[Ogg] Contact [was: Hello from Squeak]
Dan at SqueakLand.org
Wed Jan 16 20:11:36 UTC 2002
You may remember I copied to this list a message I sent to the advocacy list for Ogg Vorbis, an open alternative to MP3. Nothing came back from that. I mean nada. So yesterday I got serious and direct mailed one person who then referred me to a fellow named Jack Moffitt and now I can report some positive contact.
Here, FYI, is a copy of his reply, much of it relative to the original message after my direct ping. I'm going to follow up, and will continue to forward any interesting messages to this list. In order not to swamp Jack, it might be good to discuss this locally, and then I can forward stuff to Jack or others as appropriate. That said, of course, anyone can do whatever they want.
Your loyal ambassador
>Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 12:39:25 -0700
>From: Jack Moffitt <jack at xiph.org>
>To: Dan Ingalls <Dan at SqueakLand.org>
>Subject: Re: Hello from Squeak
> > Therefore, not knowing whom to address, I sent the message below to the advocacy distribution list about a month ago. I have not heard one peep from anyone in response to that message.
>I remember seeing the message, and I thought I had replied.
>Unfortunately my brain likes to trick me like this :) I apologize for
>not getting back to you sooner.
>> >That's sometimes the problem with sending to a mailing list, since
>> >everyone thinks it's someone else's job to reply!
>> >Your best bet is to ask Jack Moffitt <jack at xiph.org> about how you
>> >could work together. He's a lead developer and very approachable.
>> So, here I am, and here's a copy of that original message.
>In general direct mail to me will always get my attention. Now and then
>I will miss mail on the lists. I tell everyone this: you're free to
>pester me if I'm not paying enough attention :) I sift through a lot of
>email each day and while I think I'm getting better at it, I'm still not
>as good as I wish I were :)
>>There are a bunch of cool things about Squeak, and a number of us would like to support Ogg Vorbis. I'm sure that will happen, but the question is: Is it possible that *much more* interesting stuff might happen between our two groups?
>Well I certainly hope so :) Most of the really cool stuff is what
>happens now that we have a free audio codec. There's a lot of territory
>that can now be explored that previously couldn't be :)
>> > "part of the Ogg project, which is a blanket project
>> > designed to create a fully open multimedia system."
>> >I would like to hear more about this, as it is close to the goals of the Squeak project in which I have been involved since its inception. You can find out more about it at http://squeak.org.
>The Ogg stuff is rougly comparable to QuickTime, except that we're
>focused on streaming and distribution as opposed to a swiss army knife
>of functionality. A lot of the Ogg resources go into codecs like
>Vorbis, Squish, and Tarkin.
>The Xiph.org is more generally focused on multimedia. It's purpose is
>really to create and promote open standards and open source multimedia
>stuff. Icecast, Ogg, and hopefully other projects are all in this
>agenda. Right now nothing works together. We're trying to get to a
>dream world where everything works together beautifully and we believe
>this is only possible with open and free standards :)
>> > Squeak is an open, highly-portable Smalltalk implementation
>> > whose virtual machine is written entirely in Smalltalk,
>> > making it easy to debug, analyze, and change.
>> > To achieve practical performance, a translator produces
>> > an equivalent C program whose performance is comparable
>> > to commercial Smalltalks.
>I'm not familiar with Smalltalk. I haven't been exposed to a lot of the
>weirder languages other than LISP, Scheme and those sorts.
> > > Other noteworthy aspects of Squeak include: a compact object
> > > format that typically requires only a single word of overhead
> > > per object; a simple yet efficient incremental garbage
>> > collector for 32-bit direct pointers; efficient bulk-mutation
> > > of objects; extensions of BitBlt to handle color of any depth
>> > and anti-aliased image rotation and scaling; and real-time
>> > sound and music synthesis written entirely in Smalltalk.
>So it seems that what you've created is a Smalltalk based multimedia
>programming box :) Is this a reasonable assessment?
>> >Much of the focus of Squeak development has been to support multimedia. In the area of sound, we have worked on compression (not at the level of Vorbis), synthesis (real-time FM and wavetable synthesis and experiments with physical modelling), an interactive timbre editor for FM voices, real-time spectral analysis (FFT), and experimental wavelet codec, a Klatt speech synthesis module with even a simple text-to-speech driver. Besides the breadth and depth of these projects, they are all completely alive -- that is, all source code is accessible from within Squeak, and you can browse *and change* it while running your application. Everything in Squeak runs bit-identically on all platforms (Windows, WinCE, *nix, mac, and a few bare chips; all Squeak really needs is a Bios).
>That's interesting. I'm curious from a practial standpoint how this
>compares to other embedded oses focused on this same application range,
>like pixo.com (which is licensed by PortalPlayer which is used in the
>> >In other multimedia support, Squeak can read and display (in its native engine), Flash, TrueType, and VRML 3D and MPEG (and M-JPEG) in addition to normal bitmap graphics (GIF, PNG, JPEG) of all bit depths (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32).
>So it sounds like you have tromped on a few patents already. Are you
>dealing with IP issues at all? (TrueType bytecode interpretation is a
>How big is all the stuff you need to run Squeak on linux? It seems like
>maybe this is a neat alternative to SMIL :)
>> >I say this all just so that you will know we are serious -- and having fun! There is more depth to the Squeak project in numerous directions such as games, iconic scripting, logic programming, network access and servers. There are about a thousand developers on the Squeak mailing list with probably a hundred using it daily and something like 30 of us actively involved in the evolution of Squeak itself.
>Wow that's impressive. It's hard to believe that a project like this
>isn't more well known with that kind of community behind it.
>> >The obvious question is, could we be having more even more fun together as cooperating communities?
>I think the answer is "of course".
>> The topic of compression standards came up recently on the Squeak list and I and several others said we should at least support the Vorbis standard. That's simple enough. The question I have is, what more is there to the Ogg charter and work in progress, and is it possible that we could help to move things along, and crank up some other interesting projects?
>There are a lot of interesting things that the xiph.org team hasn't
>quite gotten to. One is stream muxing on a grand scale. Right now it's
>a bit painful (but possible) to write a decoder using mixed codecs and
>this is an avenume we plan to explore post-vorbis-1.0. It sounds like
>you guys could play around with this while you're implemented our codecs
>We want to get to the point where we have Ogg FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, Ogg MNG,
>and Ogg Tarkin all working happily together an in any combination :)
>As I mentioned earlier, SMIL is a place that RealNetworks has been
>pushing (and that the w3c standardized), and there's nothing of hte kind
>in linux other than real's attempt at a port of their player. Perhaps
>Squeak is an interesting method to play with this. Does it have XML
>> >In hopes that some of our work will prove as interesting to you folks as yours does to us, I look forward to an interesting 2002.
>After such a boring end of 2001, I too look forward to some new life in
>Just in case any of my comments came across poorly, I'm quite
>interested. I must admit I still have trouble grasping all of Squeak at
>Does it run on linux? The screen shots look to be from some window
>manager or OS that i've never seen before :) What is your background?
More information about the Squeak-dev