[FFmpeg-devel] FOMS 2009 FFmpeg outbrief

Stefano Sabatini stefano.sabatini-lala
Thu Jan 22 12:12:55 CET 2009

On date Wednesday 2009-01-21 19:13:26 -0800, Mike Melanson encoded:
> Peter Ross wrote:
> > Hi,
> > 
> > Last week the third Foundations of Open Media Software Workshop (FOMS 2009)
> > was held in Hobart, Australia. I attended to wave the FFmpeg & Xvid flag.
> > A number of concerns about FFmpeg were spoken of during the workshop, so
> > about half an hour was spent collating them. A dump of my notes is provided
> > below with a paraphrasing of the hurt statements.
> > 2. CONCERN: API stability
> >    "The FFmpeg API keeps changing..."
> > 
> >    API is not backwards compatible between major API version bumps. Stuff
> >    gets deprecated, API behaviour changes.
> > 
> >    This makes upgrading the libav* packages on a distribution difficult,
> >    because often the application also needs to be upgraded.
> > 
> >    As long as new codecs, containers and concepts are being added to FFmpeg,
> >    the API will continue to change.
> > 
> >    Ensuring backwards compatibility is a lot of work. There are perhaps more
> >    important things to be concerned about.
> > 
> >    Do we need a mechanism to inform users of FFmpeg about API changes?

It's worthy to note that backward compatibility breaker API changes
only happen at major bumps, which are not so frequent (I can remember
just two (lavc and lavf) in two years of activity on this project).

We could have a changelog with all the API changes (e.g. functions
deleted, functions added) that we could compile every time we modify

This way the user will be able to understand with O(n) steps which are
the changes to be performed on its own code when it has to switch from
libav* from version X -> Y.

> Releases should at least partially obviate the problem.
> > 3. CONCERN: Authorship
> >    "The practises used to develop FFmpeg are considered as questionable."
> > 
> >    This is perception stems from the unwillingness of authors to associate
> >    their names with particular blobs of code.
> I hope you pointed these people to CREDITS.

This is not clear to me, which is the problem? Shouldn't svn annotate
issue exactly that?


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