Re: GStreamer regression analysis [was: GNOME and GStreamer]

On 1/16/06, Tim Müller <t i m zen co uk> wrote:
> As a GNOME user as well as a developer I really hope that GNOME will
> decide to go for the GStreamer version that is actively being worked on
> and constantly being improved, even if that means temporary feature
> regression.

I've bit my tongue so far in this thread, but this really sort of
irritated me. End users do not know or care that the version is being
improved/worked on. What they definitely do see is regressions- 'I
upgraded and now I have fewer features and fewer things work.' No
normal user will think 'I upgraded and now the software is shittier,
but hey, I'm sure that means that in six months it'll be better!' To
think that end users will understand why their software suddenly works
less well is insane and, frankly, I think it is indicative of a
long-standing problem in the gstreamer project where the focus is more
strongly on the core technology than the actual user experience.

>From what I can see, the real problem here is that gstreamer 0.10 is
really an api-frozen development branch still, which may be suitable
for server use with some codecs but is not an actual
feature-comparable end-user stable release. I'd urge everyone to
re-read this thread substituting 'api-stable development branch' for
'0.10' and see if it changes their thinking.

Now, it might not- there are plenty of legitimate reasons I can see to
switch to 0.10 anyway, even if it should still be called 0.9.90.
Primary of them, of course, is that if we ship with 0.8, no one will
fix any reported bugs, and I can't blame the gstreamer/fluendo team
for that, given their limited resources. So possibly calling it 0.9.9x
instead of pretending it is stable and featureful doesn't change

>From what I've read so far (and I admit I have not come close to
reading the whole thread) the right thing to do here is to encourage
developers and testers to use 0.10, and aim strongly for using 0.10 in
gnome 2.16, but to assume that we'll officially depend on 0.8 and
recommend it to distributors, end-users, etc. Yes, it'll be
effectively unsupported, but it will be exactly the same in those
terms as 2.12, whereas 0.10 will be a big step backwards in many
respects from 2.12, which should be unacceptable for us and will be
damaging to our users and our hard-earned reputation for stability.


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