[matroska-general] Implement support for mplayer's MPCF container format into matroska parser ?

Christian HJ Wiesner chris at matroska.org
Tue Mar 11 17:21:45 CET 2003



Gentlemen,

this has been discussed on the IRC channel a couple of minutes ago, and 
i put it for discussion :

As you may have heard our specification was put under severe critizism 
from some core developers of the mplayer player for Linux environments. 
They were calling our project 'crap' and 'bloated' and us, the 
developers and people behind it, are 'stupid DirectShow kiddies' . When 
i was pointed to these threads on their mailing list ( 
http://mplayerhq.hu/pipermail/mplayer-dev-eng/ ) i completely 
overreacted and sent some pretty harsh and unnecessary comments back to 
their list. I apologized for that later, and it also turned out as if 
they changed their minds a little bit about our project, while still 
considering it much to bloated and poweful for a container format.

Recently it became silent about their own container, named 'MPCF' ( 
MPlayer Container Format ), but now discussion was raised again and they 
are starting implementation. In fact, their basic structure seems so 
much similar to ours in some points, but simply stripped from all the 
more powerful stuff like chapters, menues, etc , i still have to ask 
myself where the big need is to make it at all, but this is a free world 
and of course they are completely free to do whatever they want to do. 
We dont like Xiph people questioning matroska, and so we should question 
their goals.

Now, as a result of this it may happen that a certain 'polarisation' may 
occur between Linux and Windows users, and this is pretty bad for the 
whole opensource movement IMHO. They needed a DirectShow parser to make 
sure their container could be played on Windows, and probably would even 
find someone doing it for them in the end, but they themselves dont see 
this being a necessity. Again, this is very dangerous for the opensource 
world IMHO. Until recently everbody was using good old AVI, QT or MP4. 
Now we could see a fork between the two worlds, leading to 
incompatibility and frustration for the users.

So i was asking myself if we should maybe consider to give them the 
'hand of peace' , trying to smooth out the raging waves , for example by 
offering them to support their format in our DirectShow parser ?

You may think this is a completely stupid thing to do, but here are my 
reasons :

1. Our first and only motivation, in any case, should be the users of 
any of the new containers. They dont know about the 'rumbling' behind 
the scenes, and they dont deserve to be the victims of that anyway. By 
supporting MPCF in our parser we could make their life much easier, by 
ensuring the container can be played fine on Windows.

2. By offering help to the mplayer people for the DirectShow playback we 
would gain sympathy from some of the MPFC developers ( not all of them 
for sure ), but especially from the mplayer/mencoder users. This would 
also help a lot to break down 'mental barriers' and to avoid a 'drifting 
apart' from Windows and Linux world

3. As a sideeffect we could hopefully convince them to reuse at least a 
few of the things we introduce together with matroska, such as our codec 
ID list, ( 16 bytes wont hurt them i hope ), the UCI ( or whatever it 
will be called ) codec interface, our chapters/control tracks ( their 
users surely will request this ) and maybe even our menuing and tagging 
system.

@ myFUN, do you think this was feasible, to have our parser handle 2 
different formats ? Please note we will NOT want to make this a separate 
filter, as we certainly dont want to pay for the hosting of the parser 
of another container, and also nobody can ask us to create their parser 
filter without some advantage for us. I sincerely hope it should be 
possible to implement MPCF playback ( given the really simple structure 
they have ) into our parser filter with only a very small file size 
increase. Of course, they could always take our sources, strip all the 
matroska content of and compile their own filter ... thats the nature of 
opensource, and fine with me.

What is your opinion on this ?

Regards

Christian

http://www.matroska.org




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