[gst-devel] Re: RFC: GNOME 2.0 Multimedia strategy

Erik Walthinsen omega at temple-baptist.com
Sun May 20 21:23:41 CEST 2001

On Sun, 20 May 2001, Jim Gettys wrote: (leaving context for fwd to gst-dev)

> I believe we want a (relatively) simple audio server, that exposes most
> things to clients (and can be audited for network intrusions).
> The issue is we don't have a good one.  We have at least 4 not so good
> ones.  And it needs to be satisfactory to not just Gnome, but KDE and others.
> (thank you very much: I want to be able to have both Gnome and KDE apps
> playing audio on my desktop at once).
> These include:
> 	esd
> 	NAS
> 	AF
> 	A nameless one Keith Packard wrote.
> And there are others I can name, if I scratch my head for a while.  Each
> is deficient in some way or another; some more deficient than others.
> Such a server needs to be coordinated with the X server using the X
> syncronization extension.
> To try to solve all the world's problems (and world hunger), for multimedia
> in one place stikes me as a violation of modularity.  No matter how hard
> you try, you'll not get it right.  I can tell you (first hand - I am coauthor
> of AF, one of the inadaquate servers we have available), that just doing
> the audio server by itself is enough to keep in one's brain at once, without
> worrying about all of multimedia streaming requirements.
> So I believe strongly we need to keep separate the signal processing and
> internal needs  (including synchronization) of an application mostly separate
> from the problem of mixing audio streams from different sources
> (applications).  If you do this right (allow explicit control of time,
> as AF does), multiple applications can synchronize quite nicely on the
> rare occasions that they need to.
> So lets see if we can get two threads of discussion going here:
> 	1) an audio server, to deal with the multiple client and hardware abstraction
> 	problem,
> 	2) the general signal processing/synchronization needs of applications.
> The two should only be loosely coupled (making sure 1) provides what 2)
> will need to get its job done, and acknowledging that there will, over
> the years, be many more instances of 2) than of 1).
> So I claim 1) needs to be much more than a Gnome discussion to succeed.
Definitely.  On the linux-audio-dev list right now is (among other
semi-related topics) a large discussion on a Rewire equivalent for Linux.

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