Tag Archives: vlc

So I finally packaged VLC 2.1. And what about LibreOffice?

VLC

Finally, the daunting task of compiling 12 packages for VLC has come to completion. I created packages for the latest VLC 2.1 (codenamed ‘rincewind’… who the heck keeps thinking that these half-arsed nicks are useful). Like with the release candidate which I packaged last month, the internally used libraries are up to date again (ffmpeg, fluidsynth, libass, libcdio, libdc1394, libdvbpsi, libebml, libmatroska, libva, opus, orc, schroedinger, vcdimager, vo-amrwbenc, and x264).

Those of you who are running Slackware 13.37, 14.0 and -current will rejoice 🙂 That being said, it is likely that this is the last major VLC update for which I will produce a Slackware 13.37 package – the effort is just becoming too big.

The 2.1 release is the culmination of nearly two years of work by the team, squashing over a thousand bugs (although it is not mentioned anywhere how many of those were caused by actually coding the 2.1 branch). More importantly, the commit history shows that VLC is very much alive, evidenced by the fact that 140 code committers do not belong to the actual VideoLAN team. Good news because my expericnce was that the 1.x and 2.0 development cycles have actually caused a decrease in the quality and robustness of VLC as an allround media player. Let’s see if 2.1 will turn this around. With a new audio core and lots of work on improving the ports to other platform, I really hope that much of the deficits of the video decoders which made me switch back to MPlayer as my video app of choice, have been addressed as well.

Where to find my new VLC packages:

Rsync acccess is offered by the mirror server: rsync://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/people/alien/restricted_slackbuilds/vlc/ .

My usual warning about patents: versions that can not only DEcode but also ENcode mp3 and aac audio can be found in my alternative repository where I keep the packages containing code that might violate stupid US software patents.

libreoffce_logoLibreOffice

My latest LibreOffice packages (for Slackware 14) are version 4.0.5. In the meantime, those hard-working LibreOffice developers are almost at version 4.2.1… so what happened to the ‘alien’ builds of LibreOffice 4.1?

Well, during the packaging of 4.0 I noticed that the dictionaries which are now being offered as a source tarball, including many languages, needed another way of building and installing. I have been trying to find time to investigate and come up with proper packages, but I ran into a snag with the SlackBuild script and kept telling to myself that I would look into it right after the next KDE… OpenJDK… Calibre… whatever package would have been created. To be honest…. I am swamped with work during my paid daytime job and I spend more hours per week at work. It takes time to finish the bigger projects (like LibreOffice) in my spare time. Be patient, packages will be released eventually.

Oh yeah…

I helped my son today with the home-made pizza he had promised to create. I did something I realized I had never done before… I created the pizza dough from scratch: flour, yeast, water, olive oil, salt. Kneading the dough, seeing it rise and flattening it out to an oven-plate sized pizza bottom was very rewarding. Eating the pizza was rewarding as well! I have promised myself to finally bake that Focaccia bread which I have been wanting to try forever.

And finally:

Anyone with a Google Nexus tablet out there and experience with unlocking it, putting some brand of real Linux on it? I am going to pick up my own ARM port after Slackware 14.1 is released and besides my personal targets (getting it to boot on my TrimSlice and my ChromeBook) I was wondering how open the Google Nexus tablets really are with regard to having linux device drivers available. I am dead-curious about seeing how well Slackware behaves on a touch device… and both the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 look like they are awesome devices.

Be good! Eric

 

 

VLC 2.1 Rincewind about to enter the arena

For quite a long time now, I have been compiling VLC packages in the 2.0 series (nicknamed “Twoflower”). My standard way of working is to prepare tarballs with pre-compiled code for the internally used libraries (the “contribs” in VideoLAN terms – stuff like ffmpeg, matroska, dvdcss etcetera) and then leave those precompiled tarballs relatively unchanged while I update the VLC version between builds. That way I can kind of guarantee that the internal encoding and decoding capabilities do not break all of a sudden –  new bugs are usually easily tracked down to VLC bugs.

