Microsoft employee:

Hi, This is a high priority ticket and the FFmpeg version is currently used in a highly visible product in Microsoft. We have customers experience issues with Caption during Teams Live Event. Please help

Maintainer’s comment on twitter:

After politely requesting a support contract from Microsoft for long term maintenance, they offered a one-time payment of a few thousand dollars instead.

This is unacceptable.

And further:

The lesson from the xz fiasco is that investments in maintenance and sustainability are unsexy and probably won’t get a middle manager their promotion but pay off a thousandfold over many years.

But try selling that to a bean counter

  • @vzq@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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    40510 days ago

    FFMPEG is a core technology. You literally cannot do anything with video without touching FFMPEG at multiple places in the stack.

    The fact that we have billions of dollars of revenue flowing through that software every day, but we rely on VOLUNTEERS to maintain it shows exactly how hollow the whole SV entrepreneur culture really is.

    Bunch of fucking posers wouldn’t know performance code if it kicked them in the face.

    • @grue@lemmy.world
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      18910 days ago

      The fact that we have billions of dollars of revenue flowing through that software every day, but we rely on VOLUNTEERS to maintain it shows exactly how hollow the whole SV entrepreneur culture really is.

      Exactly: I’m not mad about important things being run by volunteers – arguably, that’s a good thing because it means project decisions are made uncorrupted by profit motive – but I am mad about the profit being reaped elsewhere on the backs of their free labor.

      • Royce
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        7010 days ago

        @grue @vzq this is such an interesting space. The general public has no idea how much of their software relies on open source code and voluntary community contributions. There have been so many attempts to figure out a way to compensate these maintainers, but it doesn’t seem like anything has really become the defacto solution. Open Collective and Tidelift are the closest things I can think of.

        • @helenslunch@feddit.nl
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          3 days ago

          OBS seems to be funded by the likes of Meta, Google, Amazon, AMD, Nvidia, etc. despite being unaffiliated.

      • Rich Felker
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        139 days ago

        @grue @vzq The key is that these folks are supposed to have both freedom & power to set direction independent of corporate shit, *and* compensation for their labor.

      • arguably, that’s a good thing because it means project decisions are made uncorrupted by profit motive

        Argue-er here, chiming in. This statement could be interpreted as considering only half of the central relationship of capitalism. (Capitalism isn’t just about deriving profit from the control of surplus, it’s about the relationship between surplus and scarcity. Surplus doesn’t mean shit if no one wants what you have.)

        The decisions that volunteers make may not be motivated by the desire/ability to make profit, but they can be (and often are) motivated by the opposite; they have to account for the fact that their volunteer work is labor that isn’t contributing to their survival – aka, their day job. The demands placed on them by their other responsibilities will have to take precedence over the volunteer project.

        In practice, this means they have to take shortcuts and/or do less than they would like to, because they don’t have time to devote to it. It’s not exactly the same end product as if it was profit-seeking, since that can tempt maintainers into using dark patterns etc, but they’re similar.

        Ideally, they would have all the money they needed, didn’t have to have regular jobs, but also had families/friends/hobbies that would keep them from over-engineering ffmpeg.

        To say this in a simpler/shorter way (TD;DR), their decisions can be motivated by the fact that they aren’t making money from it, don’t have enough time or resources to do everything they might want.

        (Why is this so long?? I’m bored in the train, gotta kill the time somehow…why not say in 1000 words what I could have said in 100)

        • @grue@lemmy.world
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          18 days ago

          Interesting point! I’m not sure that that motivates the quality or type of decisions so much as the mere quantity, though. (In other words, I agree the pace of development suffers, but I’m not sure the quality of the end result does.)

    • deweydecibel
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      3710 days ago

      They’re not going to invest in it if they don’t own it, and frankly I’m happy they don’t.

      • TechNom (nobody)
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        159 days ago

        Those same companies tell you that their products that you paid for don’t belong to you. You are just buying a license to use them. Sadly, this asinine concept is spreading even to hardware markets.

        I think it’s fair to ask them to take their own bitter pill. They should also invest without owning.

    • Avid Amoeba
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      1210 days ago

      Bunch of fucking posers wouldn’t know performance code if it kicked them in the face.

      You mean JavaScript right?

      • TehPers
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        610 days ago

        These days it’s all about Python, with AI being the hype and all. JS can at least try to compete.