Interfaces Previously, in the chapter , we have introduced the concept of GObject properties of controlling an element's behaviour. This is a very powerful, but has two big disadvantage: firstly, it is too generic, and secondly, it isn't dynamic. The first disadvantage has to do with customizability of the end-user interface that will be built to control the element. Some properties are more important than others. Some integer properties are better shown in a spin-button widget, whereas others would be better represented by a slider widget. Such things are not possible because the UI has no actual meaning in the application. A UI widget that stands for a bitrate property is the same as an UI widget that stands for the size of a video, as long as both are of the same GParamSpec type. Another problem, related to the one about parameter important, is that things like parameter grouping, function grouping or anything to make parameters coherent, is not really possible. The second argument against parameters are that they are not dynamic. In many cases, the allowed values for a property are not fixed, but depend on things that can only be detected at run-time. The names of inputs for a TV card in a video4linux source element, for example, can only be retrieved from the kernel driver when we've opened the device; this only happens when the element goes into the READY state. This means that we cannot create an enum property type to show this to the user. The solution to those problems is to create very specialized types of controls for certain often-used controls. We use the concept of interfaces to achieve this. The basis of this all is the glib GTypeInterface type. For each case where we think it's useful, we've created interfaces which can be implemented by elements at their own will. We've also created a small extension to GTypeInterface (which is static itself, too) which allows us to query for interface availability based on runtime properties. This extension is called GstImplementsInterface. One important note: interfaces do not replace properties. Rather, interfaces should be built next to properties. There are two important reasons for this. Firstly, properties can be saved in XML files. Secondly, properties can be specified on the commandline (gst-launch). How to Implement Interfaces Implementing interfaces is intiated in the _get_type () of your element. You can register one or more interfaces after having registered the type itself. Some interfaces have dependencies on other interfaces or can only be registered by certain types of elements. You will be notified of doing that wrongly when using the element: it will quit with failed assertions, which will explain what went wrong. In the case of GStreamer, the only dependency that some interfaces have is GstImplementsInterface. Per interface, we will indicate clearly when it depends on this extension. If it does, you need to register support for that interface before registering support for the interface that you're wanting to support. The example below explains how to add support for a simple interface with no further dependencies. For a small explanation on GstImplementsInterface, see the next section about the mixer interface: . static void gst_my_filter_some_interface_init (GstSomeInterface *iface); GType gst_my_filter_get_type (void) { static GType my_filter_type = 0; if (!my_filter_type) { static const GTypeInfo my_filter_info = { sizeof (GstMyFilterClass), (GBaseInitFunc) gst_my_filter_base_init, NULL, (GClassInitFunc) gst_my_filter_class_init, NULL, NULL, sizeof (GstMyFilter), 0, (GInstanceInitFunc) gst_my_filter_init }; static const GInterfaceInfo some_interface_info = { (GInterfaceInitFunc) gst_my_filter_some_interface_init, NULL, NULL }; my_filter_type = g_type_register_static (GST_TYPE_MY_FILTER, "GstMyFilter", &my_filter_info, 0); g_type_add_interface_static (my_filter_type, GST_TYPE_SOME_INTERFACE, &some_interface_info); } return my_filter_type; } static void gst_my_filter_some_interface_init (GstSomeInterface *iface) { /* here, you would set virtual function pointers in the interface */ } Mixer Interface The goal of the mixer interface is to provide a simple yet powerful API to applications for audio hardware mixer/volume control. Most