[FFmpeg-devel] [PATCH] Dynamic plugins loading

Nicolas George nicolas.george
Mon Nov 1 14:54:33 CET 2010

Le primidi 11 brumaire, an CCXIX, Michael Niedermayer a ?crit?:
> I agree with ronald that a plugin architecture wont do us nor our users any
> good.

My reason for implementing it yesterday, apart from the fact that some
people did manifest interest about it on the mailing lists some time ago,
was this:

For a DVB-grabber/player system I maintain, I have designed a custom storage
format, because none of the existing formats suited my needs. A dynamic
loading system would have slightly simplified upgrades of the video tools,
even making it possible to use the distro's versions (if someday they become

Anyway, I understand perfectly why most people here do not like the idea of
a plugin system, and I do not intend to insist for its inclusion. But I have
spotted a few logical flaws in the argument that have been stated, and I can
not resist answering them.

The main flaw is that the cat is now out of the box: any GPL abuser can
download my patch from the mailing-list archives, apply it and use it to
load its proprietary code. And even without it, what I have written
yesterday, any half-decent coding monkey working for said GPL abuser could
have coded too. And if that was not enough, using LD_PRELOAD also allows to
add plugins to ffmpeg.

As for the concern about stability and security, I believe it is the concern
of people who decide to load crappy plugins in their ffmpeg, either with a
published interface or with LD_PRELOAD.

The problem in Firefox is not that it has an extension mechanism, it's that
the core developers have taken it as an excuse not to do their job
completely: "this crucial feature is missing? just write an extension", with
all the problems that implies (out of date bitrotting extensions, forks). 

As far as I can see, the only security issue with this patch is that some
half-baked privilege escalation systems will sanitize LD_PRELOAD and not

Anyway, as I said, I do not intend to insist further.

(On the other hand, if anyone knows a supported format that allows efficient
extraction of two 1-hour shows from a 3-hours recording with commercials, I
would like to hear about it.)


  Nicolas George
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