SunSoft Inc has pulled its engineers off the project to develop audio capabilities for the X Consortium’s next-generation X Window release, the Web-enabled Broadway due by the end of the year. The Consortium’s original idea was that if you can view an X application running in a browser window using Broadway, then you should be […]
SunSoft Inc has pulled its engineers off the project to develop audio capabilities for the X Consortium’s next-generation X Window release, the Web-enabled Broadway due by the end of the year. The Consortium’s original idea was that if you can view an X application running in a browser window using Broadway, then you should be able to hear it too. Audio is one of Broadway’s five core components, the others being network security, embedding, remote execution, and x.fast high performance. Digital Equipment Corp and Santa Cruz Operation Inc have been working on the audio portion along with SunSoft and the X Consortium. The X Consortium, to be rolled into the Open Group once its first Broadway release is delivered, says it will continue with the development, using subcontractors where required, although SunSoft’s withdrawal will have other knock-on effects. The loss of the SunSoft team does put the audio project into serious jeopardy. One of the most critical factors is whether there is enough participation to have confidence in the specification once it is completed. SunSoft indicated that it is interested in reviewing the specification but could not promise that there would be enough cycles there to complete the task. This raises doubts as to whether we could be ready to vote on adoption of a standard: SunSoft is no longer willing to be one of the drivers for that project. DEC’s conclusion is that there is now too much risk to industry adoption, and it too will withdraw its engineers from next month. Santa Cruz will apparently continue its work on the project. The X Consortium has been examining the audio project’s remaining tasks and reckons a full specification and implementation can be completed using subcontractors, though fewer hardware devices would be supported and some format conversion options would be dropped from the implementation. Its alternative is to stop work on the audio component and work on some security and network utilization features that have already been dropped from the first Broadway release (the X Consortium’s last). Candidates are said to include proxies for transporting the X protocol across security firewalls, security for more X protocol extensions, enhancements to the desktop security manager, and an extension to the font server protocol and implementation to support transport of compressed glyph images. The X Consortium warns that there is significant risk that we may still not be able to finish the audio implementation, primarily determined by how rapidly we can bring suitable contractors aboard. SunSoft declined to comment, but it is understood an internal reorganization has forced it to reassign engineers away from the Broadway audio project to work on other, more pressing, matters.