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Notes from the GStreamer Summer Hackfest 2015





A week ago a dozen cool guys, who happen to be GStreamer developers, met at Montpellier for the GStreamer Summer Hackfest 2015. We got together to work for 3 days, over the weekend, without a fixed agenda. The hacking venue coworkin' Montpellier was provided by Edward Hervey (bilboed) and most meals were provided by GStreamer.

With the opportunity to work in the same room and enjoy the lovely city of Montpellier, developers speed up the patch reviews and fixes by being able to easily discuss them with colleagues through the high-bandwith low-latency face-to-face protocol. They also took the chance to discuss major features and try to settle on problems that have been waiting for design decisions for a long time in the community. This is a non-exhaustive list of work done in the event:

  • Performance improvement for Caps negotiations: Caps negotiation is part of the GStreamer applications startup and was vastly optimized. Initial tests show it is taking 49.6% less time to happen.


  • nvenc element: A new nvenc element for recent NVIDIA GPU's was made released. It currently implements h264.


  • 1.6 release: At the hackfest a few blocker issues were revisited to get the project ready for releasing version 1.6. This will be a stable release. The release candidate just took place right after the hackfest, the 1.5.90 version.


  • decodebin3 design proposal/discussion: A new version of the playback stack was proposed and discussed. It should maintain the same features of the current version but cover use cases needed by targets with restricted resources, such as embedded devices (TV, mobile, for example), and providing a stream selection API for applications to use. This is a very important feature for Tizen to support more hardware-enabled scenarios in its devices.


  • Moving to Phabricator: The community started experimenting with the recently created Phabricator instance for GSteamer's bug and code tracking. Tweaking of settings and scripts, before a full transition from Bugzilla can be made.


  • Improvements on GtkGLSink: The sink had flickering and scaling noise among some other problems. Most are now fixed.


  • libav decoders direct rendering: Direct rendering allows decoders to write their output directly on screen, increasing performance by reducing the number of memory copies done. The libav video decoders had their direct rendering redone for the new libav API as is now enabled again.


  • Others: improvements to RTP payloaders and depayloadres of different formats, discussions about how to provide more documentation, bug fixes and more.
    Without any major core design decision pending, this hackfest allowed the attendees to work on different areas they wanted to focus on and it was very productive in many fronts. With the GStreamer Conference being around the corner, people in the organizing committee discussed which talks should be accepted and other organizational details.


A huge gratitude note to our host, Edward Hervey (shown below). The venue was very comfortable, the fridge always stocked and the city a lot of fun!


Lively discussion about GST Streams and decodebin3


If you missed the notes from the previous Hackfest. Read them here

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