[Ffmpeg-devel] [PATCH] Universal binary support for Mac OS X

Diego Biurrun diego
Mon Feb 6 14:43:41 CET 2006

On Mon, Feb 06, 2006 at 03:05:47AM +0100, Dan Villiom Podlaski Christiansen wrote:
> On 05/02/2006, at 16.02, Rich Felker wrote:
> >BTW, do mac developers really consider their users so stupid that they
> >can't figure out which binary to download, and that they need to waste
> >twice the download time and disk space to make sure they have the
> >right binary? If so I find this really insulting to users, and sad..
> This has nothing to do with stupidity, and everything to do with  
> usability.
> When designing software that targets specific users, it's generally a  
> good assumption that anything the user wants to do is "right", or at  
> least the user should want to do "the right thing". Anything which  
> makes the user suddenly become aware of technicalities or  
> requirements of the system, is unacceptable. This is called  
> usability, and is target of a lot of scientific research, just like  
> the math and DSP algorithms used in FFmpeg.
> Imagine the following use case scenario:
> A user downloads a copy of an application, e.g. VLC, to his work  
> computer, e.g. an x86-based Mac. The user then transfers this  
> application to his home computer, e.g. a PowerPC-based Mac, which  
> isn't connected to the Internet.
> With universal binaries the user just downloads the updated VLC,  
> without them, the user would have to choose which copy to download,  
> and would have to have different copies of the application to run on  
> different systems. Your assumption that the system to which a file is  
> downloaded is the same as the system to which is intended is not  
> always fulfilled.
> Another scenario:
> A user downloads VLC and installs it in the home directory in the  
> campus computers. Being a properly setup computer network, this home  
> directory is shared among all Macs on the network; both the fancy new  
> Intel-based ones and the older PowerPC-based ones.
> Without universal binaries, the user would have to have separate  
> binaries for the Intel Macs and PowerPC Macs, and would be forced to  
> verify the architecture of the current computer before doing anything.
> Both these scenarios require the user to obtain knowledge and do  
> things the developer could have dealt with.
> Simply doubling the space used for binaries isn't all the big a  
> problem: OTOH it allows you to have only one copy of non-binary  
> application-related data ? which often takes up far more space than  
> the binaries do. It's just like having a massive GUI library  
> installed; it takes up a shitload of HD space, but it's acceptable  
> considering the benefit to the user.
> In general, I would suggest that you try not to make too many  
> assumptions about the needs and knowledge of Mac users. You cannot  
> extrapolate your own experiences to people who are far less skilled  
> in computer usage than you are, and have absolutely no interest in  
> attempting to reach a skill level comparable to yours.
> Indeed, if the needs of Mac users were the same as yours, the would  
> probably be running the same OS as you. They aren't, so they  
> obviously do not share your priorities. And that is in no way  
> insulting to neither them nor you.
> Pretty much any Mac application using FFmpeg will want to have a  
> universal copy of FFmpeg. VLC being a prime example. Handbrake being  
> another.
> IMHO you're remarks are needlessly inflammatory. There's no reason to  
> suggest that I or others consider users "stupid". It's just that the  
> average Mac user and the average Linux user are very, very different.

Well spoken.

I had not considered that many Mac programs don't need installation, but
can just be copied from machine to machine.

Anyway, let's see the patches and drop the senseless flaming please.


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