OpenH264 in Fedora

Alberto Ruiz aruiz at
Mon Nov 4 18:30:12 UTC 2013

On Mon, 2013-11-04 at 18:31 +0100, Kevin Kofler wrote:
> Alberto Ruiz wrote:
> > We still have a problem with MP3, but it does solve a fundamental
> > problem.
> We had the same type of solution (just with a different binary producer, 
> Fluendo) offered for MP3. We rejected it, due to both political (effectively 
> unmodifiable binary) and technical (interoperability problems, e.g. with 
> SELinux, that could not be fixed because it was a binary blob) reasons. The 
> compromise that was originally implemented (Codeina, also known as the 
> "Codec Buddy", which worked pretty much as you propose) was dropped soon 
> afterwards because the users did NOT like it. (They wanted the libmad plugin 
> rather than the flump3 one, and they also wanted all the other codecs in RPM 
> Fusion for which Codeina either had no alternative or only an expensive paid 
> one. So Codeina just confused them and made it no easier for them to 
> actually get what they wanted. So now we have the PackageKit-based GStreamer 
> codec installer which requires rpmfusion-free-release to be installed to be 
> useful, but then actually offers the codecs that users want.)

A user who actually cares about a certain codec implementation and rpm
package is presumably a user who is perfectly capable of setting up its
own repository (hopefully a fair assumption). They can reject the codec
if they're asked, problem solved.

At that point the current solution doesn't really help to someone who
doesn't know (and I'd go as far as saying, shouldn't know) how to do

As per other technical/political details, Cisco is not Fluendo, they
have shown interest in working with the downstreams on providing
binaries for any given platform that they're asked (it's in their
interest that this codec works well and is widely available), so we
could reach out to them to see if we can solve these problems before
rejecting the idea altogether?

I seriously don't understand why we want to keep playing media files
THIS hard on Fedora. It is the only reason I use RPM fusion. We want to
fight the current situation? Let's endorse the EFF as an organization
and help them spreading the word on their campaigns to reform US policy.
Let's endorse and promote the Daala development to achieve a patent-free
techinically superior codec.

In the meantime we have to be practical, if Mozilla+Google have failed
to push for VP8 and accepted that for now H264 is the way to go, I am
afraid that the reality is that by making it hard to get H264 decoding
in Fedora for users the only thing we are going to achieve is scaring
users away and diminishing the quality perception of Fedora. That is a
net loss for free software.

Asking people to include an extra repository is no fix, it's not the
first nor the second time that my Fedora upgrades break because the
rpmfusion packages (specifically GStreamer ones) suddenly has the
ability to install any sort of software in my system and mess with the
integrity of my rpm database.

A media codec should not be a system wide component (I'd go as far as
saying it should not be user-session wide, but application bundled).

Alberto Ruiz

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