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Part of my allergic reaction to Asiegos post was an undertone which perhaps was not intended-when you state the x was the y of it’s day, you are saying that it’s days are numbered-ie. something else is going to replace it. Although I am not averse in the slightest to some new media framework competing with Gstreamer I just do not see any on the horizon. Helix has not gotten any uptake from the larger community. Xine and friends(ffmpeg, mplayer/mencoder, faac/faad etc.) have proven to be too legally “iffy”  for the commercial corporations spawning around FOSS projects and for commercial corporations which distribute Linux.

The whole legal/corporate politics of this stuff makes everything so damned complicated. All of these headaches because of mp3 royalties, decss, DVD menu navigation patents, h.264 patents etc. Even Helix is in the same boat. If their were no commerical interests in Linux we would all be using Xine and friends. Unfortunately the companies, in the FOSS community,  which hark the most on questions of patents and royalties are the same ones positioned to profit from the sale of such encumbered IP.  They of course are not the cause of the problem, but that they profit from this problems existence just leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth. From my POV I have payed the Frauenhofer Institute and the corporations behind MPEG-LA/MPEG2/CSS etc. over and over again-each time I purchase a device which can play this content the people who created these algorithms have gotten money from me-I fail to see why I must keep paying more and more money to more and more companies to get the right to play back the stuff which I already have bought. I know the legal reasoning but my gut tells me this is just plain wrong. And of course this all conspires to prevent people from freely(both in the sense of code and monetarily)  accessing the media of the world-which they are already paying for-  without paying even more money to corporations to do so legally.

From this perspective I cannot see any other FOSS media frameworks displacing Gstreamer in the foreseeable future. Any future attempts to develop such will end up facing the same BULLSHIT ISSUES again. Gstreamer is not perfect but it is the *only* solution which has proven viable in the FOSS world-ie. that the community embraces, and which is *squeaky clean* enough to enable commercial corporations to invest in it. And although I do have a bitter taste in my mouth about the damned patents and royalties I do not see Gstreamer as being merely the commercial interest of Fluendo(which is selling these codecs) and Collabra-maybe mistakenly, I see Gstreamer as a genuine grass-roots community-based  multimedia framework which has grown in size and capability to enable corporations to offer services and commercial applications based on it.


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