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Flumotion 0.8.0 ‘7 Portes’ released

Filed under: Flumotion,Releases — Thomas @ 21:04


Just after leaving on holiday, taking him eventually to New York where he's relaxing now, our local release machine Xavier Queralt released Flumotion 0.8.0.

This release contains many goodies, but probably the star feature is support for WebM and VP8, Google's new codec and container.

Beside that, I'm particularly excited about some of the video effect support (notably deinterlacing, giving us better full PAL/NTSC quality) and the generic decoder element (allowing you to take an incoming encoded stream, decode it, and re-encode it to different formats).

Feel free to vote for Flumotion

Filed under: Conference,Flumotion — Thomas @ 12:13


If you enjoyed the world's first live webcast in WebM/VP8 at GUADEC this year, you can send us a small thank you by voting for us in the streaming media awards. We think that our integration of WebM into Flumotion in only two days deserves recognition as being innovative and I hope you'll agree!

I'll be talking about this and other things at the Open Video Conference in New York first two days of October.

Flumotion streaming VP8 in Ogg and WebM

Filed under: Flumotion — Thomas @ 14:12


For personal reasons, I haven't been blogging lately, but lights are starting to prick through the clouds.

The past week however was a very interesting week in multimedialand as I'm sure most of you already know. In a nutshell, Google bought On2, a codec company (responsible for VP3, the seed for Theora, and VP6, used in Flash). Then they released VP8, their latest codec, as an open source codec.

Read all of the other posts for the nitty gritty about patent issues, code and codec quality. But it was amazing to see the community active, patches show up everywhere for programs, and rallying to make open source do what it does best.

Meanwhile, back at the farm (our little streaming company), a bunch of our hackers got excited too and executed on the match made in heaven. Zaheer's blog has all the details, and yesterday all I did was check out a bunch of code and run this simple Flumotion launch line:

PYTHONPATH=`pwd` FLU_DEBUG=4 bin/flumotion-launch videotest-producer ! vp8-encoder ! webm-muxer ! http-streamer

And it Just Worked in the WebM Firefox build.

The part I like best about this ? I didn't have to do a single thing, or say a single thing, or ask a single thing, to get our guys excited and hacking and delivering. Just as well, because again for personal reasons, I wouldn't have had much time or energy to help them out.

It makes me proud to be a CTO of this company. A big thanks to Zaheer, Andoni, and Xavier, and anyone else I may have missed because I wasn't paying attention.

Flumotion streaming Slamdance’s Filmmaker Summit

Filed under: Conference,Flumotion,movies — Thomas @ 18:34


As a collaboration between Mozilla, OpenVideoAlliance, and Flumotion, we're streaming the Slamdance Filmmaker summit.

The stream is in Ogg/Vorbis/Theora, and I'm happy to see an event like this being streamed with an open codec, using our open source technology, on our platform.

Go read the full press release.

And I owe Javier from our support team some Champagne Truffles for setting up the stream between the cracks of our usual process - Javier, the box of chocolates is next to the big pinguin's feet at work!

Flumotion 0.6.0 ‘Can Punyetes’ released!

Filed under: Flumotion,Releases — Thomas @ 21:36


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.

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