May 21, 2010
As you all know by now, exciting moves from Google on the WebM project have lead to them open-sourcing On2’s VP8 codec to provide a freely available video codec for HTML5 content. Collabora Multimedia worked with Entropy Wave to add support to GStreamer for the new codec from day 1, and I was really happy yesterday to update my Debian system and get the support installed locally too. Thanks to our and Igalia’s fine work on GStreamer HTML5 support in WebKitGTK+, Gustavo Noronha found it worked out of the box with Epiphany too.
Predictably, the MPEG-LA aren’t too pleased with this, and are no doubt winding up their PR and industry allies at the moment, as well as this opening a new front on the Apple vs Google ongoing platform battle. But if your business model is collecting money through what is essentially a protection racket and spreading FUD about patent litigation, the VP8 license implicitly creating a zero-cost zero-revenue patent pool is not going to be good news for you (from the department of Google deleting your business model). The question is now whether the allure of Google’s content will win over against the legal chest pounding of the patent trolls, and whether they start flipping switches to make YouTube only serve up WebM content after a while.
Also in amazing and incredible news, Collabora’s Telepathy/GStreamer/GNOME/Debian/general R&D guru and staunch Web 2.0 holdout Sjoerd Simons has actually now got a blog after a mere 3 years of us suggesting it to him since he joined Collabora as an intern. He’s been hacking on some RTP payloader elements for VP8 so we can use it for video calling on the free desktop. All very exciting stuff, especially in conjunction with Muji (multi-user video calls over XMPP) support heading into Telepathy thanks to NLNet‘s ongoing support.
October 14, 2009
Telepathy Q&A from the Boston GNOME Summit
The first Telepathy session session on Saturday evening at the Boston GNOME Summit was very much of a Q&A where myself and Will answered various technical and roadmap issues from a handful of developers and downstream distributors. It showed me that there’s a fair amount of roadmap information we should do better at communicating outside of the Telepathy project, so in the hope its useful to others, read on…
July 9, 2009
Empathy / Telepathy BOF at GCDS
Flyby blog entry. Been an awesome week, hope people enjoyed the Collabora party last night. Getting to the GNOME Shell BOF this morning was a real struggle, but I really like the way its going. We’ve scheduled an Empathy BOF for Friday at 15:45 in room 2-4, hoping to talk with folks about improving the accounts UI, tracker/addressbook and GNOME Shell integration.
Aside from that, we’re planning to hack on Empathy for basically the whole day, looking at MC5 porting and UI polish, so there will be a big load of Collabora folks and friends somewhere. Will update when I know where.
January 23, 2009
Auctions, Beards, Conferences and Devils
It’s the last day of the most awesome linux.conf.au 2009 conference in Hobart, Tasmania. I’ve just witnessed the a room full of 500 people sit with baited breath as Linus wielded a set of clippers to shave Bdale Garbee‘s beard, followed by Bdale (with a razor with 3 more blades than last time he shaved, a tiny bowl of water and a hand-mirror) trying to make it look neater. The LCA twitter feed was up on the projector, and someone rightly observed this whole event was actually pretty weird. There are already pictures on flickr too. However, well done to Bdale for being such a good sport, but it looks like his wife Karen will accompany him next year to make sure he doesn’t agree to anything else like this, and supervise the waxing of Rusty‘s chest… 🙂
What’s this all in aid of? After the incredible auction for this beautiful picture from Karen, and generous donations at the Penguin Dinner on Wednesday night, the conference has now raised between AU$ 35k and 40k towards the Save the Tasmanian Devil appeal. Around AU$ 1.3k of the nonsensical winning consortium’s AU $10.6k bid came from the Collabora folks who were at the dinner, and AU$ 1.2k from Collabora and Collabora Multimedia directly. We were all set to place a winning AU$ 3k bid but then Matthew and Daniel came up with the Bdale shaving scheme, and then things really picked up. I’m glad we took part – the lead scientist from the project was really grateful, and I hope the money can make a real difference to their great work.
On more mundane matters, I also gave my talk this morning, and my slides (Telepathy slides v2.0 thanks to Marco) are online. I also made a few demos of new awesome stuff you can do with Telepathy (most of the patches are already merged upstream or well on the way):
- Geolocation support (XEP-0080) support in the XMPP backend and Empathy, using GeoClue to find your location and the libchamplain Clutter & Open Streetmap widget to display where your contacts are. Thanks to Pierre-Luc, Alban and Daf for their work here – more details on Pierre-Luc’s blog.
