[gst-devel] Red Hat / Novell / Real announcement

Thomas Vander Stichele thomas at apestaart.org
Tue Jun 29 08:56:54 CEST 2004

Hey Joshua,

> Hey y'all --
> I was a bit shocked and surprised by the joint announcement by Red Hat,
> Novell, and Real that Helix will become the default media framework for
> the Red Hat and Novell desktop offerings. It seemed to me that the
> community (especially the GNOME community) had more or less agreed that
> GStreamer was the F/OSS media framework we were all looking for and that
> Red Hat and Ximian supported its tight inclusion into the GNOME desktop.
> So what happened? I'm just wondering if you guys have some insight I
> don't.

Yes, we do, actually :) Some of us are at GUADEC right now.  There's no
real need to worry yet, we just need to fix our technical issues.  I've
talked with Nat and Havoc, we've talked with people that are interested
and care, we've discussed issues both on the corporate side and the
community side, and we are making plans.  Give us some time, we are
discussing possible options.

If you read the press releases carefully you'll also pick up on some
things; the Red Hat and Novell press releases don't really say the same
thing.  I'm also guessing that the only reason Real GPL'd the framework
is exactly because of pressure from these companies they have been
courting.  I'm sure the technical guys at Real were pushing for this
heavily, but sadly it's the marketing guys that decide what happens.  So
there must have been a good reason for the marketing guys to allow a
GPL-ing combined with two other licenses.  This deal was probably the
key point in achieving that.

Calling yourself the "de facto media framework on Linux" doesn't make it
true overnight.  We wouldn't be so bold to make that claim out of the
blue (yet ?).  At least for GNOME, it's not entirely impossible to put a
GPL framework in the Developer platform (not the Desktop), but there'd
need to be a very good reason.

Also consider the timing of this announcement - it might not be a
complete coincidence that it is done on the same weekend that a
GStreamer-based company is doing the GUADEC streaming, streaming a
convention in Ogg/Theora+Vorbis for the first time.  They know GStreamer
is there, and they don't take us lightly.

We've also had (as a company) had talks with the FSF on concrete info on
the licensing status of GStreamer and friends, and as community members
discussed or are discussing with Colin (RB) and Bastien (Totem)
regarding these issues.

I can't really comment on anything more publically, logically speaking. 
If you want to take this off-list, feel free to poke me some more.

All this really means is that the race is on - we can be in the game if
we want to and beat them to it.  It really is up to us as a team to rise
up to the challenge.

Does that help a little ?


> Thanks!
> -jag
> Links:
> http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/06/28/1225245&mode=thread&tid=162&tid=188&tid=99
> http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/28/technology/28linux.html

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