GStreamer Spring Hackfest 2019
by Pablo Marcos
By the end of May, a few developers from Fluendo attended the GStreamer Spring Hackfest 2019. In brief, this was a weekend where GStreamer developers gathered around to meet in person and worked on different tasks interesting to the community. The team formed by Andoni Morales, Diego Pinedo, Loïc Le Page, Marek Olejnik and myself took a flight from Spain to Oslo, Norway. Even though it was already spring, the landscape was impressive, especially taking into account where we come from. It was very refreshing to see so much green vegetation.
The host of the event was Pexip, a company that aims to simplify video communication across different platforms. The whole team was quite impressed with their nice office and facilities. Håvard Graff was the one in charge of making sure we had everything we needed in order to fulfill our tasks. That included, among other things, exquisite and diverse food and drinks. The first night they even taught us how to play Table Shuffleboard (aka Shufflepuck). The easiest way to understand the game is to take it as a mini-curling with no ice. Thanks a lot for your awesome work and your kind and warm welcome!
Most of the team members were new hires and it was also our first time attending a GStreamer Hackfest, so we were quite excited and overwhelmed by everyone else’s knowledge. We did however try to do our best, working on different tasks:
- Our QA Diego Pinedo decided to work compiling our stack on Windows x86 and x86_64 natively to assess the current state of it. We usually cross-compile it from Linux since it is way faster than doing it from Windows directly. After his work, we identified that the bottleneck was MSYS and how slow autotools runs on it, apart from the usual IO issues that Windows suffers. We have been working on improving this workflow, so stay tuned if you want to hear how we are solving it.
- Loïc Le Page wanted to get more knowledge about how GStreamer plugins are created and he decided to create a plugin to read files from a comic archive. The goal was not so much about providing a complete and working solution, but about the learning process itself.
- Marek Olejnik embraced the job of fixing issues that show up when using VA-API on Wayland. He worked on this issue
- Andoni Morales worked on backporting features we had in our private fork to the upstream Cerbero and mainly on updating the Windows toolchain.
- As for myself, since I am quite fond of having quick iteration times and I hate waiting while something is compiling, I backported an interesting feature from an old branch of our Cerbero's fork to the upstream version: the fridge functionality. This adds support to reusing prebuilt binaries as long as the configuration used is the same, thus speeding up the build process quite a lot, since there it gets rid of the configure and compile steps of the recipes, which are arguably the most time-consuming. I created a MR once I put all the pieces together. After the feedback received, it still requires some extra work to make it more usable.
That's all! I leave you with a few pictures we took during the weekend