[FFmpeg-devel] Development polices of the FFmpeg

Diego Biurrun diego
Tue Sep 16 23:44:15 CEST 2008

On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 07:21:35PM -0700, Roman V. Shaposhnik wrote:
> On Wed, 2008-09-10 at 18:57 +0200, Diego Biurrun wrote:
> > > For example, when Michael throws a moody about something as trivial
> > > as: ((s->buf[1]>>2)&0x3) == 0 vs. (s->buf[1]&0xC) == 0. Is it something
> > > that would be of a concern to anybody but him? And if not, should
> > > he be payed attention to *IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE* (to be extra
> > > clear this is the case of a code NOT officially maintained by him).
> > 
> > I do not think anybody should "throw a moody" about this, but I do
> > wonder why you do not incorporate this neat simplification...
> I will. Absolutely. That was something I clearly overlooked and I'm
> happy that it got caught. Really, it is all about how one says things.
> "Hey, you've just committed this bit of code that could be simplified"
> vs. "Get your stupid code out of here. All of it." are two different
> ways of pointing out the same thing. They all achieve the same result,
> but the first one makes you feel like a likable goof, who is, even while
> goofing up among friends. The other one... well, more on that later.

Well, sticks and stones will break your bones, words will not...

> What got me really pissed off, though, was the initial attitude and
> especially the way it was communicated. It clearly made me feel
> very unwelcome and worse yet as somebody who simply wastes Michael's
> time without giving anything back. 

I do not think that was the intention.

> But the bigger question I had was: will me picking up needles be a net
> win for the project or a net loss? And that's why I created this
> thread.

It would be a net loss.

> > If you have a look at
> > 
> > http://wiki.multimedia.cx/index.php?title=Interesting_Patches
> > 
> > you will find more stuff including things like WMV3, H.264, AMV, Chinese
> > AVS encoders, zlib, Bink, G722, SIPR decoders and many other things.
> > 
> > Some of these things have reached FFmpeg in the meantime, others still
> > have not.  I'm sure many of them would have been incorporated already
> > into projects with less strict requirements.
> Indeed. That is a very good observation. Worse yet, many engineers
> would have participated had it not been about constant abuse of
> "If you can't stand the heat -- get out of the kitchen" principle.
> I have private communications from member of other multimedia related
> projects telling me exactly that. To some extent -- they threw in the
> towel. Was that a net gain for the FFmpeg?

I've heard similar things, mostly coming from the Xiph camp.

Nonetheless there are a lot of people who keep sending us patches and do
not get deterred.  Clearly, FFmpeg as a whole is doing *something*

> But isn't the project lead supposed to not only foster technology, but
> also a development community around it?

Sure, but it's not just the project leader's responsibility.  There is
more than one person on this project.  Everybody has to give a hand.

> Can we err on the side of making submissions and submitters feel
> welcome here, rather than constantly demanding that they prove their
> worth to us first and only the accepted to the club? Is this too much
> to ask?

This is an issue completely different from what is going on between you
and Michael and I don't think we are failing in this regard.  Do you
think requirements are too strict?

> > Whatever gripes people have with FFmpeg or its leadership, there is no
> > alternative to it and many people accept the way things are handled even
> > if they may not agree.
> Agreed. Nobody but Michael passes the "fork test" (well, I do not
> pass it for sure, may be I just don't know some of you guys all
> that well).

I know that Baptiste wanted to fork at some point in the past, but
somehow I managed to convince him not to.  Whether a fork would have
survived I do not know, 

> So, the bottom line is: "if you can't stand the
> head -- get out of the kitchen" :-( 

Yes, it's a bit like that of course.  You need to be able to survive a
good bit of criticism to survive around here.  I guess you also need to
be able to withstand some flaming.  The former is a good thing, the
latter, well, no group of people is perfect...

> > Your contributions are welcome now and will still be welcome in the
> > future.  It would be a shame to see you go...
> Thank you. It really is nice to know that you DO have an answer to
> my question. Thanks for stating it explicitly.

Did I give you an answer?  I was afraid I kind of could not give an
answer, much less a clear one.  I'm glad you're content in any case.


P.S.: I just started prettyprinting some of the DV code.  If you wish I
can commit this, maybe it will save you some of these troubles...

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