Older blog entries for rbultje (starting at number 74)

Tonight, I released a first version of Cupid, a GNOME-/GStreamer-based video capture application. See http://ronald.bitfreak.net/me/cupid.php for the download page and screenshots.
Happy new year all. I have a bad headache... Mornings-after suck. Ohwell. :).

Hands in my pocket
Some people have shared thoughts and criticism on the help from around the world after last week's catastrophe in Asia. I can't understand this viewpoint. It is a gift. How can you possibly criticize that? In the Netherlands, people shared thoughts on how we should stop spending money on fireworks and spend the money on Asia instead. Wtf?!? If my contract said that I was supposed to spend money on things other than my own choices, I would've known, right? Other people criticized the US government decision to spend "only" 15, 35, or 350 mln. USD on Asia. Again, wtf?!? Get a grip dudes, it's not your money, it's not your decision. Hands off. The fact that I spent a certain percentage of my money on Asia is my choice just as well. I don't care what my neighbour does, and I definately won't speak bad about him just because he does not share my opinion on this. After all, it's a free world we live in.

Subtitles #3
GStreamer is da bomb. .sub file from GUADEC of 2 years ago, plus Jakub's cool GStreamer logo movie. TWD is near. :).
Subtitles part 2
Pics say more than words. You're welcome.
Lagging competition
Although GStreamer is said to be miles ahead of its competition in some aspects, we seriously lag in some pretty darn simple other cases. Worst of all, most developers don't feel like those simple cases are of any importance. We're seriously mistargetting our intended audience here.

Today, I'm working on supporting subtitles. This is not-so-easy because subtitles are non-continuous streams, easily allowing for threading deadlocks in the GStreamer design. But with some thinking and discussion with fellow developers, I have most basics working, and this automatically means that some subtitles are working already. Ok, so the font is too big and it's not Vera Bitstream; details, details.

Democracy can win
For the second time in a matter of days, the Dutch government had to withdraw a rather controversial decision. Only days ago, an agreement with software giant Microsoft for delivering software to more than 250,000 computers over a period of 3-5 years was cancelled after companies and organizations raised concern because European rules for required public biddings had been bypassed.

Today, the Netherlands had to withdraw an item from the EU council agenda which would approve software patents in Europe, thereby bypassing the governments wishes in Netherlands, Germany and Poland (who disapprove, but whose EU representatives were forced to approve nevertheless), and also bypassing the European parliament. Read the full story.

It seems like we're not screwed just yet. EP will have to vote again over this issue during the next term, and I sincerely hope that the representatives will this time actually represent their countries' real opinion. Death to software patents!

No-Bug-Week for GStreamer
In the past few days, we solved an incredible amount of bugs. Most are things that reproduce with only a few movies, or only for some installations. I think this implies that we *are* actually getting better. Finally. Bugzilla implies that we now have 163 bugs left. This excludes enhancements, gst-rec, gst-editor and gst-player. With those last modules included, we're now at 175. With enhancements included, we're at 217. Not bad, knowing that we were far above 300 only 2-3 weeks ago.

FFMpeg update
I recently updated the ffmpeg snapshot in our gst-ffmpeg module. I've now (at some point) done successful test builds (including optimizations) on x86, PPC and Sparc using Linux, Solaris or freeBSD. RPMs (as usual) of current CVS for Fedora Core 3 are available on this repository. Some nice new features include the support of h264, which gives us a new feature that even mplayer doesn't support yet.
Now if only I could get those friggin' gaming formats to work. :).

New York revisited
From my motivation letter: "Roughly one year ago, I stepped into the professor's office in Utrecht, the Netherlands. ``I'd like to give it a try'', was my short answer, and six months later I left off for New York City, leaving student life, a job as software engineer and my friends behind. Now, six months later, I've just finished my six-month visit at the Cornell University pharmacology research labs. It has changed my thinking. [..] The facilities at Cornell were amazing, the research was stunning, the people were very motivating and the city was a paradise for me. I want to continue living that life for many more years."

From today: "I submitted the email you sent to the Admissions Committee and they review your application. They have decided to invite you to attend the Weill Cornell Graduate School Recruitment Weekend."

I'm not there yet, but this feels like a dream already. I'll go back to Manhattan, I'll relive my dream-come-true. Thanks to all. Wow.

Documentation are the paria of the free software movement. The thing is, you know you need them, but you don't want to write them since it takes time. In the end, you spend 10x as much time explaining various things to people. And then you decide to write docs anyway. And then people rewrite stuff and it all falls apart.

Today, I uploaded a first version of a largely rewritten GStreamer Application Development Manual. Many parts need lots of work, but some parts are already useful (e.g. part2, the first chapters of part3 and the first two sections of part4). Feel the love.

One less reason why GStreamer sucks!
Uh uh, you can't say it anymore. Think of something better, dude! As of know, my local tree supports MMS, thanks to the wonderful work of Maciej. It'll soon be checked into CVS, and it'll be available in the next GStreamer-plugins release. Which is wonderful, because it means we have a whole bunch of features that just are dying to be released and tested, such as:
  • another many alsa fixes and speedups
  • svcd/vcd/dvd support (for totem)
  • surround sound support
  • mms support
It's kinda nice to see all our core devs (Dave, Benjamin, Wim) be busy with their 0.9 ideas while I have all CVS for myself alone to break and fix. Both Benjamin and Wim have a 0.9 branch (Wim in FDO CVS, Benjamin on Arch in his FDO homedir), I should soon check both out and grab the good bits.

Oh, let's not forget the necessary screenshot from this mms webstream.

Hm indeed! Happy to see the KDE people be happy with the app that I wrote, I hope to see parts back in other - more userfriendly - players such as kmplayer or kaffeine. In the end, let's hope KDE gets players with similar feature sets as Totem (ideally with GStreamer as a backend actively supported everywhere in the desktop environment).

I promise, I'm still a GNOME maintainer. ;).

Fabrice, from KDE.nl fame, came up with the great idea to organize a gettogether with several people interested in cross-desktop collaboration (think KDE, GNOME, other desktop environments). He wanted to specifically target multimedia, since that's pretty much of a hot topic lately in both KDE and GNOME. We hope to organize it somewhere early in 2005 either in the Netherlands or just over the border in Germany. All interested people (you're not required to be a devillish media-hacker, don't worry! Interest is good enough!) are hereby invited. We hope that some German, Belgian and Dutch people will show up. I'll try to be there, and let's hope Scott and Mark (from KDE-mm) will be there too.

Related, someone posted pictures from the Novell conference, where we had a nice gettogether and got social with the KDE-nl people. Here, you see me pillowfighting with one of 'em. ;). He survived, I swear.

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