Re: Helix Player virtual team meeting

Hi Rob,

On Wed, 2003-12-10 at 21:13, Rob Lanphier wrote:
> > Being one of the GStreamer developers, I'd like to advocate this point
> > too. Given the current license of the (closed-source) Real codecs
> > included in Helix, it's hard for us to add proper Real support to the
> > default Gnome media framework. If you guys are looking for true
> > integration in the Gnome desktop, GStreamer is the way to go. We already
> > provide Gtk+/Gnome video widgets, integration in the file manager, etc.
> We're looking for integration into GNOME, but we're also looking at 
> producing a world-class, *cross-platform* multimedia system, and we've 
> got to focus on the one we've got (Helix).  While it's theoretically 
> possible to port GStreamer to Windows, Mac OS, and Symbian (for 
> example), it's *done* for Helix.
> If we allow our codecs to be used by other multimedia frameworks, we're 
> just encouraging more splintering -- for Linux developers would work on 
> improving GStreamer (improving the experience only for Linux users) 
> rather than work on Helix (improving the experience for everyone). 
> Besides that, we would have to convince Intel, Sony, VoiceAge and many 
> others that this is a great idea, since much of what is in RealAudio and 
> RealVideo is licensed from them.  While it would be extremely generous 
> for us to do this, there's not much of a business case for RealNetworks 
> to institute such a giveaway.

There's little choice, really. Helix isn't the default media framework
for OS X, Win32 or Gnome (KDE doesn't really have one at all, so I'm
omitting that). Helix is an add-on for each of them. If you want to add
codecs to WMP on Win32, you wouldn't develop a codec for Helix. Instead,
you'd develop a codec for DirectShow. Why? Because it's the default
media framework there. And that's how it works for OS X or Gnome, too.

The first few emails discussed desktop integration for Helix into Gnome,
and we answered that the simplest way to do that is simply to make the
Real codecs available into GStreamer. I'm not stopping you guys from
improving Helix, I'm just trying to say that integrating parts of Helix
into Gnome won't necessarily bring it any closer to the end user,
because it's simply "not there" in a default Fedora Core 1.0 install.
GStreamer is.
If you're aiming at a great media framework for cross-platform work,
Helix is definately your choice. It works on all platforms you've just
mentioned, it works well and is being used by many companies in such
settings. GStreamer doesn't, you're right there. I don't think anyone is
aiming at that right now, either.
If you're aiming at Gnome desktop integration, Helix isn't a good
choice. Or rather, there's easier ways to accomplish that. GStreamer has
all video applications + widgets, audio applications, file manager
integration, etc.; the initial email proposed to recreate each of these
(based on Helix); I doubt that that's the best way to do it, for exactly
the same reason as that porting GStreamer to win32 wouldn't bring it
up-level with Helix yet.


Ronald Bultje <rbultje ronald bitfreak net>
Linux Video/Multimedia developer

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