Older blog entries for Uraeus (starting at number 376)

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 release 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.

3 Dec 2004 (updated 3 Dec 2004 at 18:39 UTC) »

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.

28 Nov 2004 (updated 28 Nov 2004 at 22:15 UTC) »

Did various small tasks and cleanups today. Got a little bored so I tested out Monkey Bubble. Nice SVG graphics, cool tune and sound effects usin GStreamer. Perfect in my eyes in other words :). The sound seemed a little suboptimal though, with 'lags' here and there. I asked Ronald to test it out and see if he can figure out what is wrong, Monkey Bubble would be a nice showcase of GStreamer in games if it worked perfectly. If Ronald manages to get the sound perfect in Monkey Bubble I guess I should start pushing to have it included in gnome-games :). Or at least get Mathias to start packaging it in stead of frozen bubble. Anyway here is a little screenshot of the unpolished gem running on my computer.

26 Nov 2004 (updated 26 Nov 2004 at 18:09 UTC) »

Noticed a nice feature of Red Hat bugzilla today. When you update a bug which is set to 'needinfo' it automatically gets set to 'assigned' again. In GNOME bugzilla this has to be done automatically and I have often seen bugs which the maintainer have forgotten about since its stuck in needinfo mode.

Tim-Phillip Mueller announced a webpage for his GStreamer based DVD ripper today. Very cool! Early stage, but still very cool.

A new tool in FC3 is the network manager. Which for some reason I can not phantom has its binaries named with caps; like NetworkManagerInfo. I guess the tool is considered rather beta yet cause I have yet to discover anywhere in the menu or network tools on how to activate it, which I guess mean that unless you are not experienced enough to get it set up from the command line you are not meant to use it. It also seems to have a crasher bug. The network at home has the same name as the network at work (as it was the only way for me with the old system to get internet both at home and at work without having to reconfigure the network everytime.). At home the NetworkManager always crash, so I guess it gets confused or something that there is a network with the same name as one it knows with different parameters (or something like that, not sure where to look for logs that can tell my anything), probably in some weird directory called Logs somewhere :) Apart from this is works well enough :)

Have a big plan for the weekend to get a haircut. Basically I haven't cut my hair since I left Norway in June. Hope words like 'poco' and 'medio' will be enough to get a haircut within proximity of what I want.

Went through and cleaned up my papers today, have a nice binders now filled to the brim with NDA's, Patent agreements and all kind of tasty goodies :)

We are trying to challenge Wim into writing a theora decoder in assembly for C64, lets see what happens :)

We did a new release of gst-plugins today. A bit after schedule due to the freedesktop downtime, but still a nice release. Chained Ogg support and the new polypaudio plugin for instance. In addition to a boatload of bugfixes.

The release allowed Ronald to commit his backlog of patches, which among other things included surround support for selected GStreamer plugins and VCD/SVCD support.

Done a few screenshots of Totem recently one which is the new sample image on gstreamer.net, and the second showing Totem playing a Flash file using swfdec.

Been preparing a press release for the formal launch of Flumotion. Considering our pipeline I think I will get to do a press release on almost a weekly basis for a little while :)

The polypaudio debate on gnome-desktop devel has flooded over into kde-multimedia. Was especially happy to see people there voicing concern over wether there was a polypaudio GStreamer plugin or not. Which coincided well with Scott's interview where he also talks about GStreamer and KDE.

23 Nov 2004 (updated 23 Nov 2004 at 18:43 UTC) »

Turned out to be a slight caps negotioation error on the pipeline transfering information on the current capabilities of libcolorspace between Wim/Thomas and me. The word supports do not mean implemented I learned today :)

A glorious moment today as my new living room furniture arrived from Ikea today. One step closer to having the perfect appartment. Now I have no excuse to not keep the place tidyer though.

Saw the other day that Pamela Jones of Groklaw fame quit her job since she felt it was being used by SCO and MS to FUD linux and free software. That kind of dedication impress me.

Gotten some complaints that I have not made any buttons or posters for my GNOME Foundation election campaign. I appologize to any potential voters who feel unapreciated due to this.

If the puny piece of metal Nat got cost 18 000 USD, I am guessing becoming Wolverine is outside his budget.

Also very happy to see interest growing around David Schleef's liboil project. Ideally it could end up being used in swfdec, libcolorspace, libtheora and librsvg with current discussions.

Went to the cinema with Thomas and Kristien yesterday to see the new Bridget Jones Diary movie. Johan and Wim are now convinced I have a mental problem since I didn't go with Wim to see Aliens vs Predator instead.

Spider replied in his blog to my review of Vendetta. While after reading his mail I think some of my criticisms, of the level system for instance, where based on inexperience with the game, my main criticism still stands. That the game is not very good at generating a feeling of a 'living' world around you. Which was something Elite where good at. I also think the game is so alike Elite in a lot of ways including setting and gameplay that comparing it to that game is more than fair. And while I can symphatize with the fact that they are a small company and can't do everything at once, hey I work for a company with the same sort of challenge, I also feel it is fair to state what makes the game not entertaining enough for me, or at least not fun enough to start paying after my 8 hours of free play. I think the foundation is there though so I probably try again in some months to see how things have evolved.

Wim put the source to libcolorspace into public subversion today. It is an colorspace conversion library which does every colorspace known to mankind, or at least more than any other such library out there. The library is also more tuned for doing various kinds of optimizations than current libraries for colorspace conversion. Probably will be using liboil for some of the optimization work. When the first release is out we probably start looking into making it the default colorspace library for GStreamer, as opposed to the current forked colorspace library from ffmpeg. Guess libcolorspace will be our fourth default colorspace library, with Hermes, ffcolorspace, forked ffcolorspace and soon libcolorspace :)

Both Inkscape and librsvg developers are working on improving font handling. Followed the librsvg debate most closely and getting font/text handling perfect will be a though job. Current questions in a librsvg context is wether pango is suitable or if not suitable can it be made suiteable, and if it is not suitable and can't be made suiteable how can it be approached without Caleb and Dom getting an ulcer.

Got freedesktop CVS access again today, woohoo :) Now if only Iain will commit his ding caching abstraction system so we can start patching GNOME :)

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