[MPlayer-users] rant

Gábor Lénárt lgb at lgb.hu
Mon Oct 8 22:38:51 CEST 2001

On Mon, Oct 08, 2001 at 10:16:06PM +0200, André Dahlqvist wrote:
> > > > btw they both have runtime cpu detection. mplayer don't have.
> > > 
> > > Ahh, cool. I wasn't aware of that.
> > hmm. have you ever RTFM ???
> Yes, and it is not specified anywhere in the docs that mplayer does not
> support runtime cpu detection.

It does not worth to support! If you can select between functions optimized
for various CPUs it would take much more memory and a bit more CPU time
(function pointers). If you make dynamic loadable "plugins" it would
decrease performance about between 10 and 20 percent (afaik). The latter
because on x86 relocation information should be kept in a register (and
shared objects are this kind of thing ..). Some people (including my
old machine at home) is not a powerhorse so even EVERY missed clock cycle
would be important! This is one reason of the great performance of mplayer
even on slower machines. But afaik it's written somewhere in dox (or not :-).
Can you get the point?

If mplayer would contain only GNU/GPL code it would be great. But a note
SHOULD kept, that the full performace can only be gained when you compile
mplayer YOURSELF without dynamic loadable things (if future mplayer versions
will support this ...).

Our world is not perfect. Usually modularity is against the performance ...

And please note that there're more reasons for this remark in the possible
future full GPL licence: user compiled mplayer versions can be even buggy,
because of buggy compilers, not perfectly used options at configuring ...
Inmagine that a novice mplayer user get a binary of mplayer with only some
component compiled in. So that user would say: it's a piece of shit, it can't
do anything. Of course it can be happen nowdays too, but at least we can
point to dox that this is banned so you have been warned ... But IMHO it's
a general problem about free softwares. While I stronly believe in free
software (and GPL as well), as developers we don't want to get tons of
bugreport which is useless for us because it's "user error".

- Gabor

 --[ Gábor Lénárt ]---[ Vivendi Telecom Hungary ]---------[ lgb at lgb.hu ]--
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