[FFmpeg-devel] FFmpegs future and resigning as leader

Michael Niedermayer michael at niedermayer.cc
Fri Jul 31 15:53:04 CEST 2015

Hi all

Ive been in FFmepg since 14 years and been the leader since 11 years
and i feel that iam not the best person for the leader position.
I had hoped for a long time that the fork situation would resolve and
both sides somehow merging back into one team. All the Libav developers
joining FFmpeg again. But even now as the last distributions are
preparing to remove Libav, still theres no hint of that happening.
Maybe even the opposite.

The community is split and its very difficult to be the leader when
one is on one side of this split and the other tries everything to
push me out

I hope my resignation will make it easier for the teams to find back
together and avoid a more complete split which would otherwise be
the result sooner or later as the trees diverge and merging all
improvments becomes too difficult for me to do.

also before my resignation, i offer all maintainers who dont yet have,
direct write access as i likely will not comb through the ML anymore
or not as frequently to apply patches, please send me your public SSH
key if you are de facto maintaining or working on some part of FFmpeg
or are listed in MAINTAINERs.

If people want to continue merges from libav, someone else will have
to do these. Indeed i fully admit the work and pressure caused by
the merges is a main reason for my resignation.

FFmpeg belongs to the FFmpeg developers and the FFmpeg community!

will i ever return ? ... i might ..., if theres a nice and friendly
environment, no hostile forks or at least none i have to interact with.
But i will certainly not return as leader, this is not really a role
i ever truly liked, more one i ended up with.
Especially as somehow "leader" is being interpreted by everyone as
"the guy who does all work noone else does, and takes all
 responsibility noone else wants to take"

am i still available for consulting jobs releated to FFmpeg?
yes, of course i cant gurantee it for the very distant future but
currently yes. And in the very distant future, its a maybe, so just
ask if theres something ...

what about root, git admin roles, ...?
Well iam happy to pass them on to whoever the community chooses and
trusts. But please be very carefull who you choose!
until someone else is choosen i can continue doing the basic things
like security updates and opening git accounts, aka theres no urgency
in choosing someone, rather please choose wise than quick.

what about GSoC? I agreed to mentor and admin that and i will of
course finish that for this summer. I may or may not be available
in future FFmpeg GSoCs.

If you now think "ohh god what should i do, michael resigned"
very simple, FFmpeg is yours, that is everyones. try your best to
make FFmpeg be the best.
Post patches, review patches, apply patches, discuss code and design.
Report bugs, bisect, debug and fix bugs, add features, help users.
Do friendly merges, and if you like do hostile merges.
Its all up to you now!

PS: To push a merge, i think this wasnt documented, you need to
add a "Merged-by:" to the commit message, thats the only check, i have
no special premissions or anything to push merges.

PS2: Be carefull about who will be in charge of key infrastructure!
     and also where power moves when thouse in charge then resign.

PS3: I would suggest a new "leader" if there was a clear pick, a year
     or 2 ago i would have suggested stefano or clement but they are
     not so active currently. Maybe a good candidate will appear in
     the future or stefano & ubitux will become more active again
     in which case i would suggest one of them as leader if the
     community wants to have a leader and they agree.

Thanks to everyone, for everything they did and will do in the future
for FFmpeg and the community !

Michael     GnuPG fingerprint: 9FF2128B147EF6730BADF133611EC787040B0FAB

Old school: Use the lowest level language in which you can solve the problem
New school: Use the highest level language in which the latest supercomputer
            can solve the problem without the user falling asleep waiting.
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