[gst-devel] Why porting Gstreamer to Windows would hurt Redmond .....

Christian HJ Wiesner chris at matroska.org
Fri Apr 16 02:25:09 CEST 2004


i am turning to the Gstreamer list again on this matter, sorry for that, 
but it seems we havent made any progress here since a couple of weeks 
now, so pls. be nice with me if you are not really interested in this, 
my apologies out front.

There has been a lot of discussion between robux4, jcsston and BBB on 
the matroska-devel list ( 
http://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.multimedia.matroska.devel ) recently 
about the sense in making Gstreamer dependant from C99 compliant 
compilers, or not. I am not a coder, but i understand from what they say 
that there are good ways to get rid of the ominous vararg macro's 
completely, making a native Windows port of it possible.

 From BBBs reaction i see that he doesnt feel like moving one jota off 
his position that its M$ who have to make MSVC C99 compliant to make 
this porting happen ( without forking that is ;-) ), but by no means he 
is inclined to give up the using of these vararg macro's for the 
Gstreamer project. Now, please allow me to list a couple of reasons why 
IMO you should consider doing that :

- As stated on the matroska-devel list already, you guys should 
definitely have an eye on the compilability of Gstreamer for embedded 
devices based on µC Linux, and i understand from robux4 that their 
compilers also have a hard time supporting vararg macro's, dont know if 
its true. Just think of a µC Linux based DVD/MPEG4 player operating on 
Gstreamer !! PANASONIC and SONY have already announced such devices, and 
they certainly do have the programming power to make those, and with a 
good firmware, but what about all the small players in the market, say 
KENWOOD or DENON ? For these companies, using an open platform like 
Gstreamer on their devices could be the perfect solution, their 
programmers could even help developing it further, without becoming 
dependant from the big players, but still without giving their 
'competitive advantages' ( if they have any ) to their direct competitors.

- One of the main reasons for Redmond to *NOT* make MSVC C99 compliant, 
is maybe that they are hoping to bind developers to the Windows platform 
with that, and to make porting of software for various platforms other 
than Windows more difficult. After all, they know very well that most 
commercial software has to be released for Windows *also*, to ensure the 
software company sells enough copies to be able to survive. As a result 
of this, by supporting a compiler standard which is not supported by the 
main compiler for Windows, you in the end *HELP* Redmond to keep their 
monopoly status, because commercial software developers wanting to use 
Gstreamer as the framework for their apps, cant release it for Windows 
that way, so in the end they are *FORCED* to make it based on DirectShow 
for commercial reasons ( they need to eat, and buy food for that, thats 
for sure, and the average Linux user doesnt buy a lot of software i bet  
;-) ), with the Linux world being left out ( again ) ....

- With Quicktime never being well supported on Windows ( QT 6 Pro is 
payware even ) and with no Linux support, as a matter of fact, 
DirectShow is the deFacto standard for multimedia platforms these days, 
and most commercial video applications ( players, editors, capturing 
software, etc. ) are based on it. This is giving M$ the perfect basis to 
push WMV into the market, because they are the *ONLY* ones who know all 
the undocumented stuff in DShow allowing them to implement a real 
working DRM and other stuff. Again, if a working alternative multimedia 
platform for Windows would exist, and app developers had a choice other 
than using Directshow, and even with a chance to be able to easily 
launch their software for the Linux world also, dont you agree you would 
hurt their monopolistic activism a lot ?

*Again : a working Windows port of Gstreamer could hurt Redmond's 
monopolistic multimedia status  !!! No kidding, think about that when 
making your decision !*

So, if anybody here has problems with a Windows port because he wants 
Gstreamer to be exclusively usable on Linux desktop's and hates Windows, 
well, IMO you should rethink your point of view here.

What i understand from the matroska team is that using GCC is no option 
for porting gstreamer, for reasons i dont know and won't comment on. So 
please, have an internal meeting and make a decision on how we could 
come together. After all, we are still interested a lot in making this 
happen, but we wont maintain a parallel MSVC version of Gstreamer, with 
the need to rewrite every single plugin to make it compile. I very much 
hope you guys could move into our direction in this matter.

Thanks for your interest

matroska project admin
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