[Ffmpeg-devel] Re: time for a release?

Diego Biurrun diego
Sat Dec 17 00:09:58 CET 2005

On Fri, Dec 16, 2005 at 07:07:06PM +0100, Reinhard Tartler wrote:
> >Michel Bardiaux mbardiaux at mediaxim.be wrote:
> >It does not make sense to issue a 'release' since at the first bug 
> >report regarding the 'release', the reply will be 'use cvs'.
> Well, one big problem we currently have (and other distrubtions as
> well!) is that ffmpeg does not provide a stable API or ABI. This makes
> it very difficult to package programs which use ffmpeg. The interim
> solution projects like xine and mplayer choose is to include copies of
> CVS snapshots from ffmpeg.

That's not an interim solution, it's done on purpose.

> This is a nightmare to support, because for every security update
> has to update each package on its own.

I'm curious, how many security-related updates of FFmpeg have you
performed so far?

> >IMHO, either a release is declared, *and* it is supported; or, the 
> >cvs-only-support rule remains in force, and the only thing to do is to 
> >state very it clearly in all the docs.
> Do you support your last release? There is something, which is called
> 'formal releases' on http://ffmpeg.sourceforge.net/download.php. 

No, releases are not supported.  They are put out there because people
keep requesting them.  It also tends to give the devs a warm fuzzy
feeling ;)

> Since ffmpeg is used in quite a lot of projects, I'm pretty sure that
> there actually are people interested in backporting fixes from CVS to a
> stable release, which go towards a point release.

Maybe those people exist, but they have not made an appearance on this
mailing list so far...

The problem with FFmpeg (like any open source project I know, except the
Linux kernel) is lack of manpower and supporting formal releases is not
a top priority.

So I'm going to ask you flat-out: Is Ubuntu going to help out?

> In ubuntu, we currently have another issue: Due to patent problems, we
> cannot ship ffmpeg in the 'main' section of ubuntu. Instead, we
> distribute patent encumbered software which include ffmpeg in a section
> called 'multiverse'. It is on our mirrors, but not on the CD.

What do you ship on your CDs then?  Hello world in source form?
Software patents don't only cover multimedia apps...

OK, sorry for the sarcasm.  Do I understand you correctly, that you have
packages in multiverse that Debian has in main, e.g. xine and vlc?

> The problem now is, that we do want to support software like xine and
> mplayer, but we cannot, because they include 'problematic' parts of
> ffmpeg. If they could rely on a stable ffmpeg, so that they don't need
> to maintain an own fork of ffmpeg, it would be a lot easier for us to
> support those packages.

I don't think it's a big difference to install a lib or an application..

> And please give me cluebats in case I missed some important points.
> Thank you for your attention.

This topic has come up many times in one form or another.  Look over the
mailing list archives to read up on the outcome of the discussion.


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