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The Philosophy behind Helix Community

Helix DNA™ is the leading open multi-format digital media platform, intended to accelerate the development and deployment of digital media applications of any media, on any device, over any network, on any operating system and created in any development environment. The Helix Community is a vehicle for various stake-holders to maintain, develop and extend the Helix DNA platform.

By making the platform to the broad community, everybody can tailor it to suit specific needs, while the core development team of the Helix Community solves the problems that are common to everyone, such as providing standards-compliant media encoding, transport, and playback.

The Helix Community vision of a community-developed platform shows how you can embrace the opportunities to boost digital media proliferation today. Here are the eight principles upon which the Helix Community is based:

1. Helix DNA is both commercial-source and open-source

The Helix Community was built based on the promise of open-source and the inherent efficiency and effectiveness of the open-source paradigm. However, we are also mindful of the legitimate concerns of commercial businesses who are wary of the open-source license requirements. To allay their concerns, we chose to create both a commercial-source and open-source community. Since the Helix DNA platform has separate licenses for both communities, an optimum level of synergy can be attained while keeping the platform itself common and available for both communities.

2. Helix DNA is multi-format

The Helix DNA platform provides a single architecture for all digital media delivery formats. Currently, four disparate digital media formats, RealNetworks' RealMedia, Microsoft's Windows Media, Apple's QuickTime and 3GPP, power most of online media consumption. To maximize audience potential, developers are often forced to support each platform, incurring separate operating as well as development costs for each platform. This wastes time, money, and resources that could be better spent elsewhere. The Helix DNA platform services all of those architectures and is committed to format-independence.

3. Helix DNA is flexible

The Helix DNA platform is designed in such a way that it can be utilized by end-users on diverse terminals such as desktops, set-top boxes and mobile handsets. On one hand, it can be packed with multimedia  features which improve end-user experience. On the other hand, some mobile platforms do not have the same resources as desktops and in general only have a fraction of computing power, memory and storage space as compared to desktops. Helix DNA can accomodate such diverse resource constraints through the usage of Helix-profiles which enable the customization of Helix DNA and aligns it with the resources on the platform.

4. Helix DNA is cross-platform

The Helix DNA platform is architected to be cross-platform and supports operating systems such as WIN32, Linux, Mac OSX, Symbian, SunOS and Windows Mobile as well as processors such as Intel x86, Sparc, AMD and ARM variants. Because of the cross-platform nature of Helix DNA, 85 - 90% of the code is shared across all platforms. A developer looking to port Helix DNA to a new platform would only have to port 10-15% of the code and the rest of the platform would be automatically functional. This leads to a very low cost of development and a quick time to market.

5. What Helix knows, we all know

Because Helix DNA is multi-format, flexible and cross-platform, it leads to aggregation of various constituencies and creates a huge community of various sub-communities.. Eg., a WIN32 desktop developer could fix a bug or develop a new feature which could be picked up by developers of Linux phones. All developers are encouraged to actively check back changes to the community as they develop Helix DNA so that there is minimal duplication of effort and everybody gets to take advantage of new features and bug-fixes.

6. Helix Community is representative

The Helix Community provides an efficient vehicle to voice opinions, good and bad, and invites every interested person to come and be a part of this revolution. There are mailing lists, forums, chat and even contributor tele-conferences which makes it easy for everybody to contribute to the improvement of the Helix DNA platform.

7. Helix Community is de-centralized

The Helix Community follows a de-centralized approach which primarily gives each developer/organization maximum control over the destiny of their projects .It gives them the ability to work on and fix their own problems and simultaneously allows the growth of the community as a benign by-product.

8. Helix Community is for everyone

The Helix Community is intended to be a community of commercial software developers, open-source developers, program managers, testers and end-user enthusiasts. The Helix Community is intended to be inclusive and there are multiple ways to get involved in the Helix Community. While the Helix DNA source-code is meant for software developers to use as a primary resource, we also encourage non-developers to understand the Helix DNA platform through high-level documents. Also, end-users can download applications which are freely available and try it out on their chosen environment.