[FFmpeg-devel] [ANNOUNCE] New FFmpeg maintainership

Stefano Sabatini stefano.sabatini-lala
Sat Jan 22 02:40:49 CET 2011

On date Wednesday 2011-01-19 01:58:53 +0100, Diego Biurrun encoded:
> On Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 11:39:24PM +0100, Stefano Sabatini wrote:
> > On date Tuesday 2011-01-18 19:53:41 +0100, Attila Kinali encoded:
> > > We, the undersigned, announce that as of today FFmpeg maintainership
> > > has been assumed by a new team.  Our aim is to facilitate the
> > > development of exciting new features in a timely manner while keeping
> > > high quality standards and above all to provide a fair, productive
> > > environment for developers and contributors.
> > 
> > I can understand some of the reasons for this change, and I can even
> > agree with them. But it should have been better to announce and
> > discuss publically on this list.
> > 
> > This hasn't happened, and this sounds higly unrespectful for all the
> > FFmpeg developers not involved in the change.
> There is a time for words and there is a time for action.
> Many words have been exchanged over the past years, many flames have
> been endured and the disgruntlement has been growing continuously.
> There have been behind-the-scenes attempts to make amends, but they
> failed and the urgency of the situation was completely underestimated.

I cannot really understand here about the urgency. Which urgency?

> The discontent reached the point where a fork was being contemplated
> and then planned, but it turned out that the momentum had soared way
> past critical mass and turned into a tidal wave of revolution.  The
> focus moved from forking to avoiding a fork if possible.

But unfortunately it never passed from considering to ask to the
person/s which were considered the cause of the "problem" to change
for the last time, or to discuss this publically, giving a chance to
these persons to defend themselves, and eventually pose an ultimatum
and act in the case they failed.
> Since git was being set up on videolan.org, setting up an alternative
> git tree on mphq was the natural choice.  With development moving to
> videolan.org and such a large group of developers already part of the
> revolution keeping the infrastructure was the logical consequence.

I think that it was a very good plan from the tactical point of view,
and I can understand the tactical reasons for doing it this way.

> Apologies if the speed and suddenness of our actions were a surprise to
> some.  The intention was not to exclude the people who did not receive
> timely notification, this is mostly a matter of timing and coincidence,
> not ill will.  We tried to contact almost everyone, but did not succeed
> with all.  Not everybody was on IRC, others, like you for example, did
> not answer the phone or react to SMS messages and/or email.

As I already tried to told you privately, "notification" at the last
day is not a substitute for open and public discussion.
> It became clear that we could not wait much longer, so at some point we
> just moved forward.  Maybe things were rushed, possibly something could
> have been done differently, but we did not believe it would have made a
> material difference apart from long and drawn-out flamewars.

Please I can't really understand what this hurry was for, I'm proud
that FFmpeg is so useful and helpful but I have no evidence that
people was dying because of the FFmpeg perceived stagnation.

Also discussion != flamewars. And discussion may take time I agree,
and sometimes tends to flaming and sometimes it is inconcludent, yes
democracy can be nasty but not allowing people to discuss and defend
themselves in the name of "getting the things done" is even worse, as
history seems to tell.

> We hope and expect to have done the right thing for FFmpeg in the long
> run and will work on turning the project into a healthy and welcoming
> development environment.

I hope so, I fully agree with these objectives...

> Everybody is welcome and invited to join the community to work on
> FFmpeg, all past and present and future developers included.

But then again this change was done in a way that it makes sooo
difficult for the not involved developers to join. And I'm especially
talking of Michael, he may not be a perfect leader, he may not be a
perfect person, but he didn't deserve such a treatment, not as the
major contributor and the most dedicated FFmpeg hacker, not even as an
human being.
And I don't want to be mean and imply that it was done this way
exactly for excluding him...

Resuming: I can understand the tactical reasons for having you acted
this way, and I congratulate with you because the plan was very well
designed and executed and allowed you to reach the final goal with the
minimum time and effort, yet I feel that this was not the best way to
do the thing from the "ethical" point of view and in terms of respect
for the involved persons, and I'm convinced that other "means",
although less convenient, were possible for reaching the same
objectives without to alienate former developers.

I hope there is still some way for getting the "former team" united
again, it would be a serious and sad loss otherwise, I hope this is
not only a dream.
FFmpeg = Foolish and Fascinating Muttering Puritan Enhanced Gadget

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