Multimedia applications with OpenML

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Programming multimedia applications in Linux used to be a tedious process, demanding specialized libraries and even custom code for addressing hardware directly. The OpenML library offers a simpler approach.

Shortly after the millennium, a number of major league multimedia corporations joined forces to found the Khronos Group. 3Dlabs, ATI, Discreet, Intel, Nvidia, SGI, and Sun Microsystems all wanted to create a cross-platform multimedia library using the lean and successful OpenGL as a role model. Thanks to this standardized interface, programmers would be able to concentrate on their work rather than wasting time thinking about hardware and how to control it. Just a year later, specification 1.0 of the Open Media Library (or OpenML– not related or even good friends with OpenMP, a library for shared memory parallelism, or OpenAL, a library for sound output) was released. The whole enchilada was done – the interfaces, the internal functions – and the Khronos Group (see the “Khronos Group” box) stood back, celebrated, promised support at all kinds of conferences, and waited for something to happen. Developers all over the world now knew what the interface looked like, but there were no signs of a tangible implementation of the library, not to mention matching drivers or hardware.

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