Engineering Culture

Axis attends the 2023 GStreamer Conference in A Coruña


Post by: Johan Sternerup

David Svensson Fors

In late September 2023, a group of Axis engineers from the Axis OS Development Department set off to A Coruña, Spain to attend the GStreamer conference at Palexco for which Axis was a Gold Sponsor. The Gold Sponsor level means a €5000 funding to be used both for arranging the conference as well as for providing build infrastructure to the GStreamer project.

Axis is an active contributor to many open-source components and one of the most important for Axis devices is GStreamer, which is a framework for multimedia processing. In almost every streaming solution involving an Axis device, GStreamer is the component orchestrating the flow of data. Being such a crucial part of the core functionality, it’s natural for Axis to be an active participant of the GStreamer community. The community consists of companies and individuals from all over the world, from industry experts to students and hobbyists.

This year the four-day conference and hackfest event was held in A Coruña, a seaport town in the northwestern outpost of Spain facing the Atlantic Ocean. As this was the first conference held since 2019 in Lyon, interest to present was high, but Axis was able to get approval to hold four presentations. These presentations covered high level topics such as how GStreamer is used to address the requirements from the surveillance industry where Axis operates, as well as narrower, more technical topics such as using Rust. For the details, please watch the full presentations linked below.

Adding Rust to a C++ GStreamer WebRTC application by Johan Sternerup

Improved RTSP connection latency for live streams by Jacob Johnsson

WebRTC in Axis cameras and in the surveillance industry by Jonas Cremon

ONVIF metadata streams in Network security cameras by Johan Bjäreholt & Linus Svensson

The conference had a very warm and welcoming atmosphere around it, which helped to ease any pre-presentation nerves and being well-prepared, knowing their subject by heart and having an interested and friendly audience all helped in making the presentations a valuable, insightful, and pleasant experience.

This also made it easy to socialize and network with other conference participants. The presentations acted as interesting icebreakers and the socializing part of the conference is what really makes it worthwhile attending in person. While the presentations have been recorded, the discussions with other GStreamer enthusiasts are not something that you can catch up with by just watching them later. You meet people that face the same challenges and might have a common interest in putting some work into a specific area. You also meet people working at companies doing completely different things with GStreamer, and even though it may initially seem that you share no common technology area beyond that, it very often turns out that there are common areas in which you can learn from each other. Be it a build system, a testing framework, or ways of working.

Johan Sternerup gives a presentation during the conference.

The conference was a two-day event full of interesting presentations and discussions. In addition, there was also a social event on the evening of the first day taking place at a restaurant just by the seaside. Delicious tapas, beer, and wine together with lots of people all sharing the same interests. What more can a software developer ask for?

For the real hardcores there was also a two-day hackfest following the conference days. The hackfest is an informal event where you can code on anything you like, preferably something GStreamer related. It’s also an opportunity to discuss issues in more detail than you might have time for at the actual conference with its rather tight schedule.

Two Axis engineers attended the first day of the hackfest with the positive outcome of finalizing a prototype project that had been on pause for some time, but now that the right people were gathered, the remaining problems could efficiently be solved. Another outcome was the initiation of a long-term plan to replace a component that GStreamer currently uses as one of its dependencies with another component that is better supported and thus more future proof.

Finally, the hackfest ended at one of the excellent seafood restaurants in A Coruña. In line with the Mediterranean traditions, food was not served until long after typical Swedish, but as they say: “When in A Coruña, do as the A Coruñans do”. And the delicious paella was definitely worth waiting for.

To summarize, the Axis journey to the GStreamer conference in A Coruña was an exciting and valuable experience. The opportunity to actively be part of driving an open source project, to take part in inspiring and thought-provoking discussions, to hold presentations and share insights, to build networks with interesting, like-minded people, and to enjoy plenty of delicious Spanish food. However, it’s apparent that next time we go to A Coruña we do need to level up our Spanish Language skills.