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From mpav@purdue.edu Thu, 29 Jul 1999 23:41:57 -0500 (EST)
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 23:41:57 -0500 (EST)
From: Matthew R. Pavlovich mpav@purdue.edu
Subject: [Livid-dev] DVD Decoder

I have started looking at what it will take to start talking to the DVD
upgrade module on the G200 cards over the media bus. There will be a new
module called zoran-dvd for code related to this. 

I am on a semi-rant, but while I am motoring...

I plan on re-organizing the web site, I don't think people understand what
the Zoran docs are for. I have not recieved any interest in starting a
code base for it, so I definitely want to get that going.

Matthew R. Pavlovich

From pvolcko@concentric.net Fri, 30 Jul 1999 08:46:51 -0400
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 08:46:51 -0400
From: Paul Volcko pvolcko@concentric.net
Subject: [Livid-dev] I am back, really...

> As far as merging the lists, I think we definitely need to do it, anyone
> know if it is possible to merge archives? One thought I had was to move
> the Linux-dvd list and create a few new lists, livid-dev for general
> stuff: api's, etc. Change linuxdvd to livid-dvd and run with that. Add
> livid-mga for the video, livid-mpg for software playback (I am going to be
> in contact with ppl at Loki about bringing SMPEG to the CVS tree).

I don't know if it makes sense to attach the general list to the Livid 
product. It seems that your project is expanding significantly from 
it's first inception, to now include software mpeg and ac-3 playback, 
the mga decoder playback (the original intent), and to handle css 
software decoding development as well. I think this is good. It will 
take quite a bit more work from a design and integration standpoint, 
but it can be well worth it in the end. But with this expansion it 
seems a lot of smaller subprojects are being put under the umbrella 
of livid. As such I think it make sense to keep the general list "non-
affiliated" so to speak. 

For instance, the project I'm in will not be going open source before 
the first version is ready to go (it's possible it won't at that point 
either, but that remains to be seen). We will be maintaining it 
seperately and it goes under the name of LSDVD. It would be good 
if we could post our general information in a neutral hosted list 
dedicated to linux dvd development issues, as LinuxDVD is now. 
While I don't know if an change over from linuxdvd to livid-dev 
would actually stop us from posting (we are not really concerned 
about any implied affiliations, thats a little to "corporate" in my 
view), it may stop other projects or even companies from 
contributing. Sigma Designs and Creative Labs especially seem 
relevant, particularly with their new cards and chipsets in 
development and linux support most likely to come. 

It may seem like political bullshit... and it mostly is. But that is the 
way that things are with this section of the entertainment/computer 
industry. We can push for a non-affiliated general list (with project 
specific lists hosted by those projects as is the norm) and be able to 
more easily solicit widespread involvement... or we can go with a 
livid based general list which may turn off some potential 
contributors from participating. I think it is worth playing the political 
game in this instance and go with the project neutral general list.

Paul Volcko
LSDVD Project

From pvolcko@concentric.net Fri, 30 Jul 1999 09:07:00 -0400
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 09:07:00 -0400
From: Paul Volcko pvolcko@concentric.net
Subject: [Livid-dev] DVD Decoder

> I plan on re-organizing the web site, I don't think people understand what
> the Zoran docs are for. I have not recieved any interest in starting a
> code base for it, so I definitely want to get that going.

Good call on reorganizing. Probably be best to have a seperate 
page for each of the modules you are supporting under CVS and 
grant the module maintainers control of those pages. Of course the 
obligatory main page with livid development news and whatnot. :)

I'm seeing something in this development effort (in general not with 
livid specifically). There doesn't seem to be really wide interest in 
it. Of all the people on this list and linuxdvd, I'd say 10-12 are 
actively involved in the codebase development of any given project. 
This isn't a criticism of the list readers, by any means. It is 
understandable that not everyone can contribute. It is in fact very 
good that so many have signed on to recieve the two lists, if only to 
keep up on development and offer "moral support" . :)

But it would seem that there is a lot of work to be done with not 
enough people to do it all at once. Just within the context of livid, 
the project seems to have become much wider in scope. When this 
kind of thing happens the goals of the original project become blured 
as people start to work on the sub-projects, especially when those 
sub-projects fit more into their goalset (as opposed to the original 
project's). Perhaps it would be good to restate the livid projects 
intial goal set. I know that I've become confused, and I would gather 
that is the case for some others out there as well. 

