[LAU] ffmpeg or libav

Gene Heskett gheskett at wdtv.com
Sun Jan 13 15:26:18 UTC 2013

On Sunday 13 January 2013 09:47:48 Dan MacDonald did opine:
Message additions Copyright Sunday 13 January 2013 by Gene Heskett

> On Sun, Jan 13, 2013 at 9:54 AM, Fritz Meissner 
<meissner.fritz at gmail.com>wrote:
> > On 13 January 2013 11:13, Dan MacDonald <allcoms at gmail.com> wrote:
> >> In all three of these examples it wasn't the fault of the Debian
> >> maintainers that these alternate versions get used, it was the
> >> authors of the software switching from Free a software license such
> >> as the GPL to one that the Debian social contract no longer
> >> considers free or trying to enforce copyright on corporate logos or
> >> whatever.
> > 
> > I'm not aware that there was any licence change in the ffmpeg/libav
> > situation ? It just seems to have been a personality and development
> > style issue between maintainers. I hear that Debian's decision was
> > based on the fact the Debian maintainer concerned was a member of the
> > libav camp, rather than any real technical issue.
> That is a shame then, but the cases of cdrecord and Mozilla are quite
> different and not the fault of the Debian community.
> Big changes to a distro ie swapping out a lib which many apps depend on
> for a new one should really get voted on but I'm not aware that ever
> happened here - I expect not.
> > I cannot speak about technical matters, but the change is extremely
> > inconvenient because of all the outside packages which are set up to
> > call ffmpeg and now need to be hand-configured for libav (I'm talking
> > about setting up subsonic to run on an Ubuntu 12.10 server here). And
> > why the libav developers need to change command line options is
> > beyond me - the least they could have done is keep to the established
> > ffmpeg formats. There seems to be no functional reason for it, just a
> > desire to be different.
> Agreed - they should've aimed to keep the same commands as used by
> ffmpeg. I've not tried using libav from cli yet so I can only hope
> they've simplified its commands as ffmpeg was hardly the easiest
> command line program to use but staying true to upstream would've still
> been the preference on most I'm sure.

Re: CDrecord

In trying to find a reason, one should also consider the temperament of the 
author. Mr. Schilling (cdrtools) is known world wide for being, shall we 
say, uncooperative.  I believe he also IIRC changed the cdrtools license 3, 
maybe 4 years back to one less compatible with the GPL, the CDDL, but which 
he claims gives even more flexibility to the users.  However I would 
recommend that a first hand account of the dust up be read at
and that your own conclusions be drawn from that.

I personally think that he is correct in the attitude that the software be 
run as root because linux filters what the user can do in an attempt to 
access that hardware.  I do know that my burn failure rate went through to 
roof when I switched to ubuntu a while back, mainly because my CNC 
machinery all runs LinuxCNC which ATM runs only on a certain, very heavily 
modified for real time use via the RTAI patches, ubuntu 10.04.4 LTS kernel.
k3b is using wodim, which explains that.  Running it as root brings up all 
sorts of warnings that invite the user to change permissions, which when 
done, puts you into a dependency hell where nothing works.  Thats BS.  But 
lets lay the blame on wodim's authors for creating that hell.

Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
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