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Flumotion 0.6.0 ‘Can Punyetes’ released!

Filed under: Flumotion,Releases — Thomas @ 9:36 pm

9:36 pm

Last week Jan Urbanski, one of our developers, released a new stable series of Flumotion. This release comes two years and a few months after the previous stable series’ last release, so you can imagine a lot of changes have gone into this new series! Basically, this release contains all the changes that two years of platform customers and a year of box/product testers have made us make.

This is Jan’s second release. We’ve had some discussions before the release because we didn’t necessarily agree on the strategies for releasing and branching, but in the end I managed to get mostly out of the way and Jan’s strategy survived more or less.

With Jan’s release strategy some things are now different:

  • Jan does not want to add new features to this stable series; you will get only bug fixes
  • To balance that, Jan’s made a solemn oath to do a new stable series within the next nine months, instead of the two years we managed this time.

My suspicion is that Jan wants to increase the frequency of stable series because of our Flumotion release tradition: new major/minor releases are named after a restaurant, and we go celebrate the release at that restaurant! Maybe Jan is just a hungry guy. (On the other hand, maybe he wasn’t thinking about restaurants after all – he had actually forgotten to plan for a release name until the last minute…)

This will be an interesting release dinner; I think last time we were maybe 8 people, now we’ll be probably double…

From my point of view this was the smoothest stable release ever, so smooth that I woke up one day and checked my mail and bang, the release was there!

Listing all new features would be a bit excessive, but let me cherrypick a few highlights (or, failing that, less important bits that I just happened to have a hand in myself):

  • A 200 page (at least last time I printed it) manual, mostly (re)written by Murray Cumming of Openismus. Murray did an excellent job of entering our little microverse, biting his tongue on the idiosyncracies in our concepts and distilling it all down to a useful manual that has found its way, ring-bounded and plastified, onto desks of our technical people without any prodding on my part! Ok, so what if half of it is auto-generated ? We still had to write the text that goes into those pages too!
  • A bunch of new producer components, like screencast, ivtv and rtsp, and a favorite called playlist-producer, which uses GNonLin to create a fake live stream out of an .XML file of ondemand files. See, using GStreamer was a good idea after all!
  • A consumer that lets you stream to an Icecast2 server. Yes, we’re friendly to our open source competitors! Contributed by – please come back! – Gergely Nagy.
  • a flumotion-nagios command that makes it easy to integrate Flumotion checks into Nagios and similar systems (Guess which monitoring system we use on our platform)
  • A switcher component, switching between different inputs, based on a manual trigger, the master going away (watchdog scenarios), or based on an iCalendar file; mostly massaged into shape by the firm but soft-spoken Zaheer Merali
  • aliased feeds, allowing multiple components to provide the same feed to downstream components, so that if one of the feeders fails the other one takes over. If memory serves me right this was done by the unshaveable Andrew Patrick Wingo back in the day!
  • Support for Dirac, the BBC’s open HD codec! Sadly it seems while this feature was added during 0.5 (by yours truly), it broke somewhere between GStreamer and Flumotion along the way. Go fix it team, so we can once again be a multi-open-format streaming server!
  • Support for Python 2.6!
  • A rewritten wizard/assistant, started by Johan Dahlin (the only person to have been hired by the Fluendo Group twice), and handed off to the unstoppable Xavier Queralt when Johan left to join LITL. As part of our box project, they have been completely reworking the wizard, and adding spiffy features like easy ondemand setup and addition of encoding formats to existing flows.
  • Rate control for ondemand serving, added by Michael Smith (possibly the only person who’s maintained two open source streaming servers at the same time) before he left for Songbird
  • More under the hood tools and debug options, process management, and daft things like ‘ssh into a python shell on the manager’, all safely tucked away behind a debug toggle
  • Tons and tons of fixes, optimizations, memory reductions, tweaks, by the whole team

Some thanks are in order too to Andrew Wingo and Arek Korbik for plodding ahead with the decidedly unsexy work of doing unstable releases over the last two years. Jan’s been standing on the shoulder of giants.


  1. Woot! Congrats to all involved!

    Comment by Jean-Paul Calderone — 2009-8-27 @ 10:07 pm

  2. Can’t you please get danish publich radio (old name) as a customer? Pretty please!!! :). I don’t have any contacts though :(.

    Currently streaming for mac/linux is handled danish consulting company (nordija.dk) that uses darwin streaming server….. And it doesn’t seem like they have a clue. (I’ve met a few of them work-related.. They do everything… mostly java :(….)
    1) The streaming for mac/linux is still en beta (for two years) and is pretty useless. (try it here http://www.dr.dk/hjaelp/drdktv/20080108145038.htm)
    2) Even with the new building and completely digital production… it takes 1-2 days for voice only podcasts to appear (!!!). I suspect it’s far from automated (I bet they have single podcast producing guy).
    3) They are bound by law to fix streaming in proper formats, so they have do something ;)

    Sadly, i really have no clue about media streaming, but it can’t be _that_ hard for a country this small :).

    Comment by frej soya — 2009-8-27 @ 10:14 pm

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