Trolltech announced today that the Phonon backends, which they have been developing for inclusion in Qt, are being transferred into the KDE source code repository. Phonon is the KDE 4 API for multimedia and is also set to be part of Qt 4.4, scheduled for the end of Q1 2008. You heard it right folks, a part of Qt will be officially hosted and developed inside KDE's very own Subversion repository, from whose loins Phonon first sprung, and be freely available to all under the LGPL.
The code being transferred is: Trolltech's GStreamer Phonon backend for Linux and UNIX platforms, their DirectShow 9 backend for Windows, as well as their Quicktime 7 backend for Mac OS X. All future development on these backends, as well as future development by Trolltech on Phonon itself, will take place directly in the KDE Subversion repository.
Quoting from the press release:
"By developing Phonon components within the globally accessible public KDE source repository, Phonon developers are able to watch and participate in the development of Trolltech's Phonon back-end code and library code contributions. This also allows the community to evaluate and provide input into the work being done by Trolltech’s internal development team. KDE, in turn, benefits by having Trolltech's employed developers contribute to the ongoing development and maintenance of Phonon, freeing KDE developers to work on other aspects of the desktop. This is a marked change from how open source libraries are usually integrated into commercial products, which has typically involved pulling snapshots of the open source code into the commercial product. Additionally, the Windows and Mac OS X backends will enable KDE4 applications running on these platforms to include multimedia functionality."
This is a great move by Trolltech and shows that it "gets" the benefits of collaboration between open source projects and industry. Let's hope that this trend continues in the future.