Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I promise to stop hacking and get to work

For the last couple of days i've been hacking pretty heavily on my gst-editor, another gstreamer project closely related to pitivi. I've made some serious progress in terems of UI, but there are some wierd bugs that have basically led to an impasse. In any case, it's time for me to start work on PiTiVi in earnest. Working on gst-editor has taught me what I need to know about gstreamer and goocanvas.

There is one main barrier to working on PiTiVi, and that is finding a reliable and efficient way of setting up a gstreamer development environment. Now that Edward has written his QA system for gstreamer, a large number of bugs are being fixed. This has led to rapid changes in gstreamer, which is on a monthly release cycle anyways. It's much too fast to rely on a distribution like Ubuntu to keep pace. I have been tinkering witht he idea of installing Gentoo or Arch linux, especially on my eeePc, which I'll be taking with me to europe. Holding me back is the knowledge that configuration will take a long time. I have grown used to the "it just works" nature of Ubuntu. For the most part, I want other people to make choices for me. There are only specific areas in which I want to override those choices: gstreamer, power management, network management. I don't care who makes the choices, as long as it works. I am suspicious that ubuntu doesn't include a complete gstreamer distribution, but I don't know how to check. Do I contact the package maintainers? Even if I build my own packges, I'm still limited by the dependencies that ubuntu includes. If there's some plugin which uses a library that ubuntu doesn't support, then it doesn't matter if I go to the trouble to build it myself.

Chicken an egg. I really wish I had a local gentoo guru who could get me past the initial setup quickly, so that I could concentrate on my work and not the system configuration. When I was using debian, nothing ever worked right. I can only imagine that gentoo would be similar in terms of leaving me a lot of work to do in order toget a user experience similar to what Ubuntu offers. On the other hand, ubuntu is p*ssing me off as of late: their power management system as of 8.04 is terrible, it's bloated, thunar *never* seems to be able to unmount disks, and 8.04's kernels don't support eeepc hardware out-of-the box. I had to go out of my way to set the machine up in the first place. If have to tinker with ubuntu, maybe I might as well just install a more flexible distribution. Sigh....


pierre said...

Not sure that installing gentoo on an Eeepc is a good idea except if you are doing cross-compiling on a "real" box and only emerging binaries on the eeepc. SDCard are not good in read/write. I'm afraid that compiling gentoo directly on the eeepc will kill your ram disk too quicly.

For a rapid setup of gentoo choose a stage3 method.

Laszlo said...

Just use Ubuntu and use the gst-uninstalled script from gstreamer CVS, which changes all your paths to point to a locally compiled version of gstreamer.

This is how we do Jokosher development, and we all use Ubuntu. We don't compile the video plugins except for the ones that come automatically, but whenever I've needed a new plugin I just apt-get the library and then ./autogen.sh && make in my local gstreamer directory.

If there really is a dependency that is not packaged in Ubuntu (or in a launchpad PPA) then it is usually not that difficult to compile it manually, because you only have to do it once.

For us Ubuntu is way easier, but everyone has their preferred distro.

fransman said...

... b.t.w. did you enable all the Ubuntu repository's, by un-commenting hardy, hardy-security, hardy-backports, hardy-updates, hardy-proposed and hardy-security? It got to be on in the Ubuntu sources.list, for main restricted universe and multiverse.

Or do a search in Google for Hardy Sources.list to find more about it.