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分类: 系统运维

2011-04-09 23:46:56

Table of Contents

VIA and the Network2000 project

Foundation of the VideoLAN project

VLC media player design

The Opening

VIA and the Network2000 project

The whole project started back in 1995. At that time, students of the cole Centrale de Paris enjoyed a TokenRing network, managed by the VIA Centrale Réseaux association, and were looking for a solution to upgrade to a modern network. So the idea behind Network2000 was to find a project students would realize that would be interesting, would require a high-quality network, and could provide enough fame so that sponsors would be interested.

Someone came up with the idea of doing television broadcast on the network, so that students could watch TV in their room. This was interesting, mixed a lot of cool technologies, and provided fame because no one had written a free MPEG-2 decoder so far.

Foundation of the VideoLAN project

3Com, Bouygues and la Société des Amis were interested and financed the project, which was then known after the name of VideoLAN.

The VideoLAN team, in particular Michel Lespinasse (current maintainer of LiViD's mpeg2dec) and Régis Duchesne, started writing code in 1996. By the end of 1997 they had a working client-server solution, but it would crash a lot and was hard to extend.

At that time it was still closed-source and only-for-demo code.

VLC media player design

In 1998, Vincent Seguin (structure, interface and video output), Christophe Massiot (input and video decoder), Michel Kaempf (audio decoder and audio output) and Jean-Marc Dressler (synchronization) decided to write a brand new player from scratch, called VideoLAN Client (VLC), so that it could be easily open sourced. Of course we based it on code written by our predecessors, but in an advanced structure, described in the first chapter (it hasn't been necessary to change it a lot).

At the same time, Benot Steiner started the writing of an advanced stream server, called VideoLAN Server (VLS).

Functional test seeds have been released internally in June 1999 (vlc-DR1) and November 1999 (vlc-DR2), and we started large scale tests and presentations. The French audience discovered us at Linux Expo in June 1999, presenting our 20 minutes of Golden Eye (which is now a legend among developers :-). At that time only a network input was possible, file input was added later, but it remained kludgy for a while.

In early 2000, we (especially Samuel Hocevar, who is still a major contributor) started working on DVDs (PS files, AC3, SPU). In the summer 2000, pre-release builds have been seeded (0.2.0 versions), but they still lacked essential features.

In late 2000, Christophe Massiot with the support of his company, IDEALX, rewrote major parts of the input to allow modularization and advanced navigation, and Stéphane Borel worked on a fully-featured DVD plug-in for VLC.

The Opening

For Linux Expo in February 2001, the Free Software Foundation and IDEALX wanted to make live streaming of the 2001 FSF awards from Paris to New York. VideoLAN was the chosen solution. Finally it couldn't be done live because of bandwidth considerations, but a chain of fully open-source solutions made it possible to record it.

At the same time, the president of the cole Centrale Paris officially decided to place the software under GNU General Public Licence, thanks to Henri Fallon, Jean-Philippe Rey, and the IDEALX team.

VideoLAN software is now one of the most popular open source DVD players available, and has contributors all around the world. The last chapter of this appendix is not written yet :-).

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Appendix B.  Advanced debugging 

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Appendix D. GNU Free Documentation License

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