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ffmpeg stable API/ABI or not? (was: sound problems)

On Tue, Jan 06, 2009 at 10:34:28PM +0100, Dominik 'Rathann' Mierzejewski wrote:
> On Tuesday, 06 January 2009 at 19:59, Kevin Kofler wrote:
> > Axel Thimm wrote:
> > > For example ffmpeg or similar packages would require almost a third of
> > > ATrpms' package to be rebuilt.
> > 
> > Yeah, ffmpeg is a particularly annoying library due to its notorious
> > ABI-unstability
> Please, stop spreading FUD. As I said in another post in this thread,
> there was one API/ABI change in the last three years and one move of headers.
> If that's not stable, then I dare you to find another project that is
> developed at a similar pace and has a more stable API and ABI.

Well, just to present some facts, ffmpeg's libavcodec just recently in
2008 bumped soname again. And 2008 saw the move of the headers, so
there are actually rather fresh changes in ABI/API, and the three
years before didn't look much different (Note: libpostproc and
libswscale). Note that the sonames are in the range 49-52, which
indicates many bumps in ffmpeg's history.

Also about a year or two ago I tried to get an upstream release
blessed, there were many folks on ffmpeg-devel that were interested,
unsurprisingly mainly distribution packagers. One of the main reasons
stated from the core developers was that they don't want to commit to
an API/ABI due to a release. So if there is FUD it is being fueled
from upstream.

Anyway if ffmpeg has really stabilized in terms of API/ABI then we
will never again read anything about repo foo's ffmpeg not carrying
the sonames as needed by repo bar, so any "bad" reputation ffmpeg may
have in terms of API/ABI will automatically fade away, and maybe there
will be an ffmpeg release again someday.

FWIW I'm not criticising ffmpeg's development quality, this is a great
project and very vivid upstream. It only lacks in the downstream
channels, e.g. offering releases for the various downstreams to base
their projects upon leading to every second project to fork off a
snapshot from ffmpeg.

So actually my plead to anyone dissatisfied with the API/ABI stability
or bad rumor of it and with enough knowledge on the matter: Please try
to get onto ffmpeg-devel and become a release manager. Release early,
release often is what ffmpeg lacks.
Axel.Thimm at ATrpms.net

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