[MPlayer-users] Comments on Joe Barrs MPlayer critizism

Gábor Lénárt lgb at lgb.hu
Wed Jan 30 12:36:01 CET 2002

On Wed, Jan 30, 2002 at 11:29:14AM +0100, Peder Hedlund wrote:
> [Automatic answer: RTFM (read DOCS, FAQ), also read DOCS/bugreports.html]
>  Hi folks!
>  I'm a happy MPlayer users since way back but to some degree I have to
>  agree with Mr Barr. 
>  The two main things wrong with installation as I see it are
>  the neglectance of 'make install' to put codecs.conf and config
>  in 'etc' and not including (and installing) the default skin in
>  the tarball.

GUI is not a standard feature of MPlayer you should enable it at compilation
time with './configure --enable-gui).

>  It has been a standard since ages in installing unix software to
>  put default config files (with sane defaults) in 'etc'. Why 
>  doesn't MPlayer ?

Have you ever seen other UNIX than Linux? ;-) You wouldn't be happy I guess :)
But in general, you're right. HOWEVER. /usr/share (and /usr/local/share)
is also for sharing data between systems, eg with nfs you can provide global
'share' directory structures between many machines. And imho codecs.conf
can be considered a 'data file' instead of configuration file (or at least
it has got deeper meanings, anyhow it's hard to explain). And it's not
a nice idea to share /etc if codecs.conf would be there.
/etc/mplayer.conf is in /etc and it's right, but I would keep codecs.conf
in /usr/local/share/mplayer if it would be up to me.

>  Since there is GUI support, why not include (and install) a default 
>  skin?  (Since there acctually IS a "default", shouldn't it be included

Because GUI is NOT default to compile and GUI _IS_ considered as alpha/beta
feature (eg: many-many MPlayer feature is only available as command line
option or need to edit your config file but not through GUI wiht nice
dialog boxes to select/tune features etc).

>  by default?) And perhaps loose the gmplayer link so the GUI version
>  starts by default and you run pmplayer (or whatnot) for plain mplayer.
>  I respect Arpis dislike for GUI:s but let's face it; it's a GUI-centric
>  world (I bet even Arpi's using X. Isn't that a GUI?)

Imho Arpi does not use X (either me). I only use X when I really needs it,
eg browsing a full-of-picture site, using gimp or similar. Otherwise, I
don't use X, console is nice. I'm using MPlayer with '-vo mga' on console to
view videos as well. Even is I use mplayer with X (eg testing other drivers
for example Xv) I'm using it in a terminal window and NO GUI. Imho it's MUCH
slower to open 'file open' dialog and find my file than enter it at the bash
prompt with TAB name complement feature of bash.

>  Perhaps there should be a default OSD-font included and installed
>  as well for the ease of the not-so-skilled user.

Why? If you don't want to have OSD, you would force people to load much more
data through a modem link. Let's leave it to the user: if he wants it, he
should download fonts as well. One of the main problem with windows world,
that you MUST have never-used stuffs on your hdd. For example with Debian
you can select thousands of packages and you only have to install what you
want to use. Hey, this is UNIX _NOT_ windows-toys.

>  I'd really like to hear the developers reasons for not doing the
>  above. I mean, it's nothing a little RTFM-ing can't cure but on the other
>  hand the less RTFM the not-so-skilled user has to do, the less the
>  "Linux is so hard to use, you have to be a guru to even view an .avi"
>  advocates have behind their claims.

Maybe it's true. But it's not a goal of mine to make Linux a click-and-go
system. Just imagine. Then overcomplicated,slow and buggy (like m$) softwares
would be introduced (an easy to use system for even lamers has appeal for
these kind of softwares) and the overall quality of Linux would start to
decrease. Let's leave Linux for a professional :) OS, and not a for a 'Linux
for everyone braindead idea'.

>  Again, I personally have no problems with the above, I'm just playing
>  the devils lawyer for a while.

And that's fine. It's good to share your opinion, the only problem is the
style (like Joe Barr, your letter was OK).
>  Oh, and as per the language in the FAQ and so on, I _really_ think
>  you should review and rewrite some of the answers. It isn't that

I don't agree. I dislake official styles of many docs of other softwares.
If some people get peeved becaouse of it I can repent them only for their
"greyness" (overgrown with grass or whatever).

>  funny to having struggled with a problem and finally looking it up
>  in the FAQ to be told you're stupid and should go away. That really
>  does not help the open source community a bit.

Just read questioning in 'asking hacker' howto :) and you will see the
attitude of a REAL hacker :)

>  Peder Hedlund (a very happy MPlayer user, all in all)

Nice ;-)

- Gábor

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