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Computing

gstreamer port to Java

It has long been discussed in the java community about the lack of a good multimedia framework for the platform. After reading Chris Adamson’s wrap up of his JavaONE BoF I felt here is a cause I could really get behind.

I starting thinking yes wouldn’t it be great if gstreamer was ported to java. I started doing some research and grabbed a copy of the gstreamer cvs. But just as I was getting my hopes up I read that sun was going to do something about multimedia. But by the time I got to the end of the blog entry I realized that it is a smaller project of giving a common java wrapper for the platform services ie Qucktime on OSX, DirectShow on Windows and I guess gstreamer on Linux.

As the days went on and the comments on Chris Adamson’s blog kept commoning many people believe that a full stack is needed but no one is willing as far as I can tell willing to have a go at it. One even goes as far as to say that it is too hard because gstreamer usually just wraps other binaries such as ffmpeg and would just be too hard.

There is also the Cortado sub project of flumotion which is a very simple applet for viewing ogg theora videos. At it’s core there is a partial port of gstreamer that is undocumented and is very C-style coding.

So for fun I want to start trying a full port, so I have read the gstreamer application development manual and the plugin writers guide and now feel I have a fairly good understanding of what is under the hood and how much work this is going to be. I think alot more than I even realize right now.

A few design features I am thinking of going with now are:

  • Full java stack as far as possible only pure hardware plugins such as video4linux etc would call native code.
  • Rewrite all previous java implementations ie, jorbis.
  • Elements as POJO’s and use introspection for properties rather than a map.
  • Java SE 6 only.
  • Heavy use of java.util.concurrent.
  • Core released as GPL plus classpath exception and plugins most likely GPL.

Now I know it will be a lot of work and knowing me it will probably never be released but if you think this is a good idea and want to put you 2c’s in then please leave a comment.


Update: 16 Jan 2009

Well with the release of JavaFX and the fact that I never have any time to code outside of work I guess this idea will never actually come to fruition.

Open Java and Windows Options

Well it’s officially been announced that Java J2SE, J2ME, J2EE will all be released by sun as reference implementations under the Gnu GPL + classpath exception. Which I’m sure will bring a new era of Java, especially to Linux since Java will be able to be shipped with distributions without concern just like Mono is today.

I really hope this means the MVM will get done faster it would be a great thing for the platform.

On a unrelated note one of my pet peeves about Windows is the way that Explorer.exe works. The problem is that it is the window manager as well as the file browser. What I usually find is that the file manager will lock up the window manager which is most annoying. However there is an option to make them work in separate processes which users more memory but for the stability of the system it’s well worth it.
Edit In Seperate Process

wikidPad

For a while now I have been waiting for tomboy to be ported to windows because I am stuck in windows land for now because of my sound problem. However on the net it is always talked about having tomboy for Windows but no one has ever released anything that could be considered usable.

So I just started to search for a desktop wiki for windows and I came across wikidPad. It’s written in python using wxwidgets, it is uncompromisingly geeky. In that it is uses a wiki style markup and stores everything in text files, ahh the geekness. It has full regex search and incremental searching of pages. It exports to HTML for showing others.

So like Accountants use Excel for recording their thoughts and ideas I can now record in a wiki.

Other useful features is auto save and tags so you can always find what you were working on. I thoroughly recommend it for anyone who needs to record their ideas and loves not using the mouse, everything has keyboard shortcuts and it is a syntax based markup so no trying to find bold just type the syntax.

Death to open source by virus scan

Today for the first time my virus scanner here at work started deleting files. Identifying them as the Prockill-DF virus. It wasn’t going to take any chances and deleted the files what was interesting was what files it identified:

Are you getting my drift here it’s after all the setup programs for open source products. The problem has been identified by McAfee in 4629 DAT but this is a simple way to rid the windows world of open source products. Get the anti-virus to take them out for us.

Just look at them all.

MMMM Mustang

I hate to just blog about someone else’s blog but hey improvements in Java like this don’t come around everyday.

In the latest build of Java 6.0, Mustang, they have implemented a better register allocator and have managed to speed up the Hotspot Client by 58%. Now that is amazing and with other improvements like lock coarsening and escape analysis this platform is just going to fly. I can’t wait.

Thin Client Fun

After reformatting our old Celron 400 Laptop to Hoary Hedghog, Oh the joy of only having Linux on a computer. However since most of my time at the moment is taken up doing C# development and more importantly of the MS.NET kind rather than the Mono :(

But I was pleasantly surprised that Ubuntu comes with rdesktop a Unix remote terminal services client. So using my Windoz knowledge configured my main PC for remote goodness and then my trusty wireless laptop allowed me to use my main computer from anywhere in the house well use as much as 800×600 will let you these days :P

ep0in

For weeks now my computer, in Ubuntu of course, has been having trouble with ep0in at every boot my messages have been filled with:

Jun 14 08:36:45 localhost kernel: usb 2-1: hald timed out on ep0in

Which has in turn stopped hal from working properly so mounting my usb key most of the time just wouldn’t happen.

However last night we (My wife and I) moved the house around, moved the computer from the lounge room to the spare bedroom, and I noticed that our scanner, a old HP Scanject 4100c, was warm. So I thought in the interest of energy conservation I would hook it up to a separate power outlet since we don’t use it often at all.

This morning when I powered up Linux just went which was great! So after months of checking the Ubuntu forums and playing around with boot parameters I have a fully functional Linux system again :)! So in the end it wasn’t a buggy bios or USB drivers it was just an old scanner that I could turn off. Yey for Linux.

Well I should study for my exam that I have this afternoon.

Cups wrapper for HL-2040

I was fiddling around with the windows drivers for my Brother HL-2040 the other day and pressed the button to goto the solutions page lo and behold they had finally written a cups wrapper for their Linux driver :). I don’t really have any qualms about running proprietary drivers, ie. I run my nvidia Linux drivers already. So I went and installed them from the Brother Linux site and now when doing number-up printing it wont go off the page like it did for the open source HL-1250 drivers which I was using. And it uses the printer full 8mb of memory so it’s not pausing between pages :). I am one happy customer.

Oh yeah and I sent a tech request to them the other day because the printer was turning on with the computer and I actually go a reply saying to just “restart” the computer with the following operations:

  1. Turn the printer off
  2. Hold Go while turning the printer on
  3. Release your finger from the Go button when Toner light comes on
  4. Press and hold GO button again
  5. Release the GO button again when Paper light comes on

And fingers crossed Google picks this up so that people who my experience the same problem can get their answer.

Google on the desktop?

Just a quick thing I was reading that I found quite interesing while reading the Google Blog. That it looks like we will see Microsoft-Netscape type battle all over again but this time with the worlds most popular search engine.

Read the article on at the NY Times