[FFmpeg-user] ffmpeg issue

Phil Rhodes phil_rhodes at rocketmail.com
Mon Dec 12 03:28:26 CET 2011

> You simply have to install the right packages.

There is a great tendency among linux people to leave things out of  
instructions, and I suspect this is what you are doing here as what you're  
saying simply does not reflect my experience.

An environment capable of building ffmpeg, or at least an ffmpeg useful in  
2011, comprises at least a few thousand files, once you involve  
dependencies, dependencies of dependencies, source, headers, makefiles,  
scripts, configuration, documentation, executables and libraries for  
everything that's required. Each one of those files has to be the right  
version with the right permissions in the right place, correctly referred  
to in other files, creating a thousands-factorial web of potential  
failure, and you furthermore have to worry about which of those files will  
land you in bankruptcy court or prison if you happen to give the  
executable to a friend.

Anybody trying to assert that this is in any way trivial or easy is simply  
a fantasist.

My direct experience is that it fails much more often than it succeeds.  
These failures are generally overlooked by the linux community on the  
basis that most of them are repairable if you happen to be an expert in  
configuration and shell scripts, makefiles, C itself, and of course the  
API and coding conventions of every piece of software that's involved.

If you are not that person, which I am not, what you will actually find is  
that somewhere early, very early, in the procedure, you will hit a  
problem, and you will ask about it on a mailing list and everyone will  
call you an idiot, because you didn't understand that when someone said  
"Perform procedure X", what they actually meant was to perform the  
procedure then fix the inevitable problems arising therefrom.

I would love one of the clever people who's been disagreeing with my  
comments to take a brand new Ubuntu box and enlighten us all, step by  
step, with what it actually took to create a build environment for ffmpeg.  
My suspicion is: quite a lot of banging on text files.


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