Thursday, December 2, 2010


As some of you might know, there has been some plans for a new camerabin design on the wiki for some time.

Current camerabin uses a single pad to output data for the viewfinder, video recording and image capture. Two problems on this:

* Requires a mix of input/output-selectors and tricky switch handling code to keep buffers on their correct paths.
* Managing different caps on each output type (images/videos/viewfinder) isn't simple.

Those were the main reasons motivating us to rewrite this in a simpler way. So our adventure with camerabin2 begun. Long story short, we already have a prototype on gitorious and it has the minimum basic features: image capture, video recording and a viewfinder.

Here's a summary on the important changing parts, for more details refer to the wiki.

The key change
The big change is to have a source element (from now on called camera source) that has 3 source pads, one for each task: viewfinder, image capture, video recording.

Why doing camerabin2 and not refactoring camerabin?
The short answer is that it's a major design change we're taking here, writing from the ground up is probably safer and faster and won't bother people using current camerabin. Also, as it requires a new source element, we would cause major incompatibility with current sources.

We are aiming at a more modularized approach this time, so we have a viewfinderbin, a videorecordingbin and imagecapturebin, those are public elements that can be used outside of camerabin2.

The new 3 pad source
Thanks to Rob Clark's work from some time ago (he refactored camerabin into the new design as a proof of concept), we already got a working 3 pad source for testing our prototype. Truth be told, I haven't got really deep into the source internals working, but our goal is to provide a basecamerasrc which will make it easy (or at least, easier) to develop source elements with 3 pads.

Those are the main things I'd like to post here. I'm trying to schedule a meeting with developers interested on using camerabin2 (or that use camerabin) to discuss features, problems, requests and any camerabin2 related topic. Somewhere in the next days would be great. Nokia, Empathy and Cheese developers already showed interest on this. If you do, too, ping me on IRC (thiagoss at #gstreamer at freenode)

[Edited] Forgot to mention that the camerabin2 branch on gitorious already contains an example application under tests/examples/camerabin2.

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