Older blog entries for stevebaker (starting at number 1)


We had a real nice time in Gent. thomasvs showed us around and found us some good food to eat - his flatmates were friendly too.


I haven't been doing much for the last month or so. I've been too wrapped up in finishing my job and getting ready to leave the country. But now I've pulled finger and got the media info table showing in gst-player. I've only got 1 week of broadband access left so I'll have to make the most of it.

Yawning Chasm of Uncertainty

When I get back to NZ I intend to try my hand at consulting/contracting. I have no idea how its going to work out but right now I'm really motivated to make it viable. I need to get in touch with every industry contact I know in Wellington to see if they have any contracting work. Longer term I need to build up my marketing skills to sell myself as an independent consultant. This is all quite scary but I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Database abstraction

I've been playing with PostgreSQL, SkunkWeb and PyDO recently as an excuse to learn Python. I have developed web applications with many frameworks and languages and SkunkWeb is most definitely the nicest one I've ever used.

As for PyDO I still have mixed feelings about object abstractions of relational databases. Having spent the last 2 years coding applications using WebObject's Enterprise Objects Framework I'm not convinced that it is always a good way to go. Unfortunately EOF tries to hide too much complexity, resulting in a lot of chicken waiving required to do anything slightly unusual. PyDO doesn't make the same mistake but it currently the API seems to lack maturity to produce large lists of objects. I might code up some ideas to fill this gap.

On the other hand I might look further into GNU Enterprise's gnue-common package to get it working with SkunkWeb. I might even create an HTML presentation layer for gnue-forms. AFAIK the only HTML presentation layer at the moment is written in PHP, and we can't have that ;)

It really is about time I started writing Advagato entries. I'm intending to keep this diary purely for my development braindumps and leave whinging about my life, job and health to my more anonymous kuro5hin blog.

I have been a GStreamer developer for over a year now - as if there isn't enough of us posting to this site already. Until recently I have been developing mainly plugins and libraries, but I now find myself as the primary contributer to the GStreamer Media Player. I'm not sure how it happend really - all I wanted to do was add Dynamic Parameter support to the volume slider and I ended up touching almost every line in the source tree.

My initial interest in GStreamer was similar to wingo's - to use it as a core framework for music composition and audio processing. Now it seems for the moment at least my focus is moving from media production to media consumption, and this is quite a change in mindset. Writing software for a small group of artists is very different to writing software for the masses and I am currently welcoming the challenge.

I have the following goals for the player:

  1. be the best option for viewing video either locally or over a network
  2. be an adequate option for playing any audio media
  3. be as integrated as possible into the Gnome desktop

There is currently a bonobo control and a Nautilus view which both work. I imagine their development will drift in different directions since the view has a more specific focus. I was surprised how easy Bonobo was to develop in. It really does need some more documentation and the current docs needs updating for Gnome2 changes. I have just got i18n working but until the player moves to Gnome CVS there won't be a lot of translating going on.

I really enjoyed GUAD3C and I thought briefly about going to Boston but I knew I'd experience the sort of sleep deprivation and stress that thomasvs is currently going through. I haven't heard much feedback from his player workshop yesterday but I'd like to incorporate any useful ideas into the player. While I'm sure some interesting things will come out of the workshop, I would be wary of a large group of people trying to define what the best Gnome player would be. Design by committee usually produces suboptimal results so I think it would be best if the workshop results were summarised and taken by a small focused team to implement what makes sense.

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