Sebastian Dröge mail at
Wed Nov 2 22:57:04 CST 2005

On Do, 2005-11-03 at 03:04 +0000, Matthew Garrett wrote: 
> On Wed, Nov 02, 2005 at 09:51:58PM +0100, Sebastian Dröge wrote:
> > Our current ffmpeg package ships only -dev packages for libavcodec
> > and libpostproc. These contain the static .a archives and no package
> > with shared .so libraries is available from our ffmpeg package. This
> > yields to the following problem: when updating ffmpeg all packages using
> > it need to be recompiled to use the advantages of the updated ffmpeg and
> > (more important) _every_ binary which links against libavcodec gets 2-3
> > mb bigger! for example for transcode this makes a real difference as it
> > contains many binaries linking against libavcodec. The compressed size
> > of the binary is ~14 MB instead of ~2 MB, the installed size is ~40 MB
> > instead of ~5 MB. Using Marillat's version also helps in this case.
> > Shipping only static libraries is also generally discouraged [2]
> The reason for the Debian package shipping static libraries rather than 
> dynamic ones is because the ffmpeg developers don't provide a stable 
> ABI. If you want to change that, then you'll need to track the ABI 
> closely and change the SONAME of the libraries every time it changes in 
> an incompatible way. That'll then require rebuilding the entire rdepends 
> tree.

Yes, but that way breakages (i.e. package xy must be ported to new
ffmpeg API, FTBFS otherwise) are found instantly. Currently we find such
breakages maybe some days before release when the complete
Universe/Multiverse is rebuild (at least that was the case for breezy).

Also we won't ship the complete source for the binary anymore as
we have only a newer ffmpeg version in our archives but the package's
binaries _contain_ an older ffmpeg version. This is a possible
violation of the GPL!

> In summary - go ahead, but if you want to do it it's going to involve a 
> great deal of ongoing pain.
> (I'm also not a fan of the idea of replacing free software with non-free 
> software, but, well)

I'm neither... but it's only non-free in the sense of patent-covered.
And as I said before, I believe even our current package needs to be in
Multiverse for that reasons.
Also our current version contains all the non-free parts already in
source... they're just not built currently.

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