FFmpeg release branch, was: Bug#540729: ffmpeg: Possible regression - fails to decode AAC

Diego Biurrun diego at biurrun.de
Tue Aug 11 15:29:17 UTC 2009

On Tue, Aug 11, 2009 at 12:56:06PM +0200, Fabian Greffrath wrote:
> Diego Biurrun schrieb:
> >I talked to Jörg Jaspert at LinuxTag and he told me that he put some
> >lawyers that work pro bono for Debian on the issue (SFLC among them).
> >The end result may well be that the decoders need to be taken out along
> >with the encoders, not that the encoders are allowed to be put in.
> This would indeed be the worst case scenario!

Start planning for all possible outcomes.

> >Maybe you should then just drop your work on Debian and concentrate on
> >something else instead.  If Debian decides that it does not want to (or
> >cannot) provide multimedia infrastructure, your work on trying to
> >provide multimedia infrastructure is wasted...
> It hurts to read such sentence (I know that having an emotional tie to 
> a computer operating system sounds irrational, but anyway...).

I can understand you very well.  I have emotional ties to the projects I
work on ..

> I don't think that Debian (i.e. the people that decide about the
> contents of  the software archive) do not *want* to provide multimedia 
> infrastructure, remember "The universal OS". But I could understand 
> their acting if lawyers recommended to remove certain software, simply 
> because it may endanger those people who rely on Debian as being 100% 
> "safe".

IMO a universal OS cannot exclude multimedia support.  The majority of
users is being held hostage by a small minority that might actually be
at risk.

> >That's what I've been saying all along.  Debian risks sliding into
> >uselessness and obscurity.
> Fedora has already gone that way and I believe their distro is far 
> from useless.

Fedora is useful for Red Hat as a development platform for their
enterprise distribution.  But desktop computing is clearly not the focus
of Red Hat's work.  Their customers are not desktop users.

> They managed however to build a community (rpmfusion) 
> that provides high-quality packages for users who feel they want to 
> use Fedora but rely on packages that Fedora cannot ship. I think 
> something like this is always worth the effort.

What counts is the out-of-the-box experience.  After installing several
dozen programs and tools you can even do useful things with Windows.

Multimedia format support is an area where free software is *far* ahead
of any of the proprietary offerings.  It is a crying shame to see it
held back by FUD...


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