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

Stefano Sabatini stefano.sabatini-lala
Mon Mar 14 12:36:12 CET 2011

On date Monday 2011-03-14 12:10:47 +0100, madshi encoded:
> Hello,
> 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.

Thanks for taking care to post this, I couldn't agree with you more,
we should avoid to split the project, the consequences for users and
free software multimedia would be catastrophic.

A vote at this point seems a reasonable solution, vote should be
anonymous and previously discussed on this list or on some other
public place. Suggestions for setting it up are welcome.
FFmpeg = Fierce and Fabulous Magnificient Pitiless Erudite Guru

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