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#1 2011-03-19 03:53:57

skottish
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So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

FFmpeg has been one of the most important FOSS projects in terms of that it has made free operating systems more usable as a desktop (read: multimedia). As some of you know already, it has blown itself to pieces; There's now FFmpeg and libav. At the moment they're compatible, so one can use whichever project that they choose. I have may doubts that that will last for long.

I'm posting this just to get a sense of how others feel about all of this. Thoughts?

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#2 2011-03-19 03:56:00

some-guy94
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Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 360

Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

AFAIK, this was done because of management problems. Just like the libreoffice fork, this may be really beneficial to the project OR just cause duplication of work. I'm thinking its the first.

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#3 2011-03-19 15:54:07

skottish
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Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

some-guy94 wrote:

AFAIK, this was done because of management problems. Just like the libreoffice fork, this may be really beneficial to the project OR just cause duplication of work. I'm thinking its the first.

No doubt. There has always been management issues there. Right now both sides are hinting at being democracies. That will fail quickly. If one or both projects are to survive, healthy leadership will have to emerge.

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#4 2011-03-19 23:19:29

R00KIE
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Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

I guess all we have to do is wait and see, if it is like the {open,libre}office case it wont take long until we find out how things will go.

I hope that in the end (and hopefully the end is in the near term) one project will prevail and things get improved. Having alternatives is one of the good things about linux ... except when those alternatives are very similar and yet incompatible.

Besides, all projects that depend on ffmpeg/libav will be affected if it takes too long until one comes on top and in the end that will probably hurt the users and most certainly will not help the FOSS image as a whole.


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#5 2011-03-19 23:22:25

ngoonee
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Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

Moved to [GNU/Linux Discussion], more suitable there smile


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#6 2011-03-20 00:25:47

DrZaius
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Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

I am disappointed how each "side" reacted and I have no idea how things will turn out. A ffork? I don't think there were enough developers in the first place. My recent bug reports seem to be getting less attention than they used to when there was more coding and slightly less arguing.


Damned dirty ape.

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#7 2011-03-20 14:44:53

jnguyen
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Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

skottish wrote:

I'm posting this just to get a sense of how others feel about all of this. Thoughts?

A simple fork would have made much less fuss, but unfortunately that is not what the forkers originally tried to do. If anyone is interested or unsure about the gory details, browse through the gmane threads linked here:

http://lwn.net/Articles/423702/

I'm in no position to comment on whether Michael Niedermayer was a good or bad leader, but it was certainly a very underhanded move that the forking side tried to pull off. Regardless of whether Libav improves on FFmpeg or not, moves like that are toxic for the open source community and I sincerely hope that nobody tries such thievery again (I refer of course to the forking side assuming ownership of the FFmpeg trademark, which was not theirs to take).

I have sympathy for the non-forking (Michael's) side, but I still wish both sides the best and I suppose we all wait in hope that development will not be hindered.


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#8 2011-03-20 15:46:49

skottish
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Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

One thing that's obvious right now is that libav has much more momentum than FFmpeg. I understand that after the attempted takeover there were hundred of patches that were sitting idle in the que pushed out. I don't know if the momentum is mainly based on that or if the libav developers claim that they were writing most of the code base it true. I suspect that it's both.

It's all quite sad, but it's been years in the coming. These people have fought off and on, and sometimes with very hard breaks, for as long as I payed attention to the project. If FFmpeg was managed well, years long fighting would not have been allowed.

Last edited by skottish (2011-03-20 15:47:48)

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#9 2011-03-20 23:10:00

anrxc
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Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

it has made free operating systems more usable as a desktop

Don't underestimate its importance on servers, it powers the modern web. People wouldn't believe how much (mostly proprietary) software depends on it. It can be a nightmare to get a FFmpeg setup right on its own, and now we could have two. If FFmpeg development continues at some point libav could break the API, some software decides to switch, others not... and you'll need a ton of extra magic to get it all working together.

If someone is going to say "what problems, I never had any", here's one. Every video encode colors people blue (Avatar style). Good luck debugging that one smile


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#10 2011-03-21 01:20:57

dolby
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Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

jnguyen wrote:

A simple fork would have made much less fuss, but unfortunately that is not what the forkers originally tried to do. If anyone is interested or unsure about the gory details, browse through the gmane threads linked here:

http://lwn.net/Articles/423702/

I'm in no position to comment on whether Michael Niedermayer was a good or bad leader, but it was certainly a very underhanded move that the forking side tried to pull off. Regardless of whether Libav improves on FFmpeg or not, moves like that are toxic for the open source community and I sincerely hope that nobody tries such thievery again (I refer of course to the forking side assuming ownership of the FFmpeg trademark, which was not theirs to take).

