media tools (was Re: [AG-TECH] AccessGrid 3: What information is available)

Andrew Swan aswan at
Mon May 23 13:43:41 CDT 2005

Barz Hsu wrote:
> Could you talk little about it published?
>  The reasons of lack of improvements on the core communication tools of the 
> AG (vic and rat) 
> may be due to their inflexible architecture.
> We also think VIC & RAT should be replaced by one of 
> new framework and new architecture to improve it's useability and 
> extensibility.
>  Before the day comes out, we would continue to make these tools (vic &rat) 
> better.

Can you (or anybody else) elaborate on this a bit?  I'm very
familiar with the vic code and somewhat familiar with the rat
code and I wouldn't describe either one as "inflexible".  I
agree with comments made by others that the user interfaces
are long overdue for an overhaul.  But the core code (the
rtp implementation, the codecs, the rendering path, etc.)
are all very solid and well-designed.

One of the problems that has occurred with the vic in particular
is that a number of different groups have taken the same code
and run in different directions with it (off the top of my head,
ucl, ag, mash, and vrvs all have separate versions of vic, with
mostly overlapping but slightly different, features).  Bringing
some of these versions back together has been discussed several
times in the past but nobody really has had the cycles to do it.

> BTW, we plan to release MPEG4/H.264-enable vic and 

For what its worth, mash vic ( already
has mpeg4 support via the xvid library.

Steve Smith wote:
> There is some good work being done on vic replacement but
> the Markus' ANU team, but that only addresses part of the problem, and
> may not suit all configurations.  I've done some basic work on cleaning
> up the core and hope to be able to dedicate more time to it soon, and
> Douglas at UQ is doing some work, but we really need more people on it.
> Unfortunately it's not a sexy job.

Steve, when you say you're "cleaning up the core", are you referring
to the AG toolkit core or to the media tools?


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