Livid started out as a hardware based (Matrox daughter board) 
development effort. Now several software decoding oriented 
modules have been added to the project. As has been seen on the 
lists, software support seems to be of more concern to people in the 
near term than hardware (although many would go with a hardware 
solution if it was available, I'm sure). With the addition of the 
software based CVS modules into the livid tree, has the 
development goals shifted from hardware to software decoding? 
Then wouldn't it make sense that the zoran and MGA portions would 
probably get left to the wayside as the software decoding is worked 
on? What is your intital goalset for livid?

Or are you looking at having the software modules in the livid cvs 
server as more of a public service function and not necessarily part 
of the livid project in any direct way? If not you should probably 
make it clear that they are there to support the community, but that 
they won't necessarily be contributing to the Livid project by 
electing to work on those modules.

Sorry for the long post.

Paul Volcko
LSDVD Project

From jrepetto@francenet.fr Fri, 30 Jul 1999 16:59:19 +0200
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 16:59:19 +0200
From: Jean-Claude REPETTO jrepetto@francenet.fr
Subject: [Livid-dev] DVD Decoder

----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Volcko <pvolcko@concentric.net>
To: <livid-dev@livid.on.openprojects.net>
Sent: Friday, July 30, 1999 3:07 PM
Subject: Re: [Livid-dev] DVD Decoder



> I'm seeing something in this development effort (in general not with
> livid specifically). There doesn't seem to be really wide interest in
> it. Of all the people on this list and linuxdvd, I'd say 10-12 are
> actively involved in the codebase development of any given project.
> This isn't a criticism of the list readers, by any means. It is
> understandable that not everyone can contribute. It is in fact very
> good that so many have signed on to recieve the two lists, if only to
> keep up on development and offer "moral support" . :)

I think some people would like to help, but this project is not easy.
Several important specifications are not freely available (MPEG2,
DVD, CSS, Hardware ICs and cards such as C-Cube, Sigma Designs,
Creative Labs). Reverse-engineering of Windows programs is long
and tedious.
When you have the specs or the algorithms, you have to be able to write
real time (optimized) programs for Linux.
If you want these people to help, the project manager should define
some tasks to be done, then ask for help on each task.

Personally, I'd like to do something in this project, but I am not ready for
that :
I have installed Linux only a month ago. I have discovered the Linux
Programmer Guide only this morning ! I have a lot of thinks to learn
before I can help.
I have a Pentium 200MMX , with a Matsushita DVD SR-8583 (IDE)
and a Hollywood+ MPEG2 card.

Sorry for my bad English, I am french ...

Jean-Claude REPETTO

From aholtzma@ess4.engr.UVic.CA Fri, 30 Jul 1999 16:09:14 -0700
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 16:09:14 -0700
From: Aaron Holtzman aholtzma@ess4.engr.UVic.CA
Subject: [Livid-dev] DVD Decoder

It would seem that Jean-Claude REPETTO (jrepetto@francenet.fr) said:
> I think some people would like to help, but this project is not easy.
*snip*
> When you have the specs or the algorithms, you have to be able to write
> real time (optimized) programs for Linux.

You're right, getting into this "project" requires a _lot_ more technical
background than most free software projects. But I think we have
enough hairy people around to make things happen. It won't happen
overnight, but the wheels are starting to turn. If you want to wade
in, you should be able to find the MPEG specs at your local university
library (look for ISO 13818 and ISO 11172). 

cheers,
aaron

From derek@spider.com Sat, 31 Jul 1999 02:46:43 +0100
Date: Sat, 31 Jul 1999 02:46:43 +0100
From: Derek Fawcus derek@spider.com
Subject: [Livid-dev] DVD Decoder

On Fri, Jul 30, 1999 at 04:09:14PM -0700, Aaron Holtzman wrote:
> But I think we have enough hairy people around to make things happen.
> It won't happen overnight, but the wheels are starting to turn. If you
> want to wade in, you should be able to find the MPEG specs at your
> local university library (look for ISO 13818 and ISO 11172). 

Hairy is correct. I went and bought 11172 ~= 160 GBP, 13818 I've
got for free. The actual spects take a bit of reading/parsing.

-- 
Derek Fawcus derek@spider.com
Spider Software Ltd. +44 (0) 131 475 7034

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