Also, compiling a new VLC package does not take long that way – I just “import” the contribs and link against the binary code. Remember, I have to create 4 VLC packages for every Slackware release: 32-bit and 64-bit packages, and for both architectures I create an “unrestricted” (in terms of distribution) version as well as a one containing the MP3 and AAC encoders, and the DeCSS library, all plagued by software patents.

Someone asked me via email if I could upgrade some of the internal libraries, and that was something I was not really looking forward to – updating the internals of the VLC package often results in compilation errors and hunting for patches to get everything to work nicely together again. But for a while, I had been eyeing the progress in the 2.1 branch of the VideoLAN git repository. The next release of VLC is nearing completion and a “2.1.0-pre3” tag has already been applied to the repository, indicating that the developers are getting serious about finalizing “VLC media player 2.1.0 Rincewind“.

So I set to the task of collecting new source tarballs and updating the vlc.SlackBuild script. Actually, the update went rather well. I used the newest versions of libraries like ffmpeg, fluidsynth, libass, libcdio, libdc1394, libdvbpsi, libebml, libmatroska, libva, opus, orc, schroedinger, vcdimager, vo-amrwbenc, and x264. My first attempt yesterday, uncovered a regression in saving the VLC advanced preferences (VLC would crash) but after some interaction with the developers in their IRC channel, the cause was found and a fix was quickly applied (thanks Edward Wang).

I now present you with the 20130819git snapshot build of the vlc-2.1 branch. In fact, the player reports a RC1 in its version information:

VLC media player 2.1.0-rc1 Rincewind (revision 7cbb328)

I was most pleased to see that the VAAPI (GPU hardware-assisted) video decoding of AVI files no longer crashes VLC (possibly caused by my update of the internal libva library to the latest release). Also, the preferences window finally is fully resizable. Oh, and the ProjectM visualization works again – that plugin was broken if you had a VLC installed on -current which had been compiled on Slackware 14.

Note that I built these packages only for slackware-current! If you want to try out VLC 2.1 on Slackware 14 you can use my sources and build script to create your own package. Depending on the time it takes for Slackware 14.1 to emerge versus the release of VLC 2.1.0, I may still decide to create packages for Slackware 14. However, this git snapshot is mainly used to test the code and get bugs resolved before the 2.1.0 release is finalized. Hence my choice for slackware-current which is what all you tinkerers should have running anyway 😉

Where to find my new VLC packages:

Rsync acccess is offered by the mirror server: rsync://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/people/alien/restricted_slackbuilds/vlc/ .

My usual warning about patents: versions that can not only DEcode but also ENcode mp3 and aac audio can be found in my alternative repository where I keep the packages containing code that might violate stupid US software patents.

Have fun! Eric

And a “thank you” goes to…

… all of you who voted for my blog on FOSS Force. Actually, you Slackers pushed my blog all the way to top position in the second round. There is a third and final round which started today with a remaining 10 blog sites – can I ask you to please vote for me again? Much obliged!

 

 

VLC 2.0.6 (finally) released. New flash plugin too.

I almost finished a bottle of La Trappe Dubbel and before I pass out, there is just this one post to write at the end of another busy week.

VLC Media player

I don’t know how many times during the past two months I thought “I have to start preparing for a new VLC package build” only to discover that the developers side-tracked again and a new release was not going to come after all.

But finally, there it was this week: vlc-2.0.6. This is a bugfix release, notable changes for us Linux users include “support for Matroska v4, improved reliability for ASF, Ogg, ASF and srt support, fixed ALAC and FLAC decoding“.

I finally updated the npapi-vlc browser plugin. I noticed that version 2.0.6 was tagged in the repository and still no release tarball is being made available… get serious, you french! I heard good stories about the new version, so I decided to checkout a snapshot from git. I never really fancied the 2.0.0 release of npapi-vlc and use gnome-mplayer / gecko-mediaplayer instead.

Actually, this is the second build of the packages. Someone notified me that there was an issue with the libupnp plugin (uPnP service discovery) so I upgraded the internal library and applied a patch.

