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LinuxPower.com: Video I/O on Linux: Lessons Learned from SGI

Feb 28, 2002, 23:53 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Chris Pirazzi)
'It's exciting to see linux mature to the extent that there are so many audio and video developers. Rather than just being an alternative for "VGA" or "graphics screen," more and more developers are using the term "video" in the sense intended by this article -- television signals (NTSC, PAL, HDTV, etc.) which carry moving pictures. In addition to video capture and playback tools, we're starting to see video editors, video effects packages, movie file players, video converters, animation tools, and more.

Linux seems to have reached the point where developers want a video I/O API which lets applications be source- and binary- compatible with multiple video cards.

SGI made this same transition from board-specific APIs to common APIs from 1991-1997. During that period, I worked on some of those APIs and also wrote audio/video capture and playback applications with them. By the time I left SGI, the company had a rich, useful set of APIs, but the path was steep and full of potholes for both SGI and its developers. By sharing my experiences, I hope that I can help linux leap ahead in the process and avoid the mistakes SGI made.'

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