Aaron blogged that Ade blogged about thin layers, and it’s drawn quite a few comments over on his side of the fence. So, while I’m waiting for Qt to compile on one machine and CUPS on another, I’ll add some clarifications.

My purpose was twofold:

    1. To illustrate that the question “why Phonon?” hasn’t gone away since the previous tiff. It’s still something asked by earnest and trustworthy Free Software developers.
    1. Because it’s a question that can (and will) be asked, it’s useful to have a straightforward answer available. There are so many KDE people that can and do do booth duty at fairs all over the world that this question is going to meet people who haven’t got a PhD in public communication or phono(no)logy.

While I wouldn’t advocate walking around with a file full of laminated 3x5” index cards of answers to FAQs, having an overview of current KDE technologies and the reason behind them is a useful thing. Heck, I thought I had such an overview, but stumbled when trying to deal with this topic. Now there’s a simple four-point response (avoid an arts repeat; if gstreamer is available, then Phonon is a thin layer; gstreamer is less ubiquitous than claimed; technical problems) that covers it all. Now, given that I’m packaging GStreamer specially as a KDE4 dependency on OpenSolaris, I haven’t suffered from the non-ubiquity nor the technical issues, so that’s why I don’t have an overview of all four of those points.

So, all in all here’s a hearty toast to MKretz in particular and all the GNOMIEs from LEL who made this whole he-said-she-said thing happen. All in all we have gotten to the point where we have a straightforward public message on the why and how of Phonon; in a less Free environment we might have done that behind closed doors with a marketing consultant, but the end result – better multimedia for Free Desktop users – is much the same.

[[ Let me raise my glass for Akarsh as well. Welcome to the planet. ]]