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    1 GStreamer @SERIES_VERSION@
    2 
    3 WHAT IT IS
    4 ----------
    5 
    6 This is GStreamer, a framework for streaming media.
    7 
    8 WHERE TO START
    9 --------------
   10 
   11 We have a website at
   12 http://gstreamer.freedesktop.org/
   13 
   14 You should start by going through our FAQ at
   15 http://gstreamer.freedesktop.org/data/doc/gstreamer/head/faq/html/
   16 
   17 There is more documentation; go to
   18 http://gstreamer.freedesktop.org/documentation
   19 
   20 You can subscribe to our mailing lists; see the website for details.
   21 
   22 We track bugs in GNOME's bugzilla; see the website for details.
   23 
   24 You can join us on IRC - #gstreamer on irc.freenode.org
   25 
   26 GStreamer 1.0 series
   27 --------------------
   28 
   29 Starring
   30 
   31   GSTREAMER
   32 
   33 The core around which all other modules revolve.  Base functionality and
   34 libraries, some essential elements, documentation, and testing.
   35 
   36   BASE
   37 
   38 A well-groomed and well-maintained collection of GStreamer plug-ins and
   39 elements, spanning the range of possible types of elements one would want
   40 to write for GStreamer.  
   41 
   42 And introducing, for the first time ever, on the development screen ...
   43 
   44   THE GOOD
   45 
   46  --- "Such ingratitude.  After all the times I've saved your life."
   47 
   48 A collection of plug-ins you'd want to have right next to you on the
   49 battlefield.  Shooting sharp and making no mistakes, these plug-ins have it
   50 all: good looks, good code, and good licensing.  Documented and dressed up
   51 in tests.  If you're looking for a role model to base your own plug-in on,
   52 here it is.
   53 
   54 If you find a plot hole or a badly lip-synced line of code in them,
   55 let us know - it is a matter of honour for us to ensure Blondie doesn't look
   56 like he's been walking 100 miles through the desert without water.
   57 
   58   THE UGLY
   59 
   60   --- "When you have to shoot, shoot.  Don't talk."
   61 
   62 There are times when the world needs a color between black and white.
   63 Quality code to match the good's, but two-timing, backstabbing and ready to
   64 sell your freedom down the river.  These plug-ins might have a patent noose
   65 around their neck, or a lock-up license, or any other problem that makes you
   66 think twice about shipping them.
   67 
   68 We don't call them ugly because we like them less.  Does a mother love her
   69 son less because he's not as pretty as the other ones ? No  - she commends
   70 him on his great personality.  These plug-ins are the life of the party.
   71 And we'll still step in and set them straight if you report any unacceptable
   72 behaviour - because there are two kinds of people in the world, my friend:
   73 those with a rope around their neck and the people who do the cutting.
   74 
   75   THE BAD
   76 
   77   --- "That an accusation?"
   78 
   79 No perfectly groomed moustache or any amount of fine clothing is going to
   80 cover up the truth - these plug-ins are Bad with a capital B. 
   81 They look fine on the outside, and might even appear to get the job done, but
   82 at the end of the day they're a black sheep. Without a golden-haired angel
   83 to watch over them, they'll probably land in an unmarked grave at the final
   84 showdown.
   85 
   86 Don't bug us about their quality - exercise your Free Software rights,
   87 patch up the offender and send us the patch on the fastest steed you can
   88 steal from the Confederates. Because you see, in this world, there's two
   89 kinds of people, my friend: those with loaded guns and those who dig.
   90 You dig.
   91 
   92 The Lowdown
   93 -----------
   94 
   95   --- "I've never seen so many plug-ins wasted so badly."
   96 
   97 GStreamer Plug-ins has grown so big that it's hard to separate the wheat from
   98 the chaff.  Also, distributors have brought up issues about the legal status
   99 of some of the plug-ins we ship.  To remedy this, we've divided the previous
  100 set of available plug-ins into four modules:
  101 
  102 - gst-plugins-base: a small and fixed set of plug-ins, covering a wide range
  103   of possible types of elements; these are continuously kept up-to-date
  104   with any core changes during the development series.
  105 
  106   - We believe distributors can safely ship these plug-ins.
  107   - People writing elements should base their code on these elements.
  108   - These elements come with examples, documentation, and regression tests.
  109 
  110 - gst-plugins-good: a set of plug-ins that we consider to have good quality
  111   code, correct functionality, our preferred license (LGPL for the plug-in
  112   code, LGPL or LGPL-compatible for the supporting library).
  113 
  114   - We believe distributors can safely ship these plug-ins.
  115   - People writing elements should base their code on these elements.
  116  
  117 - gst-plugins-ugly: a set of plug-ins that have good quality and correct
  118   functionality, but distributing them might pose problems.  The license
  119   on either the plug-ins or the supporting libraries might not be how we'd
  120   like. The code might be widely known to present patent problems.
  121 
  122   - Distributors should check if they want/can ship these plug-ins.
  123   - People writing elements should base their code on these elements.
  124 
  125 - gst-plugins-bad: a set of plug-ins that aren't up to par compared to the
  126   rest.  They might be close to being good quality, but they're missing
  127   something - be it a good code review, some documentation, a set of tests,
  128   a real live maintainer, or some actual wide use.
