Crosseyed Legacy

Let’s go over cameras again. Many expressed dismay in yesterday’s API Review that Flash Player 9 will be using the Video4Linux version 1 (V4L1) API. Many inquired, “What drives this decision?” Mostly because the code was already in there from the previous codebase and required very little effort to make work with the current Player internals.

That said, let’s look forward to a purely hypothetical future where the Player supports version 2 of the same API (henceforth V4L2). We’ve covered this territory before in Penguin Eyes. That thread emitted some mixed signals. Here is what I took away:

  • there are 2 APIs: V4L1 and V4L2
  • V4L1 is on its way out, scheduled for demolition this month, in fact
  • V4L2 is the way, the truth, and the light (until V4L3 is finished)
  • lots and lots of camera drivers provide V4L1 facilities
  • comparably few camera drivers provide V4L2 facilities

I thought I picked up somewhere in that thread that there is some compatibility for V4L1 in V4L2. Wow, that would be nice. I tested this quickly by trying the V4L2 capture.c example with my spca5xx-driven, no-name camera. To no avail.

/dev/video0 is no V4L2 device

But I suppose that’s neither here nor there. I guess my question is: If (not promising anything here) I wanted to try my hand at adding V4L2 support to the Player, and given the limited camera support for the API, what specific camera model can I easily purchase that will provide the support? Note: Please don’t tell me, “Just use any camera with a foocam610 chipset.” That doesn’t help me. In the Penguin Eyes thread, I saw a recommendation for a Logitech Quickcam 5000. Any others? Thanks, that would help me out.

As for delegating camera input duties to GStreamer as so many have clamored for… no, just… no.