[FFmpeg-devel] Reintroducing FFmpeg to Debian

Pau Garcia i Quiles pgquiles at elpauer.org
Sat Aug 16 17:49:33 CEST 2014

On Sat, Aug 16, 2014 at 5:30 PM, Nicolas George <george at nsup.org> wrote:

> The only option is to make sure the users do not suffer from the fork, by
> making sure they can easily use the version that is most suited for their
> need without being sucked into the developers' disagreements.

Can we get back on topic?

With or without libav in Debian, there are solid technical reasons to have
ffmpeg in Debian. We have both GraphicsMagick and ImageMagick (although
they parted ways in a civilized way: different library names), and we
certainly have a ton of librarys which provide very similar features.

Since before the fork, the libav developers have been sabotaging ffmpeg as
much as possible, in every "combat field": library names, library versions,
taking distributions hostage (ffmpeg package that installs libav!?), etc.
This is not the way to fork anything. This is a fact. I don't care whether
Michael Nidermayer was a dictator or not. I don't care whether the
code-review rules in libav are better or worse. I don't care what the Linux
kernel does. The only thing I care about is Debian is shipping a
less-capable (i. e. less multimedia formats supported) distribution due to
this conflict.

This has to stop.

ffmpeg is not yet in Debian due to the filename clashing, which will most
certainly cause binary problems.

If libav and ffmpeg maintainers cannot reach an agreement regarding library
names and it's not possible to simply use either ffmpeg or libav
indistinctly due missing features binary compatibility, etc, the obvious
solution is that BOTH libav and ffmpeg rename their libraries in Debian. E.
g. libavcodec-ffmpeg.so and libavcodec-libav.so, etc. Maybe even use
alternatives to provide the binaries (ffmpeg, ffplay, etc). It's been done
in the past.

And before someone mentions it: I don't think it's too late. It's getting
too late because nobody with the right to act is doing anything. In the
end, our users are the ones being harmed and we are left wondering why they
are increasingly moving to other distributions or Mac OS X.

Pau Garcia i Quiles
(Due to my workload, I may need 10 days to answer)

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