I have sympathy for the non-forking (Michael's) side, but I still wish both sides the best and I suppose we all wait in hope that development will not be hindered.

From what i read i agree with this pov as well.

skottish wrote:

One thing that's obvious right now is that libav has much more momentum than FFmpeg.

I dont think thats so obvious, where did you get that impression from?
The codebase from what i can tell is still identical at this point. And the ffmpeg resources are still more active that libav's.


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#11 2011-03-21 01:28:52

skottish
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Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

dolby wrote:
skottish wrote:

One thing that's obvious right now is that libav has much more momentum than FFmpeg.

I dont think thats so obvious, where did you get that impression from?
The codebase from what i can tell is still identical at this point. And the ffmpeg resources are still more active that libav's.

Commits, development, interaction:

http://ffmpeg.org/pipermail/ffmpeg-deve … /date.html

http://lists.libav.org/pipermail/libav- … /date.html

Again, before the split the now libav devs were pushing large amounts older stuff that wasn't getting into mainline FFmpeg, so that may be the case here. Even looking at the contributors though, most of the highly active devs are at libav.

Last edited by skottish (2011-03-21 01:40:48)

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#12 2011-03-21 01:54:40

dolby
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Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

skottish wrote:
dolby wrote:
skottish wrote:

One thing that's obvious right now is that libav has much more momentum than FFmpeg.

I dont think thats so obvious, where did you get that impression from?
The codebase from what i can tell is still identical at this point. And the ffmpeg resources are still more active that libav's.

Commits, development, interaction:

http://ffmpeg.org/pipermail/ffmpeg-deve … /date.html

http://lists.libav.org/pipermail/libav- … /date.html

Again, before the split the now libav devs were pushing large amounts older stuff that wasn't getting into mainline FFmpeg, so that may be the case here. Even looking at the contributors though, most of the highly active devs are at libav.

I see, i dont remember checking the devel mailing lists before, i wonder why.
I wonder which ffmpeg tree mplayer pulls now. Will check promptly.


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#13 2011-03-21 02:00:03

skottish
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Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

dolby wrote:
skottish wrote:
dolby wrote:

I dont think thats so obvious, where did you get that impression from?
The codebase from what i can tell is still identical at this point. And the ffmpeg resources are still more active that libav's.

Commits, development, interaction:

http://ffmpeg.org/pipermail/ffmpeg-deve … /date.html

http://lists.libav.org/pipermail/libav- … /date.html

Again, before the split the now libav devs were pushing large amounts older stuff that wasn't getting into mainline FFmpeg, so that may be the case here. Even looking at the contributors though, most of the highly active devs are at libav.

I see, i dont remember checking the devel mailing lists before, i wonder why.
I wonder which ffmpeg tree mplayer pulls now. Will check promptly.

The interesting thing is that Mplayer has pulled from the FFmpeg-videolan branch through all of this. That was surprising to me.

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#14 2011-03-21 15:41:03

GogglesGuy
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Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

It does seem like a bit of a soap opera. Even when they finally announced libav as a fork, they still called it a rename.

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#15 2011-03-22 01:44:17

skottish
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Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

GogglesGuy wrote:

It does seem like a bit of a soap opera. Even when they finally announced libav as a fork, they still called it a rename.

Absolutely. Unfortunately, when they inevitably break compatibility, it's going to be painful. The talk of API and ABI compatibilty at the 'end of days' seems unlikely now. Gads!

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#16 2011-03-23 15:16:13

Raghu
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Registered: 2009-12-06
Posts: 1

Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

Even though there is a fork, many projects may adopt a macro approach to this. Last time I checked with mplayer2 devs, they may add something like #ifdef to build things differently  based on ffmpeg or libav is present. But again this depends on how much they will diverge in their interfaces.

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#17 2011-04-02 19:47:47

droog
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Posts: 877

Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

I've kept up on the mailing lists, pretty ridiculous. I personally hope Niedermayer wins out.

skottish wrote:

Absolutely. Unfortunately, when they inevitably break compatibility, it's going to be painful. The talk of API and ABI compatibilty at the 'end of days' seems unlikely now. Gads!

