29th VideoLAN report

This report is a bit special, since the previous week-end was the VideoLAN meeting in Barcelona, so I did not do a post last week.

So, I'll cover in this post, the work of the last 2 weeks on VideoLAN and VLC development.

VideoLAN meeting

The VideoLAN team met for our 4th quarter meeting, in Barcelona, Spain, in the offices of Skyscanner. VideoLAN @Skyscanner

We were around 20 for 2 days, and worked on quite a few things around VLC. VideoLAN working in Barcelona!

During the week-end, we worked on:

  • the next update of the videolan.org website, to update its contents and to make it responsive,
  • finishing the next release 2.2.2 of VLC,
  • fixing important 3.0 blockers, notably in the Qt and OS X interfaces and in the core decoder,
  • most of the 3.0 blockers, to discuss and find the correct way to fix them,
  • new features like HEVC packetizing or HTTP/2 support (see below),
  • finishing our Apple TV/tvOS port,
  • finished the port to Android 6.0, aka Marshmallow,
  • adding important features for our Android port,
  • reworking our Code of Conduct,
  • preparing our move to Gitlab,
  • fixing important VLC bugs in demuxers and decoders,
  • internal policy and decisions for the VideoLAN non-profit,
  • and other stuffs I forgot about. :)

So, all in all, a quite busy week-end :)

Features and changes

So let's discuss a bit more in details, what got merged, in the last weeks.

VLC

Core

The fight against the deadlocks in the input and video output core went on during the last 2 weeks. To solve this, the core got 2 new functions named picture_pool_Cancel() and vout_Cancel() for the video output and the function vlc_fifo_TimedWaitCond() which allowed to introduce an interruptible mwait in the decoder core.
We should now be close to the end of these issues.

Related to this, all the decoders and packetizers now have a pf_flush function that they can implement. This flush was notably re-implemented in the libavcodec module.

VLC now has support asynchronous decoding, in the core: the methods decoder_QueueVideo, decoder_QueueAudio, decoder_QueueSub were introduced for that, and the preroll was fixed and simplified accordingly.

Finally, we have now timespec_get() (to fix issues on Win64 snapshot numbering) and timegm() replacements in our compat/ library.

Access

On the bluray side, the menus are now activated by default, we've improved the speed of transitions, and the overlay, and we also fixed numerous issues on titles detection, chapters count, end-of-file behavior and static menus.

We fixed the listing of numerous UPnP shares, including the Plex ones and UPnP module was made interruptible.

We fixed the support for AVC Intra files without SPS/PPS, and we added support for HEVC NAL parsing, at the same time.
This led to a big refactoring of the H264 and HEVC packetizers and parsers. This will allow us to record in HEVC codec.

HTTP/2 stack

Finally, a large piece of code was added to VLC last week: a new HTTP/2 stack.

It's around 5000 LoC and it supports HTTP 2.0 protocol, and supports seeking by reusing the TCP connection and the TLS session.

The code is currently only used for HTTP/2, because it is still missing some features compared to the HTTP 1.1 module (proxies, cookies, auth...)

OS X

On OS X, we've had an important rework of the simple preferences interface.

We've also reworked and fixed the starting of the interface from command-line.

Qt

In the Qt interface, we've fixed the layouts for the Right-To-Left (RTL) languages.

We've also fixed an important 3.0 regression in the input seekbar and a singleton thread-safety blocker for 2.2.2!

Miscellaneous

  • We've fixed an SMB module performance issue,
  • We've improved tizen and iOS video output.
  • We've fixed a FLAC CRC issue, that rendered some FLAC inaudible
  • For the adaptive streaming module, we fixed the computation of the length, in some unusual Content-Length cases,
  • Finally, we've fixed a regression on MKV ordered chapters issue and improved our WebVTT support.

Android

Android development got quite busy in the last 2 weeks: we've released VLC 1.7.0, 1.7.1 and 1.7.2.

We've fixed the video playlists feature introduced the previous week, we've improved the Android TV audio player, and fixed numerous reported issues.

Then, we've pushed the last fix for Android 6.0 Marshmallow support to VLC's core. It was mostly related to PIC issues (Position Independent Code) in 3rd party libraries. We will now be able to target Sdk 23!

Finally, we've merged the asynchronous decoding, which should improve, once again, the performance of VLC on Android. VLC should be now the fastest player in town.

iOS

Most of the work on iOS was done for the tvOS port, and to fight against Kafkaesque issues in the iOS Store.

We're still waiting.

WinRT

The WinRT port got quite busy too. Large refactoring to the applications were made to clean and simplify the old code and increase the speed of the application.

The look was refreshed too.

Finally, the port to UWP projects was merged. It should allow us to compile the application as a UWP application, without dropping support for 8.1.

That's quite a lot for those weeks, see you next time!