Re: Gnome Media Library

# 	Cool.  Having a media interface similar/identical to BeOS would
# give us the added benefit that BeOS programmers would be comfortable
# writing Gnome applications, too.

Interesting - I hadn't actually thought of that! The core of the BeOS is
downloadable free from, and the documentation for the Be
classes are all on the site, too.

I do have all of the Be Developer Newsletter issues from the past 18
months or so, which has a lot of examples & stuff in, but I'm fairly sure
I'm not allowed to redistribute them :( There might be archives in the
Developer section of the Be web site.

I've found in the past that the folks with Be aren't quite as faceless as
most commercial OS-producing corporations, and are usually happy to help
people with projects. I'd've though that if the GNOME media library
matched Be's, it would generate interest both GNOME and BeOS - something
I'm sure they'd be quite happy with :-)

# 	The GStreamer link from the media home page has some interesting
# stuff, but we should get the opinions of BeOS developers, MS DirectShow
# developers, and whatever the Mac uses and try to come up with an interface
# that is (a) familiar to experienced media programmers and (b) has a
# sensible architecture.  It would be even cooler if pre-existing codec
# modules could simply be "ported" over to this new Gnome architecture.

That would be somewhat groovy - although it'd be quite a big task. I'm not
familiar with the Mac media architecture - all I know is that it's mostly
QuickTime based. DirectShow is all (obviously) part of the ever-growing
DirectX stable, and uses COM for everything (I've never been able to
figure out the benefits of using an RPC mechanism for real-time media
handling!) That shouldn't alter the basic structure of it, though.. the
basic API would be the pretty much the same if "normal" C++ classes were
used, I'd hope.

I have a feeling, though, that DirectShow codec plugins are pretty much
the same internally as the old MCI ones, although I could be wrong. If
this is the case, then they just use a bog-standard C interface which
could be implemented (reasonably) easily if anybody had the energy and
desire to write a portability layer for it. :-)

I think trying to get portability for codec modules would probably be a
fairly long-term goal, however. Getting the opinions of media developers
on the various platforms is, of course, a very good way to start.

# P.S.> Does anybody remember IFF from the Amiga?  "Interchangeable File
# Format", I think it was called.  A sound file, or picture file, or
# whatever would be called filename.iff and all applications knew how to
# deal with it (this was in 1985!).  Gawd, the Amiga was cool.

PaintShop Pro can deal with IFF *images* - under the good old DeluxPaint
header (anyone else out there remember running DP on the old Amstrad PCs
under DOS? :) Interestingly, the signature of Windows' WAV files is "RIFF"
- any relation?

Mo McKinlay                                T: +44 (0) 709 22 55 05  x1
Chief Software Architect                   F: +44 (0) 709 22 55 05  x3
inter/open                                 E:
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