I hope they break compatibility soon, instead of drawing it out forever, not knowing which branch people should focus on.

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#18 2011-04-03 06:38:04

fsckd
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Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

what this guy says:

JULIAN GARDNER wrote:

now i have to decide on which EGO to follow, I want the best software possible not, "oh libAv is good for this but ffmpeg is good for this"

source


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#19 2011-04-04 03:55:36

Anthony Bentley
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Registered: 2009-12-21
Posts: 76

Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

Here’s what Jason Garrett‐Glaser (previously a dev for FFmpeg) has to say:

Nearly everyone besides Michael decided that Michael's leadership was problematic.  First, that he was slowing down development due to trying to be the "leader" and insisting on reviewing everything (but not having time to do so, and thus tons of stuff went unreviewed).  He was also in an unfair position where he would constantly commit patches without discussion, but complain when anyone else did the same.  In short, most of the devs decided they didn't want a BDFL anymore.

Part of it is also that many devs think Michael was far more productive when his primary job was coding, as opposed to attempting to lead the project.

Read into that what you will. I’m not sure how involved he was, only that he wasn’t on Niedermayer’s side.

Last edited by Anthony Bentley (2011-04-04 03:56:03)

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#20 2011-04-07 05:29:50

DrCR
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Registered: 2007-10-08
Posts: 14

Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

jnguyen wrote:
skottish wrote:

I'm posting this just to get a sense of how others feel about all of this. Thoughts?

A simple fork would have made much less fuss, but unfortunately that is not what the forkers originally tried to do. If anyone is interested or unsure about the gory details, browse through the gmane threads linked here:

http://lwn.net/Articles/423702/

Sadly, lwn's credibility is suspect for me after the way they reported on Arch's lack of package signing.

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#21 2011-04-10 00:05:57

Jookia
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From: Australia
Registered: 2009-11-19
Posts: 103

Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

The libav people lied and tried to pass their fork off as a rename to casual users. I have no respect for liars.

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#22 2011-04-10 03:18:57

skottish
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Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

Jookia wrote:

The libav people lied and tried to pass their fork off as a rename to casual users. I have no respect for liars.

The media-political term for that is "spin" and elements of all sides are contributing. And, now it's publicly overflowed into Mplayer:

http://lists.mplayerhq.hu/pipermail/mpl … 68016.html

Last edited by skottish (2011-04-10 04:21:28)

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#23 2011-04-10 05:20:34

Grinch
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Registered: 2010-11-07
Posts: 265

Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

skottish wrote:

The media-political term for that is "spin" and elements of all sides are contributing. And, now it's publicly overflowed into Mplayer:

http://lists.mplayerhq.hu/pipermail/mpl … 68016.html

Well, looking at the mailing list thread you posted, I can agree with Michael Niedermayer in that if Mplayer is NOT using libav but rather ffmpeg, having MPlayer point to libav is a bit of a scam. Also unless I am mistaken, Attila Kinali was one of the instigators of the libav 'fork' which would make this even more dubious. And there's no evidence of any legal action threats (other than Attila's claims) and Niedermayer says he has made no such threats.

What is true and what is not is anyone's guess, but with what little I currently know of this situation, I lean towards Jookia's conclusion. The libav instigators have played dirty (that hostile takeover attempt was nasty business), which lends me to believe more in Niedermayer than Attila in this matter aswell. Hopefully time will tell what actually went down.

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#24 2011-04-10 06:02:25

ewaller
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Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

Moderator comment:   I find this thread an interesting look in to the politics of this situation.  I remind everyone to please continue to make arguments based upon facts; resist the temptation to descend into making claims that cannot be substantiated.

Thanks


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#25 2011-04-10 15:54:26

skottish
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Re: So, FFmpeg has finally blown itself to pieces...

ewaller wrote:

Moderator comment:   I find this thread an interesting look in to the politics of this situation.  I remind everyone to please continue to make arguments based upon facts; resist the temptation to descend into making claims that cannot be substantiated.

Agreed. The politics of the situation, and that's exactly what it is, is why I originally posted this in Off Topic. I'm pleased to see that it's taken a very civil tone considering how ugly all of this is.

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