The new emerging NLE for GNU/Linux

The topic of proper output handling relates several subsystems and re-appears on various levels of abstraction within the application design and implementation.

output format

the availability of a specific output sink is prerequisite for supporting a given format, configuration or frame rate. It might be desitable to prepare the same edit for multiple output formats, which can be done by using the same top-level sequence within several timelines with suitably output configuration.

number of output streams

the concrete structure of objects within the session creates the ability to deliver multiple streams of output data. On the other hand, using a given sequence as virtual clip within another sequence creates the demand for a distinct number of output designations

actual system configuration

working on the same edit on multiple systems creates the challenge to adapt to different output possibilities. Since studio setups can be involved, we need to recall a very special setup, even when it can not be used all the time on the current system.

adapting and transforming

since the actual output designation is resolved in several steps, it might become necessary to adapt or transform media streams to be rendered into a provided output sink. For example, a sound panning device might become necessary to render one sound representation system into another one. Since the resolution of output is driven by context information, the necessity of such transformations can arise any time and might be treated at a location remote from the actual source of the change.

timeline viewer connection

any kind of playback requires the colaboration of some model content, a viewer device and the render engine. For example, only after connecting a timeline to a viewer, an actual playback position and play control becomes available.

viewer switch board

the typical viewer in the GUI includes a switch board to choose between various probe points and source during playback. Thus, establishing a timeline viewer connection both adds new sources to the switch board and necessitates to build an additional output connection and transformation network behind the scenes.

output sinks

while each output provides some kind of destination to dispose buffers with prepared media data, unfortunately, the various output systems and support libraries come with a wide array of often incompatible assumptions and protocols for the client to comply.

playback modes

supporting the various kinds of playback modes makes the engine require some support from the actual output device, e.g. for freezing a frame, for treating delivery glitches gracefully, or to inhibit further output during reconfiguration stages.

Basic design principles…

  • abstract away the actual technology used for output

  • have generic output designations and translate them into an output slot

  • the OutputSlot interface can be designed to match the requirements of the Engine

  • assume a mechanism to handle timeouts, glitches and skips within each concrete OutputSlot implementation

Please refer to the more technical and in-depth discussion in the TiddlyWiki