[FFmpeg-devel] PATCH: change cmdutils.c so the copyright year does not need changing every year

Stefano Sabatini stefasab at gmail.com
Wed Sep 28 00:29:03 CEST 2011

On date Tuesday 2011-09-27 22:13:03 +0100, JULIAN GARDNER encoded:
> ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Reimar Döffinger <Reimar.Doeffinger at gmx.de>
> > To: FFmpeg development discussions and patches <ffmpeg-devel at ffmpeg.org>
> > Cc: 
> > Sent: Tuesday, 27 September 2011, 21:46
> > Subject: Re: [FFmpeg-devel] PATCH: change cmdutils.c so the copyright year does not need changing every year
> > 
> > On Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 08:56:19PM +0100, JULIAN GARDNER wrote:
> >>  Trivial patch, was looking into why when i build a new ffmpeg the 
> > "build time" did not change, and found this so thought i would make a 
> > simple patch, should work until 31-12-9999
> > 
> > I don't think this is a good idea.
> > First, it would give bogus results if the build machine has a broken
> > date.
> > Second, it's just plain wrong. It is not okay for it to increase
> > automatically if for example no changes happened at all in that year.
> > In particular I wouldn't want to promise that this could not
> > (theoretically at least) create legal trouble.

> But in theory if NO CODE CHANGES then this file wont be recompiled
> and the date wont be changed.

Suppose that in 2099 I need to use the FFmpeg tools, and I discovered
that the bloody devs changed license in 2012, which is incompatible
with my project.

So I want to use FFmpeg from 2011, so I got the old stinky code and
happily compile it. Now my compiled code shows the correct copyright
of 2011, although I compiled it in 2099.

> And the reason behind this is that unless you modify this file or do
> a clean build the build message has the wrong date and time, which
> is the reason i started looking into this, as i had a build on a
> machine whch had a build time which differed from my build machines
> build time.

> So i do think this is better then someone having to remember to go
> into this file the 1st time a change is made and change it to the
> correct year.

No, we like to celebrate the new year by updating this single int :-).
The change to the int is enough for updating the licence year.

> And a better idea would be that the makefile always compiles a small
> file so that every change causes the build time to be updated, which
> is what i have in my work projects, something called revision.c
> which has the following
> const char *builtOn = __TIME__ " on " __DATE__;
> const char *revisionNumber = "0.000000";
> The revision is updated again by the build script so ANY
> modification causes a new revision number, so we can track each
> modification and release

$ ffmpeg -loglevel verbose -version
ffmpeg version N-33009-g5b1562a, Copyright (c) 2000-2011 the FFmpeg developers
  built on Sep 27 2011 20:07:50 with gcc 4.4.5
FFmpeg = Fierce Foolish Multipurpose Patchable Ephemeral Gadget

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