Phonon and the future of KDE multimedia
The development of the next generation of KDE kicked off with the release of the Qt 4 toolkit and aKademy conference last August and is now in full swing. KDE sub-projects from Kate to KWin are deep in the midst of planning and coding for the next major overhaul to GNU/Linux's most popular desktop. Each of KDE's applications must be rewritten to take advantage of Qt 4 and improve the look, power, and usability of KDE. The latest development announcement is for Phonon, KDE 4's multimedia framework, and the replacement for KDE 2 and 3's aRts.
aRts has drawn the ire of developers and users for years, having long ago become unmaintained and outdated to the point where prominent KDE projects such as audio player amaroK no longer bother with it. aRts cannot compete with more modern multimedia frameworks such as Gstreamer and Helix, which do more of the developers' work for them by transparently handling dozens of audio codecs for playback, mixing, and editing, and even do video. Other desktop environments such as GNOME and Enlightenment have already standardized on such frameworks.