soundcards have hardware mixers, where volume can be changed, they can be muted, inputs can be modified to mix their content into what will be read from the device by applications (in our case: audio source plugins). The mixer interface is the way to control those. The mixer interface can also be used for volume control in software (e.g. the volume element). The end goal of this interface is to allow development of hardware volume control applications and for the control of audio volume and input/output settings. The mixer interface requires the GstImplementsInterface interface to be implemented by the element. The example below will feature both, so it serves as an example for the GstImplementsInterface, too. In the GstImplementsInterface, it is required to set a function pointer for the supported () function. If you don't, this function will always return FALSE (default implementation) and the mixer interface implementation will not work. For the mixer interface, the only required function is list_tracks (). All other function pointers in the mixer interface are optional, although it is strongly recommended to set function pointers for at least the get_volume () and set_volume () functions. The API reference for this interface documents the goal of each function, so we will limit ourselves to the implementation here. #include <gst/mixer/mixer.h> typedef struct _GstMyFilter { [..] gint volume; GList *tracks; } GstMyFilter; static void gst_my_filter_implements_interface_init (GstImplementsInterfaceClass *iface); static void gst_my_filter_mixer_interface_init (GstMixerClass *iface); GType gst_my_filter_get_type (void) { [..] static const GInterfaceInfo implements_interface_info = { (GInterfaceInitFunc) gst_my_filter_implements_interface_init, NULL, NULL }; static const GInterfaceInfo mixer_interface_info = { (GInterfaceInitFunc) gst_my_filter_mixer_interface_init, NULL, NULL }; [..] g_type_add_interface_static (my_filter_type, GST_TYPE_IMPLEMENTS_INTERFACE, &implements_interface_info); g_type_add_interface_static (my_filter_type, GST_TYPE_MIXER, &mixer_interface_info); [..] } static void gst_my_filter_init (GstMyFilter *filter) { GstMixerTrack *track = NULL; [..] filter->volume = 100; filter->tracks = NULL; track = g_object_new (GST_TYPE_MIXER_TRACK, NULL); track->label = g_strdup ("MyTrack"); track->num_channels = 1; track->min_volume = 0; track->max_volume = 100; track->flags = GST_MIXER_TRACK_SOFTWARE; filter->tracks = g_list_append (filter->tracks, track); } static gboolean gst_my_filter_interface_supported (GstImplementsInterface *iface, GType iface_type) { g_return_val_if_fail (iface_type == GST_TYPE_MIXER, FALSE); /* for the sake of this example, we'll always support it. However, normally, * you would check whether the device you've opened supports mixers. */ return TRUE; } static void gst_my_filter_implements_interface_init (GstImplementsInterfaceClass *iface) { iface->supported = gst_my_filter_interface_supported; } /* * This function returns the list of support tracks (inputs, outputs) * on this element instance. Elements usually build this list during * _init () or when going from NULL to READY. */ static const GList * gst_my_filter_mixer_list_tracks (GstMixer *mixer) { GstMyFilter *filter = GST_MY_FILTER (mixer); return filter->tracks; } /* * Set volume. volumes is an array of size track->num_channels, and * each value in the array gives the wanted volume for one channel * on the track. */ static void gst_my_filter_mixer_set_volume (GstMixer *mixer, GstMixerTrack *track, gint *volumes) { GstMyFilter *filter = GST_MY_FILTER (mixer); filter->volume = volumes[0]; g_print ("Volume set to %d\n", filter->volume); } static void gst_my_filter_mixer_get_volume (GstMixer *mixer, GstMixerTrack *track, gint *volumes) { GstMyFilter *filter = GST_MY_FILTER (mixer); volumes[0] = filter->volume; } static void gst_my_filter_mixer_interface_init (GstMixerClass *iface) { /* the mixer interface requires a definition of the mixer type: * hardware or software? */ GST_MIXER_TYPE (iface) = GST_MIXER_SOFTWARE; /* virtual function pointers */ iface->list_tracks = gst_my_filter_mixer_list_tracks; iface->set_volume = gst_my_filter_mixer_set_volume; iface->get_volume = gst_my_filter_mixer_get_volume; } Tuner Interface