[packman] ffmpeg not in monolithic repository

Neil Darlow neil at darlow.co.uk
Wed Apr 6 11:24:45 CEST 2011

Hi Todd,

On Wednesday 06 Apr 2011 08:54:55 todd rme wrote:
> You also apparently seem to think that everyone should automatically
> switch to libav even though there is no technical benefit to it, and
> that it is the responsibility of the ffmpeg project to convince
> everyone else not to switch.  This seems to me to be backwards of the.
> logical approach to such a situation, which is that the newcomer has
> to justify itself, not the tried-and-true project.

You are arguing on the point of technical merit for staying with ffmpeg.

I can see parallels here with OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice. On the one hand you 
can argue that OpenOffice.org is mature and stable and that LibreOffice, in 
its haste to introduce new features, is likely to have introduced regressions. 
This may be true but has not been a barrier for LibreOffice gaining support 
with many Linux distributions.

Some ffmpeg developers had issues with the organisation of the project and 
attempted to introduce change (maybe not by a sensible means) and in the 
ensuing events libav became a fork. libav has introduced a major new feature 
(multi-threading) which ffmpeg has subsequently done also.

I believe the success of LibreOffice, and maybe libav too in time, is the 
better working conditions, for participants, and easier acceptance of new 
features promised in their mission statements. It seems that many Linux 
distributions (or at least their package maintainers) see these changes as 
positive and, provided the forks are responsive in fixing bugs and 
regressions, they are happy to endure a little short-term disruption.

End-users may be unhappy that their video decoding or encoding breaks for a 
period of time but, as long as it is fixed quickly, they will (in general) be 

We have to consider the "Big Picture" and not what is the best deal for the 
end-user but also the project contributors and package maintainers too.

Neil Darlow

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