[vorbis] Re: ogg123

Monty xiphmont at xiph.org
Mon Oct 8 16:15:51 PDT 2001

> > It's the only program which makes permanently problems. First I uninstalled
> > all Ogg Vorbis stuff. Then I install it from the CVS and it never works.

...this is the first we've heard of your problems.  Please report
difficulties you have else they won't be fixed (if they're problems),
or we can't help (if it's pilot error).

> > This also happens on several fresh installed distributions.

Report problems, and include *verbatim logs of install commands and
errors*.  We can tell nothing useful from your above statement.
There are so many UNIX distributions out there, and so many users who
set up nonstandard systems, that expecting 100% flawless reliability
from automake/autoconf is not practically reasonable (unfortunate, but
true).  This is not one Redmond-standardized flavor of Windows on a
single processor family.  If you want to press a single button and
have the world magically installed, please use prepackaged binaries
made for your distribution, else be bothered to do a little debugging
when an install fails.  We do fix problems that are reported carefully
and in detail.

Open Source only improves when people are dedicated to being *helpful*.

> > I was able only to install Ogg Vorbis on one system, after some patches, because the CVS
> > sources need ALSA, which I do not have.

You either have some portion of ALSA installed unknowingly (headers?),
or autoconf screwed up, which is hardly unknown.  Reading config.log
would likely make all clear.  Hell, forward it to me, and I'll read
it for you.

> > There seems to be something very dirty inside Ogg Vorbis.

Well, yes, it's called libtool, but we don't really have a choice.

> > Try to install Ogg Vorbis on a 100% Ogg Vorbis free system.

I do it daily.  For yucks and grins, I just did it
Ferretfish.xiph.org, an internal NAT box here, which has never seen
Ogg before.  Five minutes.  Nary a warning.  Why?  *Because we fix all
the problems people report for Debian*.

Report problems *verbatim* or was can do nothing.  

> > checking for Ogg... no
> > *** Could not run Ogg test program, checking why...
> > *** The test program compiled, but did not run. This usually means
> > *** that the run-time linker is not finding Ogg or finding the wrong
> > *** version of Ogg. If it is not finding Ogg, you'll need to set your
> > *** LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable, or edit /etc/ld.so.conf to point
> > *** to the installed location  Also, make sure you have run ldconfig if that
> > *** is required on your system
> > ***
> > *** If you have an old version installed, it is best to remove it, although
> > *** you may also be able to get things to work by modifying LD_LIBRARY_PATH
> > configure: error: must have Ogg installed!
> > f:/home/cvs/vorbis # find /usr/ -name '*ogg*so*'
> > /usr/local/lib/libogg.so.0
> > /usr/local/lib/libogg.so.0.2.0
> > /usr/local/lib/libogg.so
> > f:/home/cvs/vorbis # echo $LD_LIBRARY_PATH
> > /usr/local/lib
> > f:/home/cvs/vorbis #

Are the includes installed?  Can your GCC find them?  Do you actually
know what really went wrong?  No, you don't, you didn't look (or you
didn't tell us, same result).  If you don't know how, asking (instead
of accusing us of purposely spiting you) is likely to get a better

You're an experienced developer, Frank.  You're being lazy.  What
I mean is: If you're going to make a bug report (and we thank you for
making such a report), please be meticulous such that the report is
actually *useful*.

This mail wasn't a bug report, it was an accusation.

> > Before this the following was executed:
> > 
> >    cd ao; ./autogen.sh; make; make install; ldconfig
> >    cd ../ogg; ./autogen.sh; make; make install; ldconfig
> >    cd ../vorbis
> > 
> > I'm not the only one who has problems installing Ogg Vorbis,
> > most people try this once and then forget Ogg Vorbis forever.

Source is not the easiest thing on earth.  Most Linux users today
would still be in over their heads on a Mac or Windows.  Yet, we do
our best.  I spend more time answering angry email from people who
don't understand that Vorbis needs a soundcard to play music than I do
actually coding.

And then I get self-righteous mail like this from a developer whom I
know is damned well capable of determining the actual problem and
letting us know so we can fix it.  But he'd rather flame, wasting more
of my time... 

I could spend the rest of my life on building a foolproof cross
platform build system that works everywhere with one click.  Or I
could actually do my job.  I don't have time for both.  We use the
best build tools we have available, which are obviously wanting.  You
obviously noticed this.

> > It should be possible to install Ogg Vorbis from CVS with one command, not
> > with so much command in a proper order. And it should work.

I should add a requirement to the source README: "Your pointy hat must
be at least this tall."

If it *could* actually work, and still deliver all the functionality
non-newbie users want, that would be great.  As it is, that's a
project that could take years to make foolproof, and would require
constant tracking of new platforms and changes to old ones.  And the
changes would likely piss off anyone who is familiar with the normal
UNIX/CVS/GNU way of doing things.

Don't forget all the optional builds just in case people want to
install only one piece (or upgrade only one piece).  Please be careful
about system config files and user defaults.  Also please mind the
users who have multiple versions installed in different install paths.

The system is set up to be flexible.  Flexible and powerful are not
the same thing as easy.  Bugs are also inevitable when dealing with
real-world style platform complexity.  Burying this complexity behind
an even simpler interface does not give users more power, it just
renders them even more helpless when something goes wrong.

...would you prefer a system that simply says "Installation failed"
after a single button press, or the system we have now that actually
gives you a chance to determine the problem?  In system A, both
newbies *and* experienced developers are mostly helpless.

In any case, the build system you want is much harder than sticking a
toplevel makefile on things.  If you think it's easy, I suggest you
try it.  Please embarrass us by showing us what build-fools we are.
Make it bulletproof against the people in over their heads who don't
even realize they have no compiler installed.  Make sure the system
doesn't rob the source wizards of the power they need to get their own
work done.  If you can make such a build system work (and are willing
to maintain it), you would be doing us a *much* appreciated service.
That was *not* sarcasm.

Otherwise, please use prepackaged binaries.  They make Ogg effortless.

eg, 'apt-get install vorbis-tools' and answer 'yes'.


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