Ubuntu renaming FFmpeg to libav

Michael Niedermayer michaelni at gmx.at
Sat Apr 9 11:12:50 UTC 2011

Hi Mark

On Fri, Apr 08, 2011 at 10:40:27AM +0100, Mark Shuttleworth wrote:
> Hi Michael
> Thanks for raising this with us. I've copied the Technical Board as I
> think they are the right body to take a position on the matter. They
> will certainly want to hear frmo those behind libav as well.

Thank you
If you, or the board has any questions, i will try my best to answer.
Iam also sure the other FFmpeg developers like for example Carl, Arpi
beastd, compn, baptiste, aurel, gwenole, peter, ...
would be glad if they can help. I havnt spoken with them about
contacting ubuntu though ...

Also i must say, while most of the main developers (and authors who
know the code, the exception is just the network code)
are on the FFmpeg side. All the good talkers and
politicians left to libav and the 2 iam talking about also where our
server admins and build system maintainers.
libav now seems to mostly work on cosmetical cleanups like adding
prefixes to function names and deprecating old functions. That together
with commiting patches without technical review, some of them have
known and publically discussed security issues. And of course
build system cleanup. Some of later ironically was buggy, (breaking
windows builds and droping support for
generating excutables with and without debug symbols at the same time
by cp+strip. There was alot of user complaints that the default libs
and excutables increased 6 fold in size ...) These buggy changes
we revert in FFmpeg if they are not already corrected during merging.

Iam also CC-ing carl, who might (or might not) have comments too.

PS: i think ive forgotten to mention, ffmpeg also merges the whole
ffmpeg-mt on a dayly basis (when there are changes in -mt which isnt
dayly). This make ffmpeg several times faster than libav as it supports
frame based multithredaing, which libav does not.

> Mark
> On 07/04/11 18:55, Michael Niedermayer wrote:
> > Hi Mark
> >
> > Iam the main developer (and leader if you want) of FFmpeg.
> >
> > Iam writing this a bit hastily as i just found out a technical board
> > meeting takes place 18UTC today ...
> > 3 month ago FFmpeg was forked by a small group of active ffmpeg
> > developers. That was done extreemly hostily by the root admins of our
> > server. And forced us to find a new server and hosting and point
> > ffmpeg.org there as all attempts to negotiate failed and we where
> > completely locked out of the webpage and source repository.
> > Next they shut down our mailing lists and withhold the subscriber lists
> > from us forcing us to restore them from a recent backup onto the new
> > server. We also where threatened with lawyers due to alleged rights on
> > the ffmpeg logo, both its idea and actual drawing of the current one i
> > have done myself.
> >
> > But these matters are of course our internal problem, i just mentioned
> > them as i cant get it out of my head that my friends did this.
> > Whats not just our internal problem is that one of the members of the
> > libav fork is maintaining the debian & ubuntu packages of ffmpeg. And it
> > seems these were renamed to libav.
> > I and several other FFmpeg developers have of course contacted
> > reinhard(ubuntu ffmpeg package maintainer) but he only awnsered
> > yesterday that his decission of not packaging FFmpeg but the fork he is
> > a member of is final.
> > The source code difference between the last releases of FFmpeg and libav
> > (0.6.2) is that FFMpeg has one tiny additional bugfix and that the text
> > string FFmpeg is replaced by libav in libav 0.6.2
> >
> > The commits since the fork in trunk differs like this:
> > git log --oneline 111ccca602e96f18d4fab1117b2b768ae51814f7..libav/master
> > |cut -d' ' -f 2- |sort |uniq |wc
> >     785    5234   38369
> > michael at blackbox:~/ffmpeg-git/ffmpeg$ git log --oneline
> > 111ccca602e96f18d4fab1117b2b768ae51814f7..master |cut -d' ' -f 2- |sort
> > |uniq |wc
> >    1115    8298   62166
> >
> > That is FFmpeg has many more commits than libav.
> > We also merge back all changes from libav daily which is why the
> > uniq/sort is needed to filter duplicates out, otherwise we would have
> > more than 2 times as many commits as libav, as they do not merge most of
> > our changes into their tree.
> >
> > In terms of features, FFmpeg has 3 times as many video filters and many
> > more bugfixes just to name 2 differences.
> >
> > I thus belive that it is not in the interrest of the ubuntu users if
> > ubuntu switches from FFmpeg to libav
> >
> > best regards
> > Michael
> > (i would gpg sign this but sending this through launchpad due to not
> > knowing your email makes this hard)

Michael     GnuPG fingerprint: 9FF2128B147EF6730BADF133611EC787040B0FAB

I have never wished to cater to the crowd; for what I know they do not
approve, and what they approve I do not know. -- Epicurus
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