Does FFmpeg and other FOSS development makes people better or worse?
Posted Jan 21, 2011 2:45 UTC (Fri) by przemoc
Parent article: FFmpeg turmoil
I've read first and second thread and I still don't understand why unpleasant "overthrow" style was chosen. (Scare quotes, because there was no dictatorship in the first place.)
I am not following ffmpeg development, so I cannot say whether Michael's leadership was of high standards or not. Nevertheless Michael involvement and commitment are pretty obvious if you check code repository, mailing list or just some replies in mentioned threads. Even if his way of acting and working on ffmpeg projects was flawed a bit in some aspects (not using IRC is really undeniably severe issue, without doubts...), he deserved and still deserves some respect, especially amongst other ffmpeg devs, because they are the ones, that should be able to appreciate his past efforts to the utmost. Am I wrong?
Actually many developers thought that having Niedermayer as the project leader is bad. Some problems were pointed out and also acknowledged by Michael in many cases. He was addressing some of them before, or at least he tried. But the thing is that "dead end issues list" was presented _after_ simply rude takeover announcement. I am not sure what signatories were thinking apart from wanting to avoid alleged flamewars (grisly cheap excuse), but it looks that talking Micheal out of ffmpeg project had unquestionably higher priority than other goals, even though it was not explicitly stated there. Is it really successful beginning of "better ffmpeg"?
There is only a small quantum of solace that all ffmpeg developers wish ffmpeg the best and try to make it better with every commit, because it's truism. At least it was true before announcement was sent. It's unfortunately unclear nowadays. I see some improvements in switching to fork+pull/push model and introducing ffmpeg subsystem/parts lieutenants similarly to kernel way of development, but such change surely could be done with Michael in charge. Moreover, it is often good to have someone above these so called lieutenants or maintainers. Why the chance of lowering his burden was not given to him before, but after revolution he's encouraged to code more instead of reviewing?
Robert Swain's emails, seemingly friendly but cautiously worded, show that at least part of "new team" can discuss things politely. It shows also that revolution move was not well thought and, which is important thing, not well discussed among the revolutionists (albeit it's expressed by them a bit differently). Surprising, because they should be flawlessly prepared as there was no rush in their actions, right?
It looks they've reached a point of no return. Personally I am torn apart. As a FOSS user I also wish ffmpeg all the best, because it's a great software. As a human though, I think I slightly know how Michael can feel in this situation, thus wish him all the best much more stronger. It may even mean leaving ffmpeg, which is definitely not an easy decision for him, but perfectly understandable.
People are more important than things. Everyone should always remember it.
> > Given that all people i had a problem with now are on the new team, and i
> > dont seem to have much support left, i fear this is going to end in me
> > leaving the project. Contribute is not fun with ones code going through the
> > amount of bikesheding and nitpicks mine has gone through lately and my
> > personal fork with myself having so little support would probably just rot.
> It depends if the situation has to be that way. When it comes down to
> it, I think the vast majority of people involved in this project would
> be _really really_ disappointed and sad if you were to leave. I think
> this is a horrible situation to be in and I can completely understand
> that you feel betrayed, disrespected and hurt by these events. I
> apologise for my part in that though I think my apology is worthless,
> I just have to not do it again.
Well if i wasnt striped of my BDFL hat and that hijacking of ffmpeg.org
didnt happen then we wouldnt be in this situation.
Apparently signatories forgot it. And lack of additional statements from the others rather proves that not everyone will be disappointed and sad.
If it was only a fork or spin-off...
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