Where to find my new VLC packages:

Rsync acccess is offered by the mirror server: rsync://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/people/alien/restricted_slackbuilds/vlc/ .

My usual warning about patents: versions that can not only DEcode but also ENcode mp3 and aac audio can be found in my alternative repository where I keep the packages containing code that might violate stupid US software patents.

 

FlashPlayer-plugin

WIth all the fuss about vulnerable browser plugins (Java is the bad boy) I was quick to update my Flash Player packages. when I saw that Adobe had released a new security bulletin…See http://www.adobe.com/support/security/bulletins/apsb13-11.html for the list of CVE‘s they plugged this time. Better safe than sorry folks – always watch out what web pages you visit!

After upgrading, use the following URL to check that you are indeed running the latest version of the Flash Player plugin: http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/ .

Have fun! Eric

 

Packages for LibreOffice 3.6.5, calibre and steamclient, and lots of movement on the horizon

Yes, I finally got rid of the flu – but it took a week. I lost some weight (and I am not overweight so I am looking starved now), I still have a bad cough and my lower back muscles are strained and painful because of the continuous coughing. Otherwise I am fine.

I had a bit of a Slackware backlog which I am getting rid of now, thanks to my automated build scripts (creating these packages took time, not effort).

LibreOffice

The Libre Office developers had published their 3.6.5 release last week, and I finally felt good enough to build packages. I did a quick examination and it appears that the opening/saving of password-protected files is finally working! Other bugfixes are documented in the release notes. That shows a fairly long list, let’s hope 3.6.5 is going to be rock stable for everyone. It is the last 3.x release before moving on to 4.0.0 in February.

These LibreOffice 3.6.5 packages have been built on Slackware 13.37. They can be installed on Slackware 14 as well, but there seem to be some dynamic linking errors, so I assume that some functionality is broken. I have not yet found where that happens, though. If you find any issues on Slackware 14 please tell me.

The next series, 4.x ,will be compiled on Slackware 14.0 and that will be the end of the library errors in any case. Modifying the libreoffice.SlackBuild script for the 4.x release required real effort! I am running LibreOffice 4.0.0_RC2 here on the desktop machine and it will be worth it, I promise. I will wait with making my new packages public until the official stable 4.0.0 release, so be patient for now please… Those who are still on Slackware 13.37 will have a good fallback choice with LibreOffice 3.6.5.

Downloads are available here, as usual:

Remember, you can add more functionality by installing extensions. LibreOffice extensions are available from http://extensions.libreoffice.org/extension-center

steam

Steam client

I also updated my steamclient package with a re-packaging of Valve’s latest binary release (a debian package for Ubuntu actually): 1.0.0.22. I am going to write a separate blog entry about Steam this weekend so I am not lingering here too long. Rest assured that the new package will rid you of the annoying “outdated client” errors and works like a charm (mostly).

calibreico

Calibre Ebook Management

And I am again in line with the weekly updates of Kovid Goyal, developer of Calibre. I still maintain an up-to-date version of my custom-built package because I think it is an important tool for anyone with an E-Reader who does not want to tie his hands to a commercial ebook management & library system. Calibre acts as my family’s library and using OPDS protocol, I do not even need a cable to download new books onto the reader. I just use the wireless network.

The Event Horizon!

The blog’s subject hinted that more is coming.. Indeed I already have my packages ready for KDE 4.10.0 but I am not yet releasing them yet… I am waiting for the official announcement next week (and maybe other packagers will find bugs in the meantime). It is looking cool and I am running it here with no issues. In fact I played several hours of Half-Life Deathmatch against my son (there’s a Linux Beta of that too, since this week on Steam – well worth the 10 bucks), and neither the new KDE nor Steam nor Half-life crashed. Also imminent is a new release of IcedTea, the build framework for OpenJDK which I use. That means, there will be a Slackware package for OpenJDK “7u12” or somewhat like that, very soon.

And last but certainly not least, the VideoLAN developers (who are currently partying at FOSDEM, Brussels) will have to come up fast with a fix for a critical vulnerability in the VLC player, which was divulged yesterday… I guess that you should not be opening ASF files in the meantime.

