Select provider of libav* libraries

Alessandro Ghedini ghedo at
Thu Apr 30 10:05:23 UTC 2015

On Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 11:30:08AM +0200, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
> Quoting Alessandro Ghedini (2015-04-30 11:19:39)
> > While the work done by Reinard (and others) maintaining the libav 
> > package is outstanding and very appreciated, it just seems to make 
> > more sense to go with ffmpeg. So I vote ffmpeg too.
> In what way do you find the work outstanding if essentially unusable?
> (not a trick question - I honestly try to understand this)

Not unusable, it's just that ffmpeg seems to be better (see below).

Anyway, the libav package is a really complicated one: the upstream project has
tons of different options and optimizations that need to be handled differently
on different architectures, the Debian package has many reverse dependencies
that make testing migrations difficult and time-consuming (it doesn't help that
libav upstream broke API compatibility so many times), and all bug reports that
I've either reported or seen have been handled in a responsive and helpful way
by Reinard.

However, it seems to me that after the fork the libav project has fallen too far
behind to catch up at this point. It just doesn't have enough manpower. It has a
capable team of core developers but pretty much all other contributors send
their patches to ffmpeg only. All bugs that I reported to libav were in a way or
another already fixed in ffmpeg, and the few times I tried to backport features
and fixes to libav always ended up requiring a lot of time for the simple fact
that the two projects have diverged so much.

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