[Flac-dev] Should FLAC join Xiph?

Steve Lhomme steve.lhomme at free.fr
Mon Nov 25 07:53:01 PST 2002

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

> > In the case of hardware support, the benefits are still not there.
> Are you suggesting that BSD licensing is problematic for hardware
> vendors,
> or problematic for other users of the software in the context of
> hardware support?

Not at all. But what I said is that there is no proof that hardware vendors only
want to cope with BSD softwares only. As long as you're the copyright holder,
you can do everything with your code. And hardware vendors know that. They are
business people :)

> The confusion between free software (in general) and Linux is
> widespread,
> and more or less understandable because the two are so intertwined.  I
> don't
> think that FLAC is any different from current Xiph.org software in
> this
> respect; people that I talk to about FLAC assume (without even looking)
> that it is purely command-line Linux software.

Yes, in every world education is necessary. But Xiph has show little concern
with the Windows world, which represents a *huge* part in the multimedia world.
One of the worst example was the use of Tobias' DirectShow filter with OggMux.
The produced file are .ogm to distinguish between .ogg with audio (Vorbis) only.
And Xiph prefered to create a Windows hack (actually one of the CoreCodec
creators did it) to make sure all OGG file have the .ogg extension wether they
have audio or video. This is the opposite of all what most Windows users do and
like. And just because Linux is superior to Windows because it doesn't rely on
file extension (well, there were a few more arguments).

This is the kind of things that made me think (without prior prejudice) that
Xiph are doing their own business in a not so open way.

I wouldn't like FLAC to become the same, like : "we support this API only and if
you don't like it, don't use it". Nothing shows such a move and the opposite
have been expressed here. I just hope it will remain the same.

> I don't see the Xiph solution as a big mess; indeed, I think that they
> have
> shown wisdom in their design and development choices with the goal of
> producing a useful system.  There is a tradeoff between
> everything-works-with-everything and having functional software which
> makes
> sense and can be reliably maintained, and I think that Xiph have found
> a good balance with Ogg.

See example above. I don't think they always made the best choices. I think they
did a great job with Vorbis and I like lacing in OGG. For the rest I think
things can be improved and handled differently.

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