Ubuntu renaming FFmpeg to libav

Kees Cook kees at ubuntu.com
Fri May 27 00:04:32 UTC 2011

Hi Reinhard,

The Ubuntu Tech Board would like to have more information about what is
happening with FFmpeg and libav. Can you shed some light on this from the
perspective of being involved in the Debian and Ubuntu renaming of ffmpeg
to libav?

BTW, I have no intention of trying to incite a flame war; we are just
interested in getting both sides of this story so we can better understand
what is going on.



----- Forwarded message from Mark Shuttleworth <mark at canonical.com> -----

Date: Fri, 08 Apr 2011 10:40:27 +0100
From: Mark Shuttleworth <mark at canonical.com>
To: Michael Niedermayer <michaelni at gmx.at>, Technical Board
	<technical-board at lists.ubuntu.com>
Subject: Re: Ubuntu renaming FFmpeg to libav
Envelope-To: kees at outflux.net

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 from those behind libav as well.


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)

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----- End forwarded message -----
Kees Cook
Ubuntu Security Team

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