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Re: Bug#176267: ITP: mplayer -- Mplayer is a full-featured audioand video player for UN*X like systems

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(I'm supposed to note that I'm not subscribed to debian-legal, but I
appreciate responses be CC'd to me.)

Hi, I just saw the www.MPlayerhq.hu front-page post and read the large
archive and debate on debian-devel and debian-legal.

That was hours of reading, but I think it was worth it.

I am the (as of yesterday) former Video maintainer for SourceMage
GNU/Linux, which is a source-based distribution if you are not already
familiar with it.  I'm not here to trumpet my distro, as I wish us both
success, and I always suggest debian as a binary distro, but I just
wanted to note that though Gabucino is not as nice as people would want
him to be that his points are entirely valid.

On our distro, we use MPlayer more than Xine for a reason: it is stable,
less buggy, more pure, more featureful, and just plain better.  It can
also go legally bleeding-edge, which is something that we are less
concerned about, due to the fact that our "spells" simply download from
original author's websites and compile locally (often with a small legal
blurb about "don't do this if...").

As an aside, this would be much easier if they didn't keep changing their
download locations on their ftp servers and if they version'd their
default skin so that I could tell when they update it without having to
cron wget to check it every day.

But back to my original point.  Everybody I know, after installing our
basesystem, compiles X and MPlayer.  Why?  Because Linux needs a working,
stable, fast video player for desktop use.  If Debian will not have this,
but will have Xine, integrated into its pacakage management system, this
is totally unfair.  I'm not a developer for MPlayer, and yes, we don't
have to worry about "legal issues" as much, being source-based, but I've
been looking for that smoking gun that says the MPlayer is illegal, or
even risky!

Nobody has provided that, and I'm here, doing my part to lobby for you
guys to improve your selection.  MPlayer is the best, the fastest, the
most stable, and the easiest to use (IMHO) of any of the players, to date,
and it would be terrible not to include it because of personal issues.

I ask this because I am not an elitist.  To eschew choice because of
personal reasons is elitist.

Gabucino is within his rights to say that he doesn't want to see bug
reports from binary copies of MPlayer floating around and doesn't care
about it being included in Debian.  But many of your responses were all
unfair and baseless.

I, as an evangelist that suggests people use Debian instead of my own
distro at times, think that you guys should get over your legal
non-issues and include MPlayer, for the benefit of the regular end users
that don't want to have to compile everything from source and who want a
Totally Free (TM), non-corporate GNU/Linux distro for their desktop.

Maybe they should be using SMGL or other source-based distros.  MPlayer
works out of the box, like magic, with bleeding-edge codec after codec.

Regarding the suggestion that MPlayer should host the .debs themselves, I
can only say that my goal is accessibility.  If it is not included by
default, the awareness of said package is severely limited to newbies, who
would need a package like this.  All the "experts" can still download it
and build from source.  This is just one _easy_ way to make things more
friendly, and a way to truly show your dedication to people who feel that
their OS should be able to play the media that they own without having to
boot into Windows or Jaguar.

Legal objection,
That isn't torn to pieces?
Please speak it now or,
Forever hold your peace, eh?


P.S.  Anybody who thinks that MPlayer isn't substantially faster than any
other free video player for Un*x systems is wholly ignorant of the facts.

P.P.S.  Anybody who develops for the other players is not worse off: I
like them all, they all have their advantages and differences.  I'm merely
for software choice, and MPlayer being IMHO the leader of the pack right
now is not to your detrminent.  Keep on trucking; the competition -- with
cooperation -- is healthy.

- --
Seth Alan Woolley <seth at tautology.org>, SPAM/UCE is unauthorized
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