[FFmpeg-devel] FFmpegs future and resigning as leader

Clément Bœsch u at pkh.me
Fri Jul 31 17:37:12 CEST 2015

On Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 03:53:04PM +0200, Michael Niedermayer wrote:
> 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!

If some FFmpeg developers are still willing to do that (that is, maybe
partially on their respective maintainership areas), may we ask you to
document more your process? If that is possible, maybe not limited to
these merges.

You have been doing an outstanding work for years, and this includes

- development
- reviews
- patch merges
- merge of libav
- releases
- security fixes
- GSoC/OPW/... mentoring
- misc logistic
- sysadmin

So in order for the community to continue this, I'd say we probably need
to have some help for:

- guidelines on the merge strategies
- step-by-step on the release process
- some overview on the sysadmin state (like, what happens with the recent
  server offers?)

I know this is asking a lot, but I believe it's important for the future
of the project and a good bootstrap to distribute tasks between those
willing to, even if it's just temporary.

> 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.

...typically not just abrupt random hint like this :)

> 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.

Heh, while I appreciate to see myself mentioned here, it is obvious to
everyone that this was (and is) not something very realistic.

On the other hand, I think this is an extremely great opportunity for the
toxicity between the two projects to end, so I'm willing to help the best
as I can during the time window that would lead to a viable solution.

So far, I can see that things can go either very well, or extremely wrong,
depending on various factors.

- Libav refuses any cooperation (or some FFmpeg devs disrupt the process)
  and use this as an opportunity to proclaim more independence, which
  would lead to indeed a real fork, ending in the death of one or the
  two projects. This leading to the loss of features/fixes on either one
  or both sides.

- Libav and FFmpeg can come into agreements and maybe join forces, or at
  least stops the acid burns for the users, leading to less stress for
  everyone involved.

But in any case, this won't be solved today, and at least for the next
days, weeks and maybe month, the FFmpeg machine need to continue to work,
so we probably need some little help.

I just tried to probe for a meeting with Libav developers, and I'd like to
hear more about what both sides think of all of this.

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

As I said to you already privately, this comes as a surprise, but hey,
it's crazy how long you kept up with all of this. I hope you can enjoy
some less stressful time disconnected from everything, and thank you very
much for everything you've done so far.

See you space cowboy.

Clément B.
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 473 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://ffmpeg.org/pipermail/ffmpeg-devel/attachments/20150731/65ae5f7a/attachment.sig>

More information about the ffmpeg-devel mailing list