Chef de Cambuse

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Entries in the Category “Gnome”

Going to FOSDEM 2010

written by Frank, on Feb 5, 2010 5:50:00 PM.

FOSDEM 2010

Actually I just arrived in the really nice hotel in Brussels

Park-Hotel

after a remarkable unspectacular flight.

Will later meet Philippe for dinner and probably discuss some last-minute modifications - nah, just kidding - of our Mirabeau presentation about creating personal media networks and bridging UPnP over XMPP on Saturday 6th in the Jabber/XMPP dev-room at 16:00 o’clock.

Having dinner before the beer-event is actually quite a good idea™.

I’ll do another presentation on Sunday morning in the CrossDesktop room at 11:00 o’clock titled Coherence - the Digital Living room and beyond.

Stop by if you are at FOSDEM too.

This time I had planned to fly out on Monday evening, to have some time for sight-seeing, but we have decided to take part in the XMPP Dev Challenge.

So probably again no time for visiting the Atomium.

Atomium

going to GCDS

written by Frank, on Jul 5, 2009 4:30:00 PM.

Well, not quite yet. Again a heavily delayed fight, but at least not canceled yet.

My plane was supposed to leave today at 13:20, apparently it is broken and they need to get a replacement aircraft over. My confidence in Condor is a bit shaken.
But at least they handed out two 10€ coupons for food and beverages - that will allow me to throw a party here if I can’t make it to the one on the island tonight. ;-)
For the moment I made myself comfortable in a small bistro here with my own power-outlet.

Departure is now scheduled for 20:00, meaning I won’t be in Las Palmas before midnight.

Anyway, hopefully being there ready for the talks on Monday morning. The talk Philippe and I am giving is on Tuesday morning, which I’m now somehow quite happy about.

Pont Mirabeau - an UPnP bridge

written by Frank, on Jun 30, 2009 10:56:00 PM.

What started over a year ago as a vague idea and got more concrete in a first prototype last October, is now ready for a first public beta - Mirabeau, an application level proxy for UPnP devices using XMPP as a transport to establish a connection between two or more local networks over the Internet.

Or in less technical terms, it allows the DLNA capable TV at your parents place to access for instance the images of your last vacation stored on an UPnP MediaServer in your home.

Mirabeau is part of Coherence and utilizes the D-Bus interface there to create a transport layer over XMPP with the help of Telepathy’s tubes.

Philippe and I will give a presentation about it during this years Gran Canaria Desktop Summit.

Mirabeau addresses the issue that UPnP is only meant to be used in a local network. With Mirabeau we are able to easily interconnect two or more networks and the UPnP devices therein. All that with a simple, well-used setup - Jabber, and without the need for complicated VPN-tunnels or similar techniques.

Philippe wrote already about our first successful - world premiere - connection with our two networks in Spain and here in Germany, where we tested the whole infrastructure with the UPnP-Inspector.

What I would like to highlight here is the point that arbitrary UPnP devices do participate in this.
Mirabeau is a transparent bridge for UPnP devices on the application level, not only an ‘I can share my media collection between two instances of the same software’ setup.
Which is of course nice too, but we lifted that to a more higher level and instantly integrate everything that can talk UPnP - PS3, Xbox 360, Totem

Nokia MediaStreamer browsing Phil's server in Spain

An unmodified UPnP application on the N810 - Nokia’s MediaStreamer is browsing Phil’s server in Spain.

And the same by a Playstation 3:

PS3 browsing Phil's server in Spain PS3 browsing Phil's server in Spain

So if you are interested in this or want to know more don’t miss our talk @ GCDS, or join us on IRC freenode #coherence.

working at (train à) grande vitesse

written by Frank, on Jun 6, 2009 9:31:00 PM.

I’m usually not using trains, the city I live isn’t that well connected to the German railway system, so usually I’m faster by car or for longer distances I go by plane.

But for the travel from Valras-Plage to the Trophees du Libre in Soissons I had chosen to use the TGV - there is a direct train connection between Beziers and Paris that covers the distance in a bit more than four hours.

I booked première class - it was only a few €s more than seconde, and I had learned from my trip to Paris for the KDE/Coherence sprint that there is no power outlet at the seats in the second class in a TGV.

The ambience in the train was very decent. A lot of space - I had booked a single seat with a table, no people yelling into their mobiles, more or less all have been muted, and everybody speaks with a lowered voice.

In that pleasant atmosphere I used the ~ six hours time to work on some of the loose ends in Coherence.

  • creating a picture-frame MediaRenderer that should serve as an example on how to implement a simple MediaRenderer
  • the implementation of a Digital Security Camera device, based on the general purpose GStreamer pipeline element from the TestStore backend
As you might see on the first result, I’m quite pleased with it.

1st webcam image

And I do now understand people a bit better who always told me how great traveling by train is.

Prizes!

written by Frank, on Jun 6, 2009 10:48:00 AM.

Coherence has been awarded the “Prix spécial du Jury” - out of the 130 competitors of this years Trophées du libre contest and in addition made second place in the “Media” category.

N’est-ce pas magnifique!

A huge MERCI to all of you making this possible, to the jury and to the organizers of the Trophées.

Prizes!
Erwan and Frank being very happy Erwan and Frank being very happy
Champagne and snacks at the Mairie of Soissons Champagne and snacks at the Mairie of Soissons
PS3, Sheevaplug, Denon amp and Prizes PS3, Sheevaplug, Denon amp and Prizes

The Sheevaplug was kindly donated by Marvell to support further development on this truly awesome device - thx again Rabeeh, and DENON France has graciously provided us with one of their high-end DLNA-enabled amplifier to demonstrate a real user living-room experience.