- Support for launching file transfers over link-local XMPP from Nautilus using the Empathy plugin for nautilus-sendto. This is already merged upstream but needs a patch to work with trunk Empathy. Thanks to Marco, Jonny and Guillaume for their work on this.
- Alban also made a neat hack to Rhythmbox which allows exporting your DAAP music server to one of your contants over a Telepathy Stream Tube. Thanks also to recent work from Marco, these tubes now go over XMPP’s SOCKS5 Bytestreams, giving much better throughput than the earlier in-band implementation, network permitting. The next step is unleashing the full might of our libnice NAT traversal library, signalling tubes with Jingle, and therefore making connections work peer to peer in up to 95% of the cases. However, this won’t affect the APIs, stuff will just go faster! Isn’t Telepathy wonderful?
- Olivier stepped up to show off the demo from his talk about Farsight, which shows his branch using the new telepathy-farsight library to allow recording Telepathy video calls directly into the PiTiVi video editor. His network was screwed up so it didn’t work, but I did see it work in his talk yesterday! Awesome stuff, hopefully Edward and friends can pick it up and merge it in before too long.
- Unfortunately we ran out of time for Will to show off Guillaume’s recent work on Telepathy-enabled Abiword on the desktop (rather than just Sugar’s Write activity), but I expect he’ll blog about it soon!
On that note, these were just the five that I picked to try and fit into my talk. There are a load more demos in the pipeline from the other guys in Collabora of doing stuff with Telepathy, so keep a close look on Planet Collabora for the next cool thing.
May 11, 2007
Tubes and Planets
Daf blogged earlier about some of the work we’ve done thus far for the One Laptop Per Child project. Tubes (although the picture looks more like snakes if you ask me :D) are a really cool technology which should let the OLPC activity authors just work on their activity, and use D-Bus and Telepathy to take care of the communications.
At the moment our implementation for Gabble (Telepathy’s XMPP backend) is pretty rudimentary and sends all data via the server, but this already lets us layer multi-user tubes over XMPP multi-user chat rooms and have it act like a bus where each member of the room is also a D-Bus endpoint. You can export objects, call methods and emit signals just as normal.
Next up we’re going to implement them in Salut (the link-local XMPP backend, which we’ll use for communications over OLPC’s mesh networking) using good old TCP for the one-to-one connections, and some of Sjoerd’s more exciting link-local multicast stuff for multi-user tubes. To make tubes work for desktop clients we’re going to go on and look at more advanced Jingle-based ICE NAT traversal stuff.
Maybe one of our next ports of call should be raw stream tubes for existing TCP protocols, then we can make a reality from X over Jabber (or whatever other protocol) that Matthew Allum was wondering about. 🙂
I’ve also just stolen Planet Collabora from Daf’s home directory and put it on its own subdomain, so you can add it to your feed readers and keep track of what we’re up to with Telepathy, Farsight and friends.
December 16, 2006
Telepathy and OLPC (part 2)
I’ve been away from the office for a couple of days, but when I got back to Cambridge, Daf and Sjoerd had some pretty cool stuff to show me:
These screenshots are taken by using an environment variable to tell stream-engine just to create an xvimagesink for any call, but Daf’s writing a simple pygtk UI which handles embedding the output window into the UI properly and should make placing/receiving calls slightly less mystical. Even so, a graphical video call APP in ~150 lines of python… not too bad if you ask me. 🙂
December 12, 2006
Telepathy and OLPC
We got an OLPC prototype at Collabora last week, and have been playing with the Telepathy VOIP/IM framework on the devices. Using telepathy-gabble’s (our XMPP backend) Jingle implementation, and telepathy-stream-engine with the Farsight GStreamer RTP library, we got a bidirectional voice/video call going pretty quickly using a few lines of python and a bit of hackery (patches to follow :D).
We’re going to polish this up into an activity you can install, and also Sjoerd Simons has been working with us on telepathy-salut, an XMPP Link-Local (also known as Rendezvous, Bonjour, iChat, whatever) backend which we’re hoping to also get working as part of the OLPC platform.
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