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Name: Michel Lespinasse
Member since: 2000-05-18 13:07:48
Last Login: 2007-10-15 21:01:53

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I started using Linux in '95 when I was a student. I did contribute a few patches, some of them made it into the kernel, but nothing major really. I was also a demo coder in a former life.

I am now maintaining the libmpeg2 and liba52 projects. Both were started by aaron, but now he's working full time on commercial projects and has basically no time left. I'm quite happy of the work I did on these libs - they are really fast, and everyone starts to use these. I consider these projects my first real contributions to the free software world.

Before that I had worked on another mpeg-related project - at university I started the VideoLan mpeg2 decoder with other students as our second year project. However the students who took over the project after us didnt seem to understand^Wlike our implementation and they rewrote stuff from scratch several times :-/ Anyway after a few years this project got in more responsible hands and they're now doing a great job - check it out. They are starting to use the libmpeg2 codebase too, and I hope we can go further on that path.

On the professional side, I'm working at VMware.

gnupg key : pub 1024D/086C8803 2000-04-24 Michel LESPINASSE
Key fingerprint = CC8C E586 C508 60AA A54B ABEB 7033 3081 086C 8803
full key on pgp.net


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OK, so I got married on December 26th. Yay :)

I recall there has been a discussion here about digital photography and how most photographs do not like to provide full resolution pictures - just like 'film' photographs do not like to provide negatives, because they prefer to make you pay for the reprints instead.

I'm happy to say I found a photographer who did not give me any hassles - he gave us all the high-resolution pictures he shot (all 850 of them :), and this is just part of his standard contract. Also he came with his wife, who was shooting too - this is nice because she could shoot the guests when he was shotting us and vice versa.

Anyway - for anyone who's looking for a wedding photograph in the SF bay area, I would highly recommend them: http://www.manuelandjulie.com/

The instructions are: Grab the nearest book, open it to page 23, find the 5th sentence, post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

Say you have a 6% 30-year Treasury bond.

Or if I take the second closest book:

Oh! je sais, c'est pas tres reluisant pour un honnete pere de famille de rambiner des dames aux terrasses des cafes, mais je vous avancerai, pour excuse, que ma femme est frigide comme tout le pole Nord.

Oh well :)

mpeg2 stuff

raph: You mention the lack of a common way to export mpeg2 flags in an exchange format to be used between a decoder and a recoder. One option I've been considering here, would be to add these as a text comment in the pgm header. In mpeg2dec, there is a pgmpipe output that is mainly done to be used in transcoding applications, maybe the textual flags (as you can get with -vvvv option) might be exported there as well.

Other than that... I suppose you could use libmpeg2 as a library... if you're looking for an already integrated solution, have you looked at ffmpeg and/or gstreamer ?

mathieu: I have read that great article How to write shared libraries from Ulrich Drepper. I was quite enthusiastic - seems like there's a thousand things everyone writing a shared library should know, but I had never seen these written up anywhere. Great stuff.

In particular, I was very interested by Ulrich's comments about -fPIC code. I've heard a thousand persons before him tell me that the -fPIC overhead is negligible, blah blah blah. Well it's not in my experience - in libmpeg2 the -fPIC overhead is about 8% (on an athlon CPU). To me, negligible is defined as being below 1%. But, the very interesting thing I learnt from Ulrich's paper is that if you use gcc's visibility attribute so your library's internal symbols do not get exported, gcc (>= 3.1) can use that knowledge to avoid generating PIC code. Supposedly this should get rid of most of the -fPIC overheads.

So I was very excited to try it. But all I got out of it was a gcc warning: `visibility' attribute directive ignored. Even Ulrich's own C example gives me the same error. And it still generates PIC code for places where it should not have to.

Now I feel cheated... The whole PIC infrastructure is a huge mess. libtool also has a -prefer-non-pic option for those who want to avoid the PIC overhead on architectures that can tolerate this... but the damn option is broken, it still tries to generate non-pic code on some of the architectures that dont tolerate it... It's not even difficult to test for, it's a 20 line autoconf macro, but why use libtool and why does it have a -prefer-non-pic option if you're still required to worry about architecture specificities...

Is anyone else using the AT&T (well, now comcast) @home service from a linux box, and occasionally (actually, fairly frequently in my case) getting high (say, 50%) packet loss ? If you do, I might have a workaround. I'm guessing that windows users are not affected by this AT&T broadband bug, due to subtle differences in the behaviour of their ARP cache. When I finally understood what happens and how to fix the issue, I thought it was fairly funny :) I still have no idea what this network behaviour is supposed to accomplish though.

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