[Ffmpeg-devel] Excessive default command line output

Colin Ward lists
Thu Feb 23 04:11:37 CET 2006

Guillaume POIRIER wrote:


>> Are you developers quite certain *all* those lines contain
>> information relevant to the casual observer? Perhaps it would be
>> relevant to do what LAME does:
>> % lame --help |& wc -l
>>        23
>> % lame --longhelp |& wc -l
>>       158
> Except that lame is "just" an audio codec encoder when ffmpeg is a
> swiss knife which support gazillion of audio, video formats and
> containers as input and zilliions of video, audio formats and
> containers as output.
> This sure doesn't make it easy to sum it all up on a few lines.

   I agree with both sides.  FFMPEG is a "Swiss Army Knife" and 
therefore has a lot of options, however, so many options are printed 
that you really don't know where to start!  Also, has anyone noticed 
that some options are printed to stdout and some to stderr?  If you type 
"ffmpeg 2> /dev/null" to filter out stderr then it "only" prints about 
two screens full of options, which are the most often used ones.  Maybe 
the stderr options should be disabled by default and enabled with a 
-longhelp option?

   Even better, move the advanced options to -longhelp as well.  I think 
that the goal here is to get the output down to one screen full, given a 
modern high res terminal (ie. My Cygwin bash is 50 lines high).  This 
makes it easy for newbies to see the options they need and once they are 
familiar with those they can explore more with -longhelp.

   Maybe even a -longhelp video, -longhelp audio etc. to make the long 
help shorter would be good too, as well as a -longhelp all of course. 
Forgive my rambling, I'm really thinking out loud here.

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