Presenting Coherence on the Trophées du Libre Days

written by Frank, on Jun 5, 2009 2:18:00 PM.

Erwan and I are presenting Coherence here in Soissons.

setup @ Soissons

We just had our first presentation to the jury of the ‘Media’ category, more will come in the afternoon.

So keep your fingers crossed!

Finaliste!

written by Frank, on Apr 24, 2009 8:12:00 PM.

Coherence is one out of four finalists in the category “Media”
of this years Trophées du libre.

Kudos once more to Erwan Velu for his magnificent promotion!

media collection playing - the DLNA way

written by Frank, on Apr 23, 2009 3:00:00 PM.

Media collections - being it all songs from one album, a list of favorites, or an image slideshow - have not attracted much attention in the world of UPnP A/V.

Of course there are the ContentDirectory objects playlistContainer and playlistItem, but these - if at all - are mostly used to point to some M3U file. And in addition, the client has to support that format. Another drawback is that M3U files don’t fit very well into the UPnP A/V philosophy. A ControlPoint will only know about the M3U file, but not which item of it is played at the moment. Or what metadata is associated with that item. Neither are next and previous operations implementable.

So the task of handling the collection was handed off to the ControlPoint. It was responsible now for holding a list of items to play and to instruct the MediaRenderer to load and play the next item in the list the moment the previous was finished. With the drawback that this list has to be created somehow first.

Same for the autonomous MediaClient, like the Playstation 3 or the XBox 360, their internal part of a ControlPoint usually just continues with the next item in the container.

Now that wasn’t a big issue in the days when we had only autistic autonomous MediaClients, but now more and more real MediaRenderers - meaning alongside to their internal client UI they are (remote) controllable by a ControlPoint - are available. The new Sony Bravia TV 4500 or 5500 series are maybe the most prominent example.

But the DLNA specification offers an interesting approach - they created the dlna-playcontainer URI.

That’s the uri for an additional res element a MediaServer can add automatically to an existent container.
Encoded in the uri is

  • the UDN of the device, the MediaServer
  • the service type, usually a ContentDirectory
  • the container id
  • the id of the first item
  • the index of the first item
  • the optional sort-criteria
  • the max-depth information - aka the level of subcontainers, optional too
It looks a bit like this:

dlna-playcontainer://uuid:fe814e3e-1234-4321-1431-383fb599cc01?sid=urn:upnp-org:serviceId:ContentDirectory&cid=1441&fid=1444&fii=0&sc=&md=0

With that information a MediaRenderer is now able to call a Browse action on the ContentDirectory service of that device and retrieve all the items of that container. And propagate with AVTransportURI/AVTransportURIMetaData the “dlna-playcontainer” uri and with CurrentTrackURI/CurrentTrackMetaData the track item uri and the corresponding metadata.

I’ve started to add that functionality to the Coherence MediaServers and to the GStreamer MediaRenderer.
It will be part of the upcoming 0.6.4 release of Coherence and the 0.2.2 release of the UPnP-Inspector.

As the specification doesn’t describe the whole thing in detail and I haven’t seen yet an UPnP A/V MediaServer beside Coherence supporting this I’m glad about any feedback.

Coherence UPnP BinaryLight Demonstrator stands to EU proposal IP/08/1909

written by Frank, on Apr 1, 2009 11:23:00 AM.

For immediate press-release:

The Coherence DLNA/UPnP project announces today that its UPnP BinaryLight Demonstrator adheres to the European Commission’s proposal for progressively phasing out incandescent bulbs.

“Once more Coherence demonstrates hereby its innovative and forward-looking orientation and emphasizes being the number one DLNA/UPnP framework of the world!” says Frank Scholz, lead-developer of Coherence. “We hope that others will follow our example and throw overboard their frumpishness.”

Independent experts assert that the energy consumption for displaying this image of an energy-saving light bulb is less than 20% compared to an incandescent bulb. And that this image will last at least five times longer too.

BinaryLight Demonstrator

European energy commissioner Andris Pielbalgs delightedly expresses: “Even such a small appearing change can make a big difference!”

Germanys ex-chancellor Helmut Kohl said “This is an excellent example for the innovative strength of Germany and Europe, and I encourage the current legislation to use energy-saving light bulbs for illumination of the data-highways too.”

Frites, Belgian Beer and Pizza-Snack

written by Frank, on Feb 10, 2009 9:02:00 PM.

FOSDEM was great!

A much larger embedded dev-room, free bus-transportation from the venue to the train station and even a cloak-room!
Thanks to all the people there for making that event possible.

For someone living in one of Germany’s wine-areas attending the FOSDEM Beer Event is quite a challenge.
I read that this year the bill was a new record, exceeding 10.000,- €.

And it was time for enjoying some other Belgian specialties too - at the best chippy, at least the best that was open on early Saturday morning and in walking distance from the Delirium Café.


Larger View

I had switched from car to plane as I feared a bit the announced snow in Brussels and did not wanted to end in some other 100km traffic-jam driving home on Sunday evening, but not one snow-flake showed up over the weekend.

But that gave Lufthansa the opportunity to serve me another culinary extravaganza on my flights to and from Brussels.

Pizza-Snack

PS: Remind myself next year that the Godiva store near the venue is closed on Sundays.
PPS: Our spontaneous Coherence meeting was a big success too, but more on that in separate post.