so now in addition to the xine backend on Linux/UNIX, we have gstreamer support (3,598 LOC). for Windows there is a DirectShow 9 backend (3,805 LOC), and for MacOS X there's a QuickTime 7 backend (4,490 LOC).
while great news on its own, there is more to this than "just" the release of three significant new backends for phonon.
this means significant amounts of funded development for Phonon as Trolltech developers will be maintaining these backends as well as contributing to the core Phonon library. Trolltech's motivation? they will be offering Phonon as a component in their commercial Qt offerings starting with Qt 4.4.
as if that wasn't cool enough, Trolltech has put the backends they have written into kdebase where they will be developed and maintained in the open with the rest of the KDE project.
on top of that, the plugins are released under the LGPL license.
as a final flourish, Trolltech's marketing department and KDE's communications team worked together to write up press releases and coordinate the timing of the public announcements.
open repositories, open development, marketing colaboration and licensing aligned with the given situation.
this is a significant step forward in what has been an ongoing process of improving the community interaction at Trolltech, adding to past strides such as Trolltech Labs, community blogging (both on labs as well as planet kde), a public task tracker, an open git repository for QtWebkit, official Qt liasons for KDE on kde-core-devel, organizing and funding open source development meetings and conferences ...
it also demonstrates how the KDE umbrella provides common working ground for a wide variety of participants by providing equitable ways for everyone to work hand-in-hand as partners. it can be tricky at times to balance the needs, motivations and energies of volunteers, researchers and corporate entities alike in a wide-open project, but we are gathering more and more experience on how to successfully accomplish just that.
and with the help of Phonon we'll be able to watch it all go down in technicolour brilliance with thundering surround sound. ;)