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[REBOL] Re: RFC: REBOL Home Multimedia Platform (RHMP)

From: jasonic:cunliffe:verizon at: 28-Dec-2001 22:18

Hi Robert ..yes a tantalizing and _very_ ambitious project. Perhaps I misundertsand you, but my first reaction is that by the time you have added all that it is barely REBOL any longer - it has tuirned in to a hige project. What I mean is you seem to be taking on the highly complex world of mutiple media formats. REBOL is small and sweet laregly becuase it avoids all that. REBOL/View is small and sweet becuase it applies a few simple graphics tricks within a tight paradigm. No big overheard, litle or no dependency. Maximum isable effect. A soon as you add devices, video etc, you run up against so many nasty obstacles: 1. techno-politics I mean things like MSDirectX vs. Quicktime vs. RealNetwords all vying for control to be THE system player 2. versionitis same as oabove plus incompatibilities between software, content, OS and media libraries 3. development time, testing and distibution/installation 4. Financial Costs and technical skills needed for suchd evelopment 5. size and perfomances issues 6. licensing issues 7. upgrade and maintentance How to support all that? It better be really good and up to date, or why will anyone bother beyond curiosity, as programming excercise, or deepest rebol evangelism? There are a number of poeple who have been working hard to do integrate media adn virtualize them. The music editing odtwaer adn plugins architecure market shows how far we've come in just the past 5 years. Almost everthing one has wanted/needed to do in hardware is now virtualized for audio and video. An very intersting toolkit which opens some of this up is Miller Puckette's PD [Pure Data] plus GEM and other cool extensions: Because PD comes frmo a an experimetental signal processing and live performance heritage, it tends to be more aware of physcial and virtual i/o needs. The paradigm is a wonderful obejct-oreientd patchbay. KeyKit is another but strictly focused on MIDI. KeyKit is A brilliant relationship between langauge data objects and GUI: Both of the above are well worth playing around with becase they have some great ideas adn effort in them already. Projects like the one you propose for REBOL/View could surely benefit. Perhaps a clear step then is to integrate rather thant reinvent such effort. I believe the TAO Group's system is one such serious candidate. Have you looked at that and way's to leverage it with REBOL? As it happens, I was just today looking again at PyGame, the Python package built on top of SDL, a cross-platform game developer's library. <quote> Simple DirectMedia Layer is a cross-platform multimedia library designed to provide fast access to the graphics framebuffer and audio device. It is used by MPEG playback software, emulators, and many popular games, including the award winning Linux port of "Civilization: Call To Power." Simple DirectMedia Layer supports Linux, Win32, BeOS, MacOS, Solaris, IRIX, and FreeBSD. SDL is written in C, but works with C++ natively, and has bindings to several other languages, including Ada, Eiffel, ML, Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby. </quote> This includes access to CD's joysticks and various i/o. The frambuffering of SDL may adapt well to REBOL/Views heritage also .. I would imagine there is lots to be learned from that work alone. Translating Python to REBOL should be prerty easy since Python is very clear and consistent. Like Python itself, most packages and modules are free and opensource. An easy proof of concept strategy is to use Python +REBOL. Python runs on a very wide choice of platforms like REBOL so sintalaltion should not be too hard. Their is a rich array of libraries, good documentation, books, community etc. My point is that ERBOL + Python are both great for rapid protiypinga dnfavour a very modular approach. Get the core structreu in REBOL establasish ed usign Python conmpnents, then port and intefgraet according to needs priorities. Licensing and other issues of the Python sections should not distract you from you main REBOL/View vision. THE site for reviewing contributed modules: cheers ./Jason