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1) Goal:
The goal of this document is to analyze current problems
in media type detection as we currently handle it in
GStreamer (as of 27/9/2003), and how these can be solved.
This touches upon typefinding, autoplugging and (optionally)
2) Typefinding, bytestream & autoplugging:
currently, bytestream collects incoming buffers and adds
them up (gst_buffer_merge ()). From this, a subbuffer is
created, which is inexpensive. In case of filesrc, the
merging is not expensive, too (mmap ()). However, in any
other source case, _merge () needs a new buffer plus copy
of the data. This is plain wrong. Source elements need to
be able to support a _read ()- instead of a _get ()-based
way of providing data to the pipeline on their choice. To
the rest of GStreamer, _get () and _read () are the same,
the only difference is that _read () also requests a size
of the buffer to be returned.
Surely, this does not mean that bytestream will read any
buffer size that is requested from it plainly, this would
be ineffective. It is still allowed to cache (although the
kernel will do this too...).
the typefind function type is currently defined as:
typedef stuct _GstTypeDefinition {
gchar *name;
gchar *mimetype;
gchar *extension;
GstTypefindFunc func;
} GstTypeDefinition;
typedef (GstCaps *) (* GstTypefindFunc) (GstBuffer *buffer,
gpointer private);
GstTypeFactory * gst_type_factory_new (GstTypeDefinition *def);
Although is is unclear what private is and how to use it
in a plugin. ;). The current approach has one large
disadvantage: the plugin cannot control the input for type
detection. Therefore, if the incoming buffer is not large
enough, typefinding will inappropriately fail. This is
unacceptable. The plugin needs to control input data flow
itself, so that we will have less false negatives and/or
will need only one cycle through the plugins to find the
type of a data stream.
Therefore, I propose the following change to the typefind
typedef (GstCaps *) (* GstTypefindFunc) (GstBytestream *input,
gpointer private);
GstTypeFactory * gst_type_factory_new (GstTypeDefinition *definition,
gpointer data);
The data gpointer will be provided as second argument to the
typefind function and is for private use to the plugin.
There is one rule: at the end of typefinding, the plugin needs
to take care that the state of the bytestream is exactly the
same as before typefinding. It may cache data, but it may not
skip (and therefore lose) data. If the bytestream supports
seeking, this is easy: simply seek back to 0 (start of stream)
after typefinding. If it does not, then you need to assure
that you only used _peek (), not _read () or _flush ().
The caller of the typefind function is responsible for creating
the bytestream and for emptying the cache and reusing it in the
data stream after the typefind function returns.
Imo, spider should use GstTypefind (a public element) for
typefinding. Ideally, it would derive from it.
GstTypefind emits a signal when a type is found, and furtherly
only has a sink pad. the derived elements from this should
implement anything needed to make a proper autoplugger.
3) Status of this document
Proposal, pending to be implemented. Target release is 0.8.0 or
any 0.7.x release.
4) Copyright and blabla
(c) Ronald Bultje, 2003 <> under the
terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. See
for details.