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Is xine dying?

Good question. Bastien blogged about switching Totem to use GStreamer backend by default, and I’ve started to wonder.

Where are the old devs? Most of them seem to be vanished in thin air; Mike is obviously occupied with release of Flash Player, but the other ones? Miguel returns from time to time, send a mail or two and vanishes again. Thibaut said he’s not able to proceed with the needed redesign of the input plugins. But when it was time to shooting down the GIT conversion, they seemed to be all available :/

I’m not sure what’s happening, but xine really needs a lot of code cleanup, a branch for 1.2 version to a least, rewriting the input plugins structure as Thibaut already said, rewriting the plugin loading code, so that plugins providing settings don’t need to be preloaded every time and time is not wasted parsing a human-readable file for a cache, rewriting the demuxers so that they don’t do the same thing in four different ways just because they were written at different times, and possibly implementing a libavformat demuxer.

If I could be working with GIT, I would be the first one working on such a branch, as I have quite a lot of things I think that should be changed, like the separation between internal and external libraries (as Mike pointed out some time ago, leaving the libraries internal is needed to avoid having tons of extra dependencies when you build xine-lib, and is something users like when they are building by themselves, but it’s a pain in the ass for the distributors, especially the ones bound to remove the “patent troublesome” code. A better way to do this would be to just isolate the contributed code in a different directory in the code structure, and leave it there unchanged so that it does not change behaviour between the external and internal library — libdvdnav, anyone?).

I think I’ll try a more reactive approach when this job is completed and I’ll have more time (really, working on a project where you don’t have yet the data to work on, and you need to “simulate” it is already enough bothersome, add that I don’t even have the HTML interface, and thus I need to work on stubs, and you can understand how annoying is this… it’s a matter of 10 to 20 lines of PHP code per file, not much, but if I have to write it now, and then helping later to put it on other html pages, it’s just a waste of time :/).

Comments 1
  1. Maybe you can throw out a call for developers on the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter? If no one steps up, (or they don’t know what they are doing) ask the gstreamer people to raid the code for what it is worth, and remove the cruft from gentoo. That said, I like xine and use it over gstreamer wherever possible. I’m willing to bet someone is out there that wouldn’t mind working on xine and the plugin structure you mentioned.

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