goal of kde-multimedia ?

Scott Wheeler wheeler at kde.org
Mon Feb 23 17:34:01 GMT 2004

Hash: SHA1

On Sunday 22 February 2004 21:34, Alexander Neundorf wrote:
> maybe to make things a bit clearer, what is actually the goal of 
> kde-multimedia ?

> But, be honest, are there any wide-spread KDE-based multimedia applications 
> out there ?
> For sound people use xmms, for video mplayer (or xine). There are several 
> kde frontends for mplayer.

JuK and RhythmBox have begun to make large dents in the xmms hegemony.

MPlayer and Xine are fine short term solutions and I'm glad that we have KDE 
wrappers around them, but I think pretty much all of the multimedia 
developers focusing on the Linux desktop at this point recognize that they're 
a dead end.

Both GNOME and KDE are moving away from monolithic applications such as 
mplayer and xmms -- really you've possibly picked the two classical cases of 
terrible design in the Linux multimedia world.

> IMO what we need is the ability for any app to say "play this sound file", 
> usually notifications. This is done by knotify. One simple method: "play 
> this file" This doesn't have to offer many features. Playing some standard 
> file types and output to OSS/ALSA/MAS and other important "sound servers". 
> This one shouldn't depend on much non-KDE stuff (except the basic coded libs 
> for a fixed set of sound formats). This should probably provide additionally 
> a more or less easy to use library with slightly lower level functions: 
> start/stop/ pause/seek/ for the same set of file formats. No effects, no 
> channel mixing, no synchronizing functions, nothing fancy.

Alex, if you really want to see this happen I think you're going to be going 
at it alone.  You're of course welcome to write such a layer and try to 
convince the bulk of the KDE community that such is the right way to go, but 
I don't think you'll really find much enthusiasm for that approach within the 
KDE multimedia crowd.

> Now for "real" multimedia applications: IMO the best way to get some good 
> apps/kparts is to work with the established projects. 
> This means: working together with mplayer and xine, videolan, etc. , and 
> adding the kde-required stuff directly *there*. 

I'm all for working with other projects; you just picked the wrong ones.  ;-)
> What other multimedia apps do we need ?

Now?  Or before KDE 5?  Again, the recent discussions have been about 
architecture and not specific apps.  Multimedia is a pervasive desktop 
component that occurs outside the scope of watching movies with a movie 
player and such.  It's mixed in with other content on the web or otherwise.

I guess saying "MPlayer and XMMS should be enough" to me is kind of like 
saying "Why would you want to be able to parse HTML in anything other than a 
traditional web browser?"  If you look around KDE it's pretty clear that a 
well designed component can have general applicability; Linux has one of the 
worst multimedia desktops at the moment.  A decision to lock KDE into a small 
set of monolithic applications would just make things worse.

> So, what is the actual goal ode kde-multimedia ? Do we want to implement our 
> own versions of mplayer, xine, xmms, videolan with our own super-integrated 
> system or do we simply want to get some nice kde-integrated multimedia apps 
> out to the people ?

The goal of KDE multimedia -- at least in my opinion is to have (a) a 
framework in which to develop multimedia enabled applications and (b) to 
develop a set of those applications that are thought of as the standard 
multimedia applications for a modern desktop.

> PS.: Discussions about the bad code of mplayer are pointless, it works 
> great, is fast, many developers, widespread usage and the code *is* 
> understandable (I wrote some patches, it is possible). It's not that nice, 
> but you can find your way through it.

Crappy code can be fixed; crappy design usually can't without major surgery.
Again, sorry Alex, but I personally feel like most of your arguments and goals 
are overly simplified and short-sighted.  I'm also not sure if you're 
volunteering to work on these as I don't think you're going to get many other 
developers rallying behind your vision here.

To be clear -- if I were making a distro today I would have a KDE frontend for 
mplayer as the default video player, but when looking to the future -- KDE 4 
specifically -- I'm hoping that we can *finally* get stuff moving in a 
direction that will build a future for Unix desktop multimedia rather than 
giving up and saying "Well, this sucks but it plays stuff..."  I think we can 
do better than that.

I'm also not saying that I'd sacrifice everything for a design that gave me a 
warm and fuzzy feeling.  Fortunately there's a lot of work that falls in the 

- -Scott

- -- 
New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin.
 --Mark Twain
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