  129   If the blanks are filled in they might be upgraded to become part of
  130   either gst-plugins-good or gst-plugins-ugly, depending on the other factors.
  131 
  132   - If the plug-ins break, you can't complain - instead, you can fix the
  133     problem and send us a patch, or bribe someone into fixing them for you.
  134   - New contributors can start here for things to work on.
  135 
  136 PLATFORMS
  137 ---------
  138 
  139 - Linux is of course fully supported
  140 - FreeBSD is reported to work; other BSDs should work too
  141 - Solaris is reported to work; a specific sunaudiosink plugin has been written
  142 - MacOSX works, binary 1.x packages can be built using the cerbero build tool
  143 - Windows works; binary 1.x packages can be built using the cerbero build tool
  144   - MSys/MinGW builds
  145   - Microsoft Visual Studio builds are not yet available or supported
  146 - Android works, binary 1.x packages can be built using the cerbero build tool
  147 - iOS works
  148 
  149 INSTALLING FROM PACKAGES
  150 ------------------------
  151 
  152 You should always prefer installing from packages first.  GStreamer is
  153 well-maintained for a number of distributions, including Fedora, Debian,
  154 Ubuntu, Mandrake, Gentoo, ...
  155 
  156 Only in cases where you:
  157 - want to hack on GStreamer
  158 - want to verify that a bug has been fixed
  159 - do not have a sane distribution
  160 should you choose to build from source tarballs or git.
  161 
  162 Find more information about the various packages at
  163 http://gstreamer.freedesktop.org/download/
  164 
  165 COMPILING FROM SOURCE TARBALLS
  166 ------------------------------
  167 
  168 - again, make sure that you really need to install from source !
  169   If GStreamer is one of your first projects ever that you build from source,
  170   consider taking on an easier project.
  171 
  172 - check output of ./configure --help to see if any options apply to you
  173 - run
  174   ./configure
  175   make
  176 
  177   to build GStreamer.
  178 - if you want to install it (not required, but what you usually want to do), run
  179   make install
  180 
  181 - try out a simple test:
  182   gst-launch -v fakesrc num_buffers=5 ! fakesink
  183   (If you didn't install GStreamer, prefix gst-launch with tools/)
  184 
  185   If it outputs a bunch of messages from fakesrc and fakesink, everything is
  186   ok.
  187 
  188   If it did not work, keep in mind that you might need to adjust the
  189   PATH and/or LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variables to make the system
  190   find GStreamer in the prefix where you installed (by default that is /usr/local).
  191 
  192 - After this, you're ready to install gst-plugins, which will provide the
  193   functionality you're probably looking for by now, so go on and read
  194   that README.
  195 
  196 COMPILING FROM GIT
  197 ------------------
  198 
  199 When building from git sources, you will need to run autogen.sh to generate
  200 the build system files.
  201 
  202 You will need a set of additional tools typical for building from git,
  203 including:
  204 - autoconf
  205 - automake
  206 - libtool
  207 
  208 autogen.sh will check for recent enough versions and complain if you don't have
  209 them.  You can also specify specific versions of automake and autoconf with
  210 --with-automake and --with-autoconf
  211 
  212 Check autogen.sh options by running autogen.sh --help
  213 
  214 autogen.sh can pass on arguments to configure
  215 
  216 When you have done this once, you can use autoregen.sh to re-autogen with
  217 the last passed options as a handy shortcut.  Use it.
  218 
  219 After the autogen.sh stage, you can follow the directions listed in
  220 "COMPILING FROM SOURCE"
  221 
  222 You can also run your whole git stack uninstalled in your home directory,
  223 so that you can quickly test changes without affecting your system setup or
  224 interfering with GStreamer installed from packages.  Many GStreamer developers
  225 use an uninstalled setup for their work.
  226 
  227 There is a 'create-uninstalled-setup.sh' script in
  228 
  229   http://cgit.freedesktop.org/gstreamer/gstreamer/tree/scripts/
  230 
  231 to easily create an uninstalled setup from scratch.
  232 
  233 
  234 PLUG-IN DEPENDENCIES AND LICENSES
  235 ---------------------------------
  236 
  237 GStreamer is developed under the terms of the LGPL (see LICENSE file for
  238 details). Some of our plug-ins however rely on libraries which are available
  239 under other licenses. This means that if you are distributing an application
  240 which has a non-GPL compatible license (for instance a closed-source
  241 application) with GStreamer, you have to make sure not to distribute GPL-linked
  242 plug-ins.
  243 
  244 When using GPL-linked plug-ins, GStreamer is for all practical reasons
  245 under the GPL itself.
  246 
  247 HISTORY
  248 -------
  249 
  250 The fundamental design comes from the video pipeline at Oregon Graduate
  251 Institute, as well as some ideas from DirectMedia.  It's based on plug-ins that
  252 will provide the various codec and other functionality.  The interface
  253 hopefully is generic enough for various companies (ahem, Apple) to release
  254 binary codecs for Linux, until such time as they get a clue and release the
  255 source.