[FFmpeg-user] ffmpeg issue

H. Vidal, Jr. hvidal at tesseract-tech.com
Sun Dec 11 21:28:05 CET 2011

On 12/11/2011 02:45 PM, Phil Rhodes wrote:
>> i understand partly but i understand not why he refuses to learn
> I am not trying to be unnecessarily combative here (although I get the
> feeling you are), but this is not correct.

Mr. Rhodes, for some time, I have been observing your comments
on this mailing list, and I must point out that I take
exception with your approach and general attitude here.

Allow me to address these concerns, with all due respect...

> If there is something useful I can learn which will help me I will
> happily do it; I just don't see the point.

Sir, this sentence does not really make sense.

If learning it will help you, and you feel that this is
indeed applicable to your ultimate goal, whether practical
or simply by way of indulging curiosity, then take the time
to learn it.

However, if there is no point, then don't waste your time
attempting it if it does not serve you. It really is as
simple as that.

Linux technologies, open source, and the related engineering
culture are very much derived from the 'if you want to
do something technical, go figure it out and build it'
culture of Unix. This is also a very popular mindset at
very good engineering schools, and for good reason.
It build better engineers and scientists.

For the consumer culture of consumer operating systems,
this may only be partially relevant. There may be individuals
with a taste for the 'fix it yourself' style of work and
there may be those with a 'I need it off-the-shelf now'
requirement. There is overlap between these two cultures,
to be sure.

However, it simply, to me and perhaps to others on this list,
does not make sense why a reasonable person would expect to
'enter the lair' of the do-it-yourself-ers and ask 'why
don't you just buy it off-the-shelf?'

That's not what we do. Otherwise, the bloody lot of us
would, in fact, only buy commercial OSs and commercial code,
and work with that.....instead of doing things like ffmpeg,
reverse engineering codecs, and the like.

It's not for everybody, and we collectively acknowledge this.
We expect you to also recognize this.

> Why would I want to take
> extra time out to learn how to be a software engineer when I can simply
> download the binary onto a windows machine and immediately start using
> it with all of the features intact?

My very point, sir. You might not be the sort (and this is
not at all a bad thing!) interested in how 'we' the hackers
and developers of this or that technology work, by working to
invent technologies that might already be available, but choose
to do this because it is instructive, or profitable, or fun
or whatever.

Think of it like a club of sorts. You are, of course, welcome to
come into the club and mix and mingle and observe. You are even,
naturally, encouraged to make constructive or even naive suggestions
or questions regarding our methods. But it is not at all
constructive to simply come in, disagree with the ongoing
traditions and cultures of the club, and simply state,
this sucks, you should all change. It's impolite, it is
not productive, and it is certainly not welcome.

> Why would I want to spend a lot of
> time creating source trees, hacking text files, recompiling things and
> generally screwing around?

Perhaps this is not for you, sir. But, please, cut us a break
and back off. We understand your position, it is not ours,
but frankly I think I speak for others (certainly for me)
when I say, your general approach, comments, and tendencies
on this list are tedious and, so, unwelcome.

Help us, somehow, instead. Or simply, with all due respect,
be polite.

> The analogy would be that we're both trying to get to the top of a
> building. I take the elevator while you climb the outside with
> mountaineering equipment.

Indeed, there are hearty fools who climb the outside of buildings
just because they are interested to do so.

I suppose, to extend the analogy, that it is possible to somehow
parachute or fly to the top of a mountain. And there are those
that do it /the hard way/ and that is a personal preference.

One group does not gain anything by attacking the other.

> What is the point? What does all this extra complexity gain anyone,
> other than bragging rights?

There are no bragging rights, sir. It is a tinkerer culture,
this is what we like, this is how we learn, and perhaps it is
not for you. But please stop crapping on us. Really.

I hope you will take these observations in the spirit of
a calculated, careful set of criticisms and not a personal
attack. Perhaps this attempt at politely addressing your
ongoing concerns will assuage your sense of 'what we
are doing is wrong' by pointing out, this works suits
us, though perhaps not you.

We can agree to disagree. But it is something of a well-beaten
issue, wouldn't you agree?

Certainly we won't change in our approach to this work, and it
seems unlikely that you will either. That's OK, this is the
greatness of free-expression of ideas. I only, personally,
ask that you please accept this position only inasmuch as, now,
it's clarified. So please, try to simply accept, we are a little
different from you ... :)

Hope you have a fine day.


> P

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