[FFmpeg-devel] [RFC] Releases

Ronald S. Bultje rsbultje
Mon May 31 17:10:18 CEST 2010


On Mon, May 31, 2010 at 10:17 AM, Reinhard Tartler <siretart at tauware.de> wrote:
> In principle, I think I could also do faster releases. But let me
> express my understanding of the requirements. ?OTOH, we have developers,
> that want to develop and experiment always with the latest and greatest.
> In order to get "the crack of the day", svn and compiling statically is
> obviously the and most convenient method here. Every FFmpeg developer
> fits in this class. For this group, daily releases (== "svn checkouts"?)
> are probably the best choice.
> Then there is the group of developer that works on application packages
> (think mplayer, xine, vlc, etc.). ?They would probably benefit from
> faster releases than we currently have, maybe 3-6 monthly releases I'd
> guess.
> The last group are system integrators and distributors that need to get
> a large amount of packages working together. These are almost always
> very busy at very boring tasks like figuring out in what weird and
> broken ways application packages misuse ffmpeg's APIs and try to fix
> them. For them I'd guess 12-18 months releases would suit best.

I've heard this before, it sounds vaguely familiar, and I think this
artificial distinction in three sets of "people", i.e. "lib devs",
"app devs" and "distro devs" is completely artificial and faulty.
Don't crack down on me straight away, hear me out.

We are not Gtk+. We don't provide a fixed set of widgets that
applications use. Applications don't "call" the mpeg4 decoder because
the application knows that the video is mpeg4, like a UI "calls" upon
a particular widget, i.e. a dropdownlist, because it knows it wants to
display a dropdownlist. these are hugely different, and thus lead to
different API requirements. Distros generally want a stable version
for API-reasons. Of course, also functionality, but API is generally
their reason#1.

Back to FFmpeg. Michael (and many others) would like releases out, and
hate the classical caricature of releases, because we want features
for end users (that's anyone that uses an application that uses
FFmpeg). Now, for example, we'd like users to have vp8 decoding
support (let's leave the licensing issue aside for a second). In the
past, that might've been any other codec. That is the veyr point of
our existence. Running out the next 0.5.x doesn't help achieve this
purpose, which is why we care less about it.

We'd like a release system that achieves the purpose of getting the
next big-format decoder to as many end users as possible in the least
amount of time. Can we think of a release system that achieves this?


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