I have a plan, I really do. I am still working hard on Understanding VC-1. Just so that you, the reader and open source multimedia enthusiast understand correctly, this is not so that we can build a new implementation that mirrors the reference implementation 1:1. What I am doing right now is more or less the “phase 1” of this particular documentation effort. Phase 2 is developing a more top-down specification in a similar spirit as my old VP3 format document. Phase 3 is to generate a development roadmap with specific tasks and milestones as well as a number of sample vectors for individual modules which should facilitate initial component validation as well as ease development of SIMD-optimized components.
So you see, phase 1 is where I essentially use the MultimediaWiki as a scratchpad. VC-1 is, like, really big and hard to get one’s head around. This process is helping me.
Part of my plan in all of this is that I am hoping to pawn off the actual writing of code on other people. I know there are people out there — even people reading this blog — who are interested in making some material contribution to open source multimedia. On Monday I learned of Google’s second annual Summer of Code initiative where, in a nutshell, college students can get paid to work on approved open source projects. Since the project as outlined above, with the roadmap and deliverables/milestones, seems ideal for this mentoring concept, I submitted FFmpeg as a project for consideration, albeit a few hours after the formal deadline for doing so. Since the SoC is quite popular, it’s likely that they have all the projects they need.
However, if a student is out there following this blog and interested in working on a very important piece of open source multimedia work, you will have the opportunity starting May 1 to submit an application to work on a project not listed with an official mentoring organization, per this SoC FAQ entry. It’s a long shot, but Google has sponsored more ambitious stuff.
A big task? You bet. But if you follow this blog you’re probably at least minimally qualified to tackle the project.