FFmpeg package in Debian/Ubuntu

Michael Niedermayer michaelni at gmx.at
Tue Oct 11 00:24:37 UTC 2011

Hi Fabian, Dominik, Debian developers

On Wed, Oct 05, 2011 at 11:43:19AM +0200, Fabian Greffrath wrote:
> Dear Dominik,
> Am 23.09.2011 18:03, schrieb Dominik 'Rathann' Mierzejewski:
> >Dear All,
> >I'm sending this (Bcc) to Debian/Ubuntu package maintainers who are listed
> >under "Original Maintainers" on http://packages.ubuntu.com/oneiric/ffmpeg
> >and who seem to be doing something at least a bit related still.
> You seem to have missed Debian multimedia packages maintainers
> <pkg-multimedia-maintainers at lists.alioth.debian.org>. Shifting this
> mail there as I am not going to discuss this with you in private.

Thank you for moving this to a public mailing list.
Dominik has pointed me to this mail, and i think its something i should
as main author of ffmpeg/libav, reply to.

libav forked off ffmpeg in the begin of this year. Since then libav
has fallen behind ffmpeg very significantly. Also due to the
unfortunate choice of the name of the fork, i should probably clarify
that the ffmpeg libraries libavcodec, libavformat, libavfilter and so
on are developed and maintained within the ffmpeg project.
Their maintainers, reviewers and authors are still predominantly in
the ffmpeg project, in some cases like libavfilter and libpostproc all
authors are to 100% on the ffmpeg side of the fork.

In terms of features:
ffmpeg has 17 additional decoders, 11 encoders, 11 demuxers, 5 muxers,
19 native av filter and 51 non native filters that libav does not have.
You only have to diff the libav*/all*.c files between ffmpeg and
libav git to see this.
There is no single feature in libav that ffmpeg does not have.
All improvments and bugfixes from libav are always merged into ffmpeg.
But changes from ffmpeg are only sometimes merged into libav, this
includes some security relevant changes.

In terms of bugs:
Both projects in the past used roundup to track bugs. With the fork
we were forced to switch to a new server&hosting and with that also
choose to use trak as tracker while libav, for reasons unknown to me
switched to bugzilla.
Due to this, its very easy to compare the bug fixing activity as both
projects started with fresh trackers.
ffmpeg has 280 fixed bugs, see:
libav has 17 fixed bugs see:

Given above, and especially the security issues, i would strongly
suggest debian to reconsider the decission to package just libav.
The ffmpeg team as well as I are of course happy to help with
maintaining debian packages if such help is needed or wanted!

Michael     GnuPG fingerprint: 9FF2128B147EF6730BADF133611EC787040B0FAB

Let us carefully observe those good qualities wherein our enemies excel us
and endeavor to excel them, by avoiding what is faulty, and imitating what
is excellent in them. -- Plutarch
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