Eric

Finally, VLC 2.0.4

The fifth release in the “TwoFlower” series of the VLC media player is ready. Version 2.0.4 is said to be “a major update that fixes a lot of regressions, issues and security issues in this branch. It introduces Opus support, improves Youtube, Vimeo streams and Blu-Ray dics support. It also fixes many issues in playback, notably on Ogg and MKV playback and audio device selections and a hundred of other bugs.” – quoting the VideoLAN news page.

You can find some additional information on the release notes page. There I saw the new “ogg opus” support mentioned for the first time. OggOpus is a low-latency audio codec optimized for both voice and general-purpose audio. This was new to me so it did not get added to this set of Slackware VLC packages. I promise I will see if I can include it in my next set of packages. The new release also has fixed the playback of Youtube videos. Google changes its Youtube access protocol regularly, probably in an attempt to frustrate non-official ways of watching their videos. Luckily the Youtube video support is implemented as a Lua script so even for the older VLC 2.0.3 package, I was able to fix it without much effort a few weeks ago by downloading an updated youtube.lua file from the source code repository.

Again, it took quite a while to get a new version of VLC stamped and the sources released to the public. Judging from the discussions on IRC, the developer team seem to have a fundamental internal disagreement about how to set goals for a release. It is obvious (if you read between the lines of the release notes) that the focus of the development effort between 2.0.3 and 2.0.4 has been on the Windows and Mac platforms with additional focus on the new Android platform (did you try the Android app yet? I like it). This does not mean that there is nothing new to report for the Linux users. The number of general improvements is equally impressive. There is also talk of “security fixes” but so far I was not able to find a CVE reference.

I have been making preparations for the compilation of new VLC packages a while ago. Remember that I have to create 8 VLC packages when VideoLAN developers release a new version of their player (two Slackware releases, two architectures per release, and then restricted/unrestricted versions of each) so I use tarballs of pre-compiled “contribs” binaries to speed up the process. The contribs (which is how VideoLAN calls them) are actually the set of supporting libraries which provide the real functionality in VLC – playback, encoding, hardware support, etc. I compiled a set of these contribs two weeks ago for Slackware 14, and more than a month ago for Slackware 13.37. Several of those internal supporting libraries were updated with regard to my previous vlc-2.0.3 packages: Shout, aacenc, amrwbenc, amr, lua, upnp, v4l, x264; and for Slackware 14.0 I added two more: ffmpeg and live555.

A further update to the vlc.SlackBuild (only relevant should you attempt to rebuild VLC from source) is the fact that it no longer needs to compile and use an internal Mozilla SDK. Slackware’s own seamonkey package in 14.0 (and the version of seamonkey for Slackware 13.37 which you can install from its/patches/packages directory) is now capable of compiling the Mozilla-compatible webbrowser plugin package “npapi-vlc”. Not having to compile the Mozilla SDK speeds up the total build time a lot.

One remark about npapi-vlc: I still use the 2.0.0 release tarball since that is the most recent one that you can download. However, a version 2.0.2 was tagged in the source repository a few months ago. It’s just that the developer did not create an official tarball for that, and therefore I stick to the older version.

The release notes speak of improved BluRay support in this release. Note that the BluRay support in VLC (at least in my package) works only for unencrypted disks… and I do not think these exist actually. But extracted unencrypted BluRay files on your hard drive should playback just fine.  Playback of encrypted BluRay DVD’s requires that you also install my libaacs package: http://slackware.com/~alien/slackbuilds/libaacs or http://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/people/alien/slackbuilds/libaacs/) and find yourself a set of AACS decryption keys (see these comments for some hints on that).

Time to download the new VLC packages:

Rsync acccess is offered by the mirror server: rsync://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/people/alien/restricted_slackbuilds/vlc/ .

My usual warning about patents: versions that can not only DEcode but also ENcode mp3 and aac audio can be found in my alternative repository where I keep the packages containing code that might violate stupid US software patents.

Have fun! Eric