virtual package "video-player"?

IOhannes m zmölnig (Debian/GNU) umlaeute at
Mon Nov 13 20:50:32 UTC 2017

thanks jonas for the reply,

On 11/13/2017 08:59 PM, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
> Quoting IOhannes m zmölnig (Debian/GNU) (2017-11-13 19:59:28)
>> a good name might be "video-player" or "desktop-video-player" (i'd
>> favour the first).
>> what do you think?
>> if we can come to a consensus, i'd propose this on debian-devel.
> To address bug#881326, fallback dependencies should be limited to tools 
> not exploding in your face in a non-GUI environment, and tools using 
> same syntax to play media.

hmm, well:
in the specific case of bug#881326, it turned out that the
"Recommends:mpv" was indeed intended to mean "mpv" specifically, rather
than "a generic video player" (as i originally assumed).
so for bug#881326, the "video-player" virtual package is irrelevant anyhow.

however, i still think being able to install "*a* video player capable
of playing my video collection" is a desirable goal.

> Simplest approach to address issues like bug#881326 generally would 
> probably be to extend package sensible-utils with a "sensible-player", 
> knowledgeable about the possible players in Debian fitting the critera.>
> /etc/alternatives could be used (in addition to or instead of 
> sensible-utils helper) to provide local sysadmin freedom to prioritize 
> among multiple installed players.

i personally favour a decentralized effort, where any sensible video
player can declare their usability themselves (rather than depending on
a gatekeeper (sensible-utils) to decide which one is part of that group).
(just telling; sensible-utils allows for such a decentralized workflow
i consider "sensible-player" a bad naming (for the thing i was
proposing), as it is too generic.

in any case, i don't really buy the "not exploding in your face in a
non-GUI environment" argument, in this case.
i'm talking explicitly about an application that displays videos as
pixel data. i see little (useful) ways to not have a GUI (that is: an
X-server or the like) to display a video.

the proposal was modeled after the already existing "pdf-viewer", with
similar uses.
afaict, each "pdf-viewer" will pull in GUI (so you can actually *view*
as a consequence, it is hardly ever "depended" on (mostly recommended or
suggested) - it's perfectly valid to store PDFs on your fileserver that
doesn't have a desktop; otoh, many people who install PDFs via packages
might actually want to look at them.
similarily, i suspect that most people installing software to download
movies will actually want some way to view them (and then there's a few
who don't).

> Makes sense - but possibly there is no need for distinction but we can 
> introduce only too new helpers: sensible-gui-player and 
> sensible-console-player.

i see that this distinction might make some sense for certain media
types (although not for video, which is what i was trying to suggest).

in any case, it is of little importance (to me) to be able to open a
video via a given (generic) command, rather than being able to open the
file at all. and "xdg-open" usually does a good enough job for *this*.
(using mimetypes strikes me as a more sensible approach)


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