendo’s two co-founders, Pascal Pegaz, has motorcycle racing as his big hobby. This weeked he invited everyone at Fluendo (and also a lot of other people) to attend the 24hour motorbike race at the track here in Barcelona. With a setup that included full access to the paddock and lots of food, drink and music to entertain us in addition to the race who where we to say no. It was a great race and our team looked poised to get a respectable position. Unfortunatly the bike broke down about 16 hours into the race. But we had a great time anyway and here is a collection of photos taken during bikerace,
take care to notice the prominent placement of Fluendo logos all over the place :)

Thought I should also include a link to the ubercool video overlay system Julien made for the race. Its all using GStreamer! Anyway start by checking out this screenshot which demonstrates the system. Basically what it does is taking the video feed from the on-bike camera and the data collected by bikes onboard computer. Then the graphics are generated for the speedomeeter etc., and also a photo of the driver added in this case is a picture of Fluendo co-founder Pascal Pegaz who was one of our three drivers for the endurance race. In the photo he is crusing at a respectable 270 km/h. This system we hope to use more for future races. Check out Julien’s gallery for more.

Being digital

So I got my TDT box set up yesterday and taken a step into the world of terrestrial digital TV. After struggling a bit with the cabling (the TDT box primary output is Euro SCART, but all the stuff I wanted to connect to I am using S-VHS cabling for.) Discovered that my hi-fi amplifier could do RCA to S-VHS conversion in the end and luckily there is also a RCA video ouput and a coaxial SP/DIF output on the box.

Anyway this move took me from 20 channels where the image where unwatchable on 15 of them, to 30 channels all with good image and sound quality. I am a bit suprised that TDT doesn’t do surround sound though, or maybe its just my cheap ass TDT box not supporting it. On the other side when I went to get cables yesterday I did look at the other TDT boxes offered and was suprised that none of them seemed to offer better connectivity than my own box. I mean when you compete in what I would assume is a rather standarized market I would think one way to try to beat the competition is offering better connectivity options than your competitors. Yet none of the boxes had for instance optical sp/diff or s-vhs output for example. They seemed all to only offer the SCART, RCA, coaxial SPDIF and coxial audio left/right output. Of course even if I know have 30 channels that doesn’t mean I got 30 viewable channels, most of them offer little of interest. At least I have an antenna cable now capable of TDT which means I can be a tester when we get to implementing this stuff in Elisa.

Screenshots are so last year it seems, and everyone is now moving over to screencasts. Good news is that Zaheer has been working hard on making Istanbul the best screencast recording tool out there. With his latest changes Istanbul is capable of recording OpenGL based applications which in these days of XGL, AIGXL, Elisa, lowfat and so on being able to record OpenGL stuff is essential. So check out
Zaheer’s latest blog post for details

Also be aware that the latest versions of Cortado our Ogg Theora/Ogg Vorbis playing Java applet has a working seekbar now. If you check out the Elisa screencast you see that a seeker bar appears if you let the mouse pointer rest over the video image. With this you can host screencasts on your webpage and even allow people to seek in the online movies.

I guess I also should use the chance to pimp LugRadio live this year (and myself doing a talk there).
I'm going to LugRadio Live 2006

First release of Elisa!

Ok, so after a successful launch during GUADEC this year we now have the first alpha release of Elisa ready. Elisa is for those who don’t know it already our mediacenter solution for GNU/Linux systems (it actually works on MS Windows too as demonstrated during GUADEC). Currently it only contains some basic playback functionality and there is precious little developer documentation. But long term it will be a full PVR/DVB enabled solution with full suport for UPNP/DLNA systems. We will also document out plugin format and write tutorials on how to make Elisa themes. Hopefully many people in the community will find Elisa usefull and interesting. So jump over to the Elisa website and grab the first version for testing or to look at our selection of screenshots and screencasts. The screencasts are both available as downloads or viewable on the site through the Cortado java applet. People interested should join the mailing list or visit us in the #elisa channel on irc.freenode.com.

The Pain of Directories

As we are preparing for the first alpha release of elisa the question of file locations came up. In a media center solution you have IMHO halfway lost if you have to expose disk directory layout through the userinterface. Cause since the primary tool for using the GUI is a remote navigating directories and choosing files based on it is simply painful. In the set-top box situation this is not to big a problem as we can enforce certain defaults. But since we also want people to be able to run Elisa on their normal server/desktop systems we need to also consider how these are laid out.

There has been some long discussions about this in the GNOME community about defining special ~/Music and ~/Movie directories for instance that all applications default to. If this was the case we could just have Elisa default to parsing those directories too. Unfortunatly the progress on this has stalled due to what I guess is a combination of issues, one is how to handle localizations (on disk or in GUI) and if the especially the first who does the work to make it happen.

For Elisa we will set specific directories for this first alpha release that can be changed in the elisa.conf file. What the long term solution will be will depend on what happens elsewhere in the community. I just hope we don’t need to have a file manager/chooser module in Elisa long term. At least not one many people would need to use.

Want out of the box Vorbis support on the 770?

I know many of you have requested Vorbis support on the 770. Well the way we can make that happen is to demonstrate that there is a real interest in this. Nokia gathers statistics on what people report in their bugzilla and this is a big part of setting priorities going forward. So if you want Ogg Vorbis to be supported on the 770 device then please go to Maemo bugzilla and file a bug report requesting they add Vorbis support. I am going to do this myself this week, so please do so yourself and also tell anyone you know to do so too. If you don’t then you lose the right to complain about lack of Ogg Vorbis support on the 770.

Leaving Norway is almost impossible

It seems leaving Norway is one of the hardest things one could do. The Norwegian government have basically decided that Norway isn’t just a country, its a concentration camp. So even after living for almost two full years in Barcelona the Norwegian government refuse to accept that I have moved and demand that I tax to Norway for instance. Will be interesting to see how long it takes before the Norwegian government comes to accept that I actually have moved.