Archive for June 17th, 2008

Outlook Express DAV support extended

Oh, what do you know.

I just got an email from Microsoft that says that they are postponing their removal of Hotmail access via Outlook Express after “customer feedback”. It seems they lost too many paying customers, just like me.

Windows Live Mail sucks beyond belief. It’s slow, eats lots of RAM, and most importantly, it’s buggy as hell. Outlook Express is a mature application — at least for what it was originally designed to do.

I hate Samsung

When it comes to camcorders, Samsung is one of these companies that really piss me off. Just like Sanyo and Aiptek. You see, these are camcorder companies that don’t follow video standards. They just go their own ways to use their own versions of the well understood formats creating a mess. This is because they are not really into the video industry, they don’t care about it. They just want to make a product to sell. They care not about details.

Samsung recently released a full 1080/30p HD camcorder, which records in AVC. But instead of using the actual official AVCHD format, it’s using the MP4 container instead, stereo audio instead of 5.1 surround, and its own internal AVC format. The MP4 container is simply not optimized for editing. If people are cursing 10 times for AVCHD’s .mts not being easy to edit, think that we should be cursing 50 times for Samsung’s MP4.

I did a few tests too, in “draft (auto)” quality, which is the lowest preview quality on Vegas Pro that speeds up the video preview. Here are my findings on my P4 3Ghz DELL PC:

Samsung AVCHD-bastardation 1920×1080/30p: 1 frame per second
Canon & JVC AVCHD 1920×1080/60i: 5 frames per second
HDV 1440×1080/60i: 30 frames (full speed)

I don’t dispute the fact that faster PCs will be able to edit AVCHD faster. But no matter how to put it, Samsung’s MP4 is still 4 times slower than AVCHD. And AVCHD is about 6 times slower than HDV. And HDV is about 10 times slower than plain DV.

So buy cameras wisely if you want to edit, depending on your PC’s speed. But even on the fastest machine available today I don’t think that Samsung’s stream will edit full speed. Maybe in 3 years time or so.

Regarding Gnome 3.0

Currently, there are three main camps regarding the future of Gnome 3.0:
– Continue evolutionary small releases
– Break compatibility and try to make it a modern desktop
– Go to a completely different direction than the PC desktop

On a previous blog post of mine I noted that I preferred either seismic additions (e.g. artificial intelligence), or just evolutionary releases that don’t break ABI and API compatibility with apps. Here’s another way that Gnome should go in my opinion:

Remove GTK+ and X11 requirement. Write both a brand new API using the Java language (by using Classpath, not J2SE), and a brand new, modern, windowing system that doesn’t have an ’80s architecture. In other words, pull a Google Android trick (and Apple Mac OS X too, in a way). You can still run older applications via a rootless or windowed X server, the way Mac OS X does it. And you only support modern ATi, nVidia and Intel (and maybe VIA) graphics cards after having few of your devs signing NDAs to get the 3D specs. Maybe you even rewrite the sound part too (adding support initially for only the 3 most common sound chipsets). In other words, you take over the “user visible” part of the operating system and you integrate with the rest of the system properly rather than legacy layers upon layers.

To truly liberate your platform and enable new powerful and modern applications to be written, that’s what it has to be done. Not beating the old dog. And yes, this is a 5+ year plan. Not something that gets done in a blink of an eye.

Red Hat has the most developers working on, GTK+, Classpath, and Gnome, so they have to be the ones to be either convinced or initiate such a thing. Problem is, Red Hat doesn’t care about the home desktop anymore, they only care about getting corporate. Novell trying to go with Mono, would fail because it wouldn’t get enough tract from the community.

So this will never happen. It was a good 10 minutes of dreaming while writing about it.