[Flac-dev] Should FLAC join Xiph?

Steve Lhomme steve.lhomme at free.fr
Fri Nov 22 01:03:04 PST 2002

En réponse à Matt Zimmerman <mdz at debian.org>:

> BSD licensing has been demonstrated to work in practice, for similar
> applications, by a number of high-profile projects, including those
> associated with Xiph.org.  I believe that in these situations, the

In the case of hardware support, the benefits are still not there.

> freedom
> and continued viability of the software is ensured not by legal
> restrictions, but by recognized leadership in a community.  Xiph.org is
> a strong ally in that area, with a thriving and well-recognized
> community.

Well, in the Windows world, Xiph are seen as Linux people. With all the positive
and negative vibes that is related. Just look at all the mess that happened with
the video integration in OGG (through Tobias W.'s DirectShow filter), or the war
of file extensions OGM vs OGG.

> I can foresee no obvious negative consequences, and a few tangible
> benefits.
> Overall, I would say that it seems like a beneficial course of action,
> though not to the extent that I would consider it a failure if it were
> not taken due to other concerns.

That sounds reasonable.

My main concern is that FLAC should be usable in other containers than OGG and
other architectures than the one Xiph wants to create. This is probably not the
right place for me to discuss about this. But the "complete solution" that Xiph
wants to create is IMHO a bad move. I think the UNIX way of doing things is
better : have simple things working, instead of a big mess. That means there
should be a portable codec API, different containers that can work with this
API, and the codec developpers should work with that API and don't care about
the underlying and upperlying levels. Putting everything in the same bag seems
to be a good solution to fill the lack of consistency in the Linux multimedia
world. But I think it's a short sighted view.

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