Gstreamer and about-me

Yesterday I released GDM2 version 2.13.0.1 on the unstable branch and 2.8.0.6 on the stable branch, making available some new bugfixes that are very useful. You can check out the release notes here:

Unfortunately one of the new fixes caused a build problem on BSD, but this has been corrected in CVS head for those BSD users who want to update their daemon/getvt.c function so it builds. I plan to do another stable release, but first want to wait for more feedback about the 2.8.0.6 release.

Over the past week I've been working on Solaris build issues. Much of last week was spent porting the sunaudiosink and sunaudiomixer plugins to the new GStreamer 0.9 framework. I wanted to get this done before the initial 0.10 release so it would work on Solaris out-of-the-box. I ran into some runtime headaches when I noticed the sinesrc plugin was causing the sunaudiosink to stutter. After some research I discovered that increasing the buffer-time property by a factor of 6 (making the buffer 3ms instead of 0.5ms) fixed this problem. Some investigation is needed to see if this is needed to workaround issues with the SunAudio interface itself, or if there is a more serious problem in the GStreamer framework that this fix hides. For now, the GStreamer team agreed this is a reasonable workaround so the plugin works until the research is done.

Just today I finished working on the gnome-about-me plugin and got it working on Solaris. It makes use of the forkpty() function which is only available on Solaris. I tracked down a version of forkpty() for Solaris in the rootsh project. rootsh is under the GPL license and is hosted on SourceForge, so copying this code into control-center isn't a problem since it is also under the GPL. I had to make some modifications to the function to make it work with gnome-panel, but it seems to be working nicely now.

Now that I have those tasks out of the way, my plans are to spend the rest of the week doing some more work cleaning up the GDM configuration processing. Currently the daemon and all the slave's (gdmlogin, gdmgreeter, etc.) all have their own logic for parsing the gdm.conf file. I want to change this so that only the daemon reads in the config file and the slave's all access the config data via the GET_CONFIG GDM socket command. Having all the configuration parsing in one place will simplify the logic and make it easier to do more interesting things with the configuration (such as adding per-server configuration or system-wide versus machine-specific configuration). It will also clean up a lot of nasty global variables that GDM currently uses to maintain state.

Comments:

What is forkpty? What library is expected to export it? Maybe you should file an RFE to have it in Solaris?

Posted by Dan Price on November 15, 2005 at 12:22 PM CST #

"is only available" -> "isn't available" from the linux manpage: NOTE These functions are included in libutil, hence you’ll need to add -lutil to your compiler commandline. CONFORMING TO These are BSD functions, present in libc5 and glibc2. on my freebsd box it's also in libutil solaris doesn't appear to have one of these (only a presumably-unrelated libuutil)

Posted by desrt on November 15, 2005 at 04:46 PM CST #

A per-server configuration for GDM would be good win. KDM has this feature (it was shown to me in GUADEC 5 at Kristiansand). This feature is important in environments that uses thin clients.

Posted by Germán Poó-Caamaño on November 15, 2005 at 11:10 PM CST #

Regarding the about me capplet, I think the photo selection from about me should just fireup the login photo selection of gdm (the one with butterfly, tennis ball..) and the latter should then be removed from gnome preferences menu. That way you just choose your photo from about me and it works also for gdm. Keep up the great work on gdm.

Posted by michele on November 16, 2005 at 12:07 AM CST #

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