WRITEME Color Balance Interface WRITEME Property Probe Interface Property probing is a generic solution to the problem that properties' value lists in an enumeration are static. We've shown enumerations in . Property probing tries to accomplish a goal similar to enumeration lists: to have a limited, explicit list of allowed values for a property. There are two differences between enumeration lists and probing. Firstly, enumerations only allow strings as values; property probing works for any value type. Secondly, the contents of a probed list of allowed values may change during the life of an element. The contents of a enumeraiton list are static. Crrently, property probing is being used for detection of devices (e.g. for OSS elements, Video4linux elements, etc.). It could - in theory - be used for any property, though. Property probing stores the list of allowed (or recommended) values in a GValueArray and returns that to the user. NULL is a valid return value, too. The process of property probing is separated over two virtual functions: one for probing the property to create a GValueArray, and one to retrieve the current GValueArray. Those two are separated because probing might take a long time (several seconds). Also, this simpliies interface implementation in elements. For the application, there are functions that wrap those two. For more information on this, have a look at the API reference for the GstPropertyProbe interface. Below is a example of property probing for the audio filter element; it will probe for allowed values for the silent property. Indeed, this value is a gboolean so it doesn't make much sense. Then again, it's only an example. #include <gst/propertyprobe/propertyprobe.h> static void gst_my_filter_probe_interface_init (GstPropertyProbeInterface *iface); GType gst_my_filter_get_type (void) { [..] static const GInterfaceInfo probe_interface_info = { (GInterfaceInitFunc) gst_my_filter_probe_interface_init, NULL, NULL }; [..] g_type_add_interface_static (my_filter_type, GST_TYPE_PROPERTY_PROBE, &probe_interface_info); [..] } static const GList * gst_my_filter_probe_get_properties (GstPropertyProbe *probe) { GObjectClass *klass = G_OBJECT_GET_CLASS (probe); static GList *props = NULL; if (!props) { GParamSpec *pspec; pspec = g_object_class_find_property (klass, "silent"); props = g_list_append (props, pspec); } return props; } static gboolean gst_my_filter_probe_needs_probe (GstPropertyProbe *probe, guint prop_id, const GParamSpec *pspec) { gboolean res = FALSE; switch (prop_id) { case ARG_SILENT: res = FALSE; break; default: G_OBJECT_WARN_INVALID_PROPERTY_ID (probe, prop_id, pspec); break; } return res; } static void gst_my_filter_probe_probe_property (GstPropertyProbe *probe, guint prop_id, const GParamSpec *pspec) { switch (prop_id) { case ARG_SILENT: /* don't need to do much here... */ break; default: G_OBJECT_WARN_INVALID_PROPERTY_ID (probe, prop_id, pspec); break; } } static GValueArray * gst_my_filter_get_silent_values (GstMyFilter *filter) { GValueArray *array = g_value_array_new (2); GValue value = { 0 }; g_value_init (&value, G_TYPE_BOOLEAN); /* add TRUE */ g_value_set_boolean (&value, TRUE); g_value_array_append (array, &value); /* add FALSE */ g_value_set_boolean (&value, FALSE); g_value_array_append (array, &value); g_value_unset (&value); return array; } static GValueArray * gst_my_filter_probe_get_values (GstPropertyProbe *probe, guint prop_id, const GParamSpec *pspec) { GstMyFilter *filter = GST_MY_FILTER (probe); GValueArray *array = NULL; switch (prop_id) { case ARG_SILENT: array = gst_my_filter_get_silent_values (filter); break; default: G_OBJECT_WARN_INVALID_PROPERTY_ID (probe, prop_id, pspec); break; } return array; } static void gst_my_filter_probe_interface_init (GstPropertyProbeInterface *iface) { iface->get_properties = gst_my_filter_probe_get_properties; iface->needs_probe = gst_my_filter_probe_needs_probe; iface->probe_property = gst_my_filter_probe_probe_property; iface->get_values = gst_my_filter_probe_get_values; } You don't need to support any functions for getting or setting values. All that is handled via the standard GObject _set_property () and _get_property () functions. Profile Interface WRITEME X Overlay Interface WRITEME Navigation Interface WRITEME