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Its my first time at fosdem, and I’m really impressed by the sheer size of the conference, every European Free Software developer seems to be here (its really nice to see old friends and meet new people, there just seems to never be enough time to see them all!). Also too many talks at the same time, too many interesting things to see! I also got to give my Farsight 2 talk (slides here) and the talking part when pretty well I think, but the demo sucked. We never got the network to work properly (not trying it more than 5 minutes before the talk ended up not being a good idea). So I had to do it locally with one camera and 2 test sources, its sad, considering how well it worked at linux.conf.au (see the LCA video to see it work). Also considering how many bugs I fixed since LCA and that I even got h.264 to work.
First, this is my first post on Planet Gnome, so I’ll introduce myself. I’m one of the developers of GnomeICU and Farsight. I work for Collabora, mostly on Farsight and related things. For those who don’t know, Farsight is the GStreamer based audio/video conferencing framework used in Telepathy. Its most prominent platform is currently Nokia’s Tablet, but its coming to a desktop near you soon.
For the last two months, I’ve been working on a complete redesign of Farsight, in an effort we call Farsight 2. The new generation RTP plugin is based on the excellent RTP implementation by Collabora’s own Wim Taymans. With it, we gain some exciting new features, most prominently A/V synchronization and multi-party conferencing. Also, the first generation wasn’t designed with video in mind and it wasn’t nice, but this time we’re trying to make it right. It’s now a GStreamer element that implements an interface, so it can easily be used in GStreamer based applications to give some of the integrated features Telepathy is designed for. I’m also trying to have nice unit tests, so we can try not to have the same kind of regressions we keep on fighting with Farsight 1. We also want to keep the API as simple as possible and well documented.
This week, I’ve finally reached an important milestone.. it works! So I had to make a screencast (sorry for cutting it a bit short at the end and no, its not slow, its the screencast thats 10fps):
For those who want to try, you need the CVS HEAD of gst-plugins bad, and for the demo gui, a patch to gst-python. Then you can try my git tree. It’s all very new, so if it breaks, you keep the pieces. I’d also like to thank Philippe Khalaf and Youness Alaoui who worked a lot on the design and all the people who wrote the code that was carried over from previous versions of Farsight.
Update: Oops, the git repository was not fetchable by http, its now fixed… Updated again: now we have a gitview and git server, so I’ll let the link point there instead
Last week was GUADEC in Birmingham, it was really fun, I got to see some old friends and also meet many people that I only knew from IRC, including many Collaborans, they really are a nice bunch. And even some Gentoo developers! There were lots of interesting talks, great Ale (and Pimm’s!).
Nokia also released a Developer Preview of the new RTCOM software which includes the latest version of Farsight. So you can now do calls to SIP services on your Nokia N800. We hope many people try it and find the interoperability problems before the next release. Many SIP implementations are at best barely standard and we’ve end up finding subtle problems with many services with tested.
See you all next year in Istanbul!!
Je suis arrivé à Birmingham cet après-midi pour GUADEC, on reste dans le Etap Hotel avec plein plein d’autres Gnomeurs. Durant l’après-midi, on a fait un tour du centre de la ville, c’est plein de batiments récent. Rien de bien extra-ordinaire à visiter pour le touriste en moi. Donc je suis dans le lobby de l’hotel, où il y a du free wifi avec les Gnomeurs!
I spent my whole weekend fixing stuff in GnomeICU. It started by fixing a few bugs.. And then I decided to port the visible/invisible/ignore/online notify lists to use the newer GtkTreeView instead of the old GTK+ 1 style GtkClist.. and I only stopped coding two days later. The MVC implementation is really nice and the GtkModelFilter thing is really powerful. I now have only one data store with the contact list and all the widgets that show the list (or parts of it) are just filtered views of it. And I also implemented my first drag and drop stuff (and it works!). And then when all of this was done, I realized that a bunch of things that worked with the previous versions have stopped working (like changing my user infos or sending contact lists) and obviously AOL still isn’t publishing its protocol. And that killed my motivation. Proprietary networks suck.
It’s also my turn to way in on the Novell/Microsoft deal. Obviously, I find it appalling that a major GNU software distributor would enter in such a deal. But I think it shows a great difference between Novell and Red Hat. And the difference is that there is no member of the Free Software community near the top at Novell. Red Hat was obviously founded by members of the community and they are plenty near the top. It seems that Novell is run purely by business people who are from a proprietary software background at best (and probably are business and accounting majors) and I’m pretty much certain that they had not foreseen the backlash and I’m not sure that they would have cared had they predicted it. That’s why Novell has such an erratic behavior from a software freedom perspective. Remember that Caldera/SCO was founded and filled by ex-Novell people and they were also always a bit ambiguous on the whole Free Software thing (although they did love of good things in the old days).
And finally, it seems that the free software people are winning at Sun. They are freeing Java under the right license. Bravo! And I think the whole community should thank them. Congratulations Sun! You are shinning brighter every day!
Miguel had an interesting comment about the release of Java to the effect that a large corporation could develop massive amounts of code better than a distributed community if it was really focused. And he seems to find that worrying. This really highlights the differences between the Open Source community to which Miguel seems to identify himself, which is interested in the collaborative development of software, instead of the FSF-style Free Software movement which is worries mostly about how the software is distributed, not how its built.
I was tired of having my Firefox not match the theme of the rest of my desktop since in GTK+ 2.10, they changed the theme format. My original plan was to have someone else make the newer package.. But well, I waited and waited and no one else did it.. So I decided to take the plunge. But I could not find a nice script to build them, all I could find was the content of each package on herbs’ devspace. So I decided to try to automate the process as much as I could, in a 32bit chroot with this make.conf and using this script, you it should be possible to rebuild the next generation of packages with minimal effort. Just one tweak, there needs to be a lib32->lib symlink for every lib directory in the 32bit chroot. And it requires quite a bit of patience… The emul-linux-x86-gtklibs-2.10.6 package is now in the tree. I’ll try to see if I can fix the other bugs, it seems that we need a new version of openssl and libasound at least.
I also fix more GnomeICU bugs, I guess I’ll have to make another bugfix release this weekend.
Since I upgraded to Gnome 2.16, I had to enter my password three times on login (gdm, ssh-askpass and evolution/gnome-keyring). and there are limits to everything. Recent blog posts on Planet Gnome inspired me. So I tried to do the same thing on Gentoo. After a lot of wrangling, I ended up finding/fixing two bugs in pam_keyring and getting a working configuration. If you want to do the same thing, emerge sys-auth/pam_ssh and sys-auth/pam_keyring and look at the gdm example in the pam_keyring doc.