[theora-dev] theora release todos

Conrad Parker conrad at metadecks.org
Mon Mar 1 18:50:22 PST 2004


last week's thread about getting closer to a release fizzled out.

The mailing list discussion and the TheoraTodo wiki item suggest the
following are required for release:

        1. freeze the theora logical bitstream format
        2. complete the reference implementation tools
        3. stablize the libtheora API
        4. complete the documentation

I'd like to suggest this as an ordering by completion-critical priority,
considering the implications on third parties: players, servers, editing
tools, and end users.

1. Freeze the logical bitstream format

As soon as the bitstream format is frozen, testers and tool authors
can create content and reliably use it. I'm sure I'm not the only person
on this list with a bunch of test videos encoded in different theora
versions, not to mention upside-down holiday videos :)

The players that currently support theora are already tracking libtheora
API changes, so freezing the bitstream is the critical step to ensure
confidence that "yes, this player supports theora".

Note that I'm specifically describing the logical bitstream format here.
The current players that support theora can play theora+vorbis and
theora+speex physical bitstreams (true for at least xine and vlc).

I suggest we freeze the logical bitstream as soon as possible and
release the implementation as alpha3.

2. Reference implementation tools

These are pretty much ready to go, and are useful both as reference
code and useful tools. 

2.1 Encoder

Currently, the encoder in libtheora isn't installed by default and has
a generic name. Nonetheless it serves two purposes quite well: it can
build interleaved theora+vorbis streams, and it's a useful reference for
tool authors. As soon as the bitstream format is frozen this shoudl be
ready to go, and is critical so people can actually build streams.

2.2 Player

Is the wiki todo item concerning audio buffering still valid?

Considering a few widely used players already support theora, we should
continue to not install this by default.

3. libtheora API

I'm quite happy with the libtheora API for creating and decoding theora
logical bitstreams. Creating higher-level physical bitstreams is the
job of a higher-level library.

4. Documentation

4.1 Spec documentation

Is already well underway, ie. Mike's VP3 doc.

4.2 API docs

I'd be willing to do Doxygen style docs for libtheora, does anyone object?

* Summary

These are the basic things needed to get theora to a state where it can
be confidently adopted by other tools (players, editors etc.). Once it's
in that state, cleaning up the details and pursuing any kind of standards
publication can be done at the same time as tool authors and vendors
implement theora support.

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