[FFmpeg-devel] (trying to be) a voice of reason

madshi madshi
Mon Mar 14 12:10:47 CET 2011


we had a coup. Now we seem to have a re-coup. It feels
to me as if we were in the Dark Ages. People are fighting
with each other instead of working together.

As far as I can see, if nothing changes, there are 3 ways
this could go:

(1) Either Michael "wins". As a result some developers
will leave.

(2) Or the new leadership team wins. As a result some
different developers will leave.

(3) Or there will be two separate branches. Instead of
working together some devs will work on one branch,
the others on the other branch. This might not be so bad
from the view of the developers working on the branches.
But it would be a quite bad situation for users of (= devs
using) ffmpeg/libav, because probably the branches would
be different. One branch would have some features the
other branch hasn't and vice versa. One branch would
have bugs the other hasn't. Users of ffmpeg/libav might
even end up having to use both branches to get the best
of both worlds. Furthermore where to post bug reports?
Two mailing lists? Two Google Summer of Code projects?
Two sample storages? Two bug trackers? Etc etc...

IMHO all three options are really bad.

I know, I'm a rather unknown person on this mailing list.
But maybe that puts me in the comfortable position to
not being partial to either leadership. I don't really care
who leads ffmpeg/libav, as long as ffmpeg/libav prospers.
Of course for that all devs need to be reasonably happy,
so the leadership should ideally be accepted by all devs.

Please excuse me for taking the liberty to write this:

Could I *please* ask all of you ffmpeg/libav devs to
take two steps back and look at the bigger picture?
I know it might require to swallow some pride, but please
think about what is best for *ffmpeg/libav* and not for
yourself. The project is bigger than an individual person.

May I suggest to setup a new leadership which will be
accepted by everyone? I'm suggesting a democratic
approach. Every developer who has ever committed to
ffmpeg/libav should have a vote. IMHO there should be
at least 2 votes:

(1) The first vote would decide which form of leadership
will be used. Options would be e.g.: (a) no leadership at
all, all devs have the same rights; (b) a single leader;
(c) a team of leaders; (d) separate teams with higher
privileges for very specific tasks.

(2) The second vote would decide who gets which role.

I think democratic elections are the only way out of this
mess, because it's the only way that I see that everybody
could accept the final outcome without losing face.

Thanks for reading, Mathias.

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