Posted by: ben | August 10, 2008

Blog’s Opening: what it’s all about …

Hello folks,

For those of you that don’t know me, my name’s Benjamin Zores and I’m a French Linux Open Source developer. I’m kinda new to this blog trend thing and I usually consider it as a huge waste of time but I used to create or contribute to various OSS projects and, being project leader for some of them, I’ll try to maintain this website as a way to notify people about these projects enhancements.

Unfortunately, I’m involved in way too many OSS projects, much more that one should care about and though I have the bad habit to switch between those quite often, forgetting to update home pages or even to reply to all fan boys mails. I really hope that this blog will help you guys see projects’ evolution, and understand how it is being a developer 😉

I’ll try to give you an overview of my activities:

  • I’m mostly known as being head of GeeXboX Open Media Center Linux distribution. GeeXboX is a 5y old Linux embedded distro, designed to run as well on LiveCD than installed on HDD and that is used to easily playback any kind of audio/video streams. GeeXboX development fellows are spread worldwide but it’s still quite a small team working on too many sub-projects.
  • I’m also part of the MPlayer development team. MPlayer is one of the most famous Linux media player (that we use in GeeXboX) and I’ve been involved in various parts of it such as RTSP streaming layer, DVDNAV support, IVTV MPEG h/w decoder support, and VIDIX video drivers. I also used to wrote some audio decoders for DTS and MonkeyAudio for the FFMPEG project.
  • Few years ago, after having worked on UPnP protocol, I had the very bad idea to start writing uShare, a UPnP A/V and DLNA Media Server that allows people streaming content from their PC to compatible devices, such as XboX 360, PS3, Nokia phone and tablets and so on … Ironically, it’s been only a month that I received my first real UPnP A/V compliant device and so, uShare’s useful to me only since. It seems however to be well appreciated, being shipped in many Linux distributions, and ported to many embedded devices (such as SOHO routers/NAS) and I receive much more mails about it that I’d have expected. One can also use uShare to stream multimedia content to GeeXboX, which then act as a compatible device.
  • With uShare being well known, people asked me about having DLNA compliance. For that, I’ve been sponsored by CELF group (that used to provide me DLNA specifications) which lead me to write libdlna, the reference DLNA open-source implementation for Linux. Again, it’s a lot of work that I should never have started but now it’s done and it’s working pretty well.
  • Another project I’ve initiated is libplayer that is hopefully now 95% handled by Mathieu Schroeter, one of the GeeXboX developer. libplayer is designed to be a multimedia framework that provides a unique C API that is able to control various media players such as MPlayer, Xine, VLC and GStreamer. This means that a developer only has to write against libplayer to be able to create his media player application, regarding of the core being used behind, providing quite a modular and evolutive design.
  • The last project is Enna, an Enlightenment-based Media Center user interface that, for once, I only contribute to. It has been initiated by Nicolas Aguirre and will be part of Enlightenment E17 release and has been chosen as GeeXboX next-generation UI. Enna will be first project using libplayer.

That’s all folks. This concludes this blog’s opening and projects description. I hope you’ll enjoy reading these lines in the future, to get an unofficial update of what we are currently working on and, who knows, some of you might even get implied in these projects some day around 😉


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