[clug] Video editing under linux and financial incentives.

Darren Freeman daz111 at rsphysse.anu.edu.au
Tue Jun 8 09:50:11 GMT 2004

On Tue, 2004-06-08 at 16:54, Telek, John wrote:
> Hi all,
>    I have a rather strong interest in editing DV format video under
> linux. My preference is Windows XP pro and Adobe premier.

If that's your preference then why bother? I would persevere because I
don't like having my nuts in somebody else's jar.

> At the moment, I see myself having to do the following in order to "sort
> of make it work".
> 1) hack around for a couple of day's recompiling the kernel to get one
> that's ok'ish to import video without too many
>    glitches.

I don't see why this is necessary - v4l works for me.

> 2) hack around for a couple of day's recompiling the various 1394 libs
> and tools until they also "sort of work".

Again 1394 works fine for me.

> 3) hack around for a couple of day's recompiling the various
> applications related to editing the video footage to also
>    "sort of make it work".


> Just the other day I downloaded and compiled xine on my laptop wich runs
> mandrake 10.0. I compiled everything from source.

Xine comes with Mandrake 10.0 so try the binaries. Other than encrypted
DVD support which requires building highly illegal source, everything
else works.

> I play one video and the display memory get corrupted if I try and play
> another video without rebooting first. Also that laptop cannot cope with

you probably have an X server problem, perhaps the display driver is not
coping with the chipset in your laptop

> the high IO bandwith requirements and eventually (within seconds) dies.
> Lasts longer if I disable audio. Work fine if I use windows. I'ts almost
> like I have to derive my own linux distro.

I don't think that's a fair assessment. I had similar problems related
to the NForce2 chipset (which nobody should ever run with Linux).
Essentially there are bugs in the APIC implementation and now that Linux
knows how to use it, boom it locks up when doing anything intensively
interrupt related. But it's a bug in the hardware (or BIOS) that's the
problem AFAIK.

Windows avoids these problems by only supplying the most craptacular of
drivers that should work on anything - with the performance of a pocket
calculator. You then install binary drivers that the manufacturer
supplied (with about 50 reboots), which incorporate any workarounds
needed to get the boards running properly.

Linux on the other hand comes with almost all the drivers ever written
for it (literally) and so it instantly recognises the hardware and
starts using it (assuming your distro compiled them). If it doesn't know
about any sneakiness required to keep running, it dies. This is what
happens when we allow vendors to supply binary drivers - we never get to
hear about the tricks they used to get it running. The majority of users
never need to know that there are bugs being hidden by the binary
drivers, but those without these drivers are royally screwed.

> Maybe we should stop pushing linux into the desktop arena. It cannot
> compete full stop.

Maybe we should push harder so that it can improve. A lack of enthusiasm
is all that is required to kill off a free software project. Why don't
you submit bug reports to all the relevant people? And keep in mind that
laptops are notorious for poor linux support. There's just so many more
proprietary variations to keep track of than a PC built from well-known
cards. And fewer developers with access to your exact configuration. You
should participate more as a user instead of whining that something you
got for nothing doesn't work on your laptop. After all you haven't
exactly encouraged us to help you with this post.

> I see the linux kernel evolving soooo rapidly with the result being NO
> performance stability or decent IO management or throughput. Very few

Have you noticed the fraction of servers on the Internet running linux?
It's pretty high. Maybe if you want rock-solid stability you should
downgrade to the 2.4 series of kernels. You're bitching about a kernel
not even half a year old not working on your laptop.

> manufacturers of hardware support linux with drivers for starters, and
> secondly, too many open source developers loose interest at 60-70% of
> completion of any project.

Again pointing back to the problem of vendors releasing binary drivers
on one major platform. More desktop users = more vendor support, it's
basic economics. And more enthusiasm = less 70% completions. So stop
dumping on others and do something about it.

> Windows shits all over Linux hands down at this point in time.

Maybe you were absent when the last worm came around.

> And before you propeller heads even start, get it through your lopsided
> scone's that the majority of people just want their computers to just
> work. You cannot and should not expect everyone on this planet to be in
> your league.

At what point did you lose the plot? When did you get forced to try
this? If you wish to shut down your brain and interface directly with
Clippy, with a rolling green hill in the background, that's fine, but
this list is not for you. Goodbye.

> YES! I want choice. YES! I see the power of giving people the ability to
> express their creativity. NO! You can't expect everyone to be the same.
> We don't live in the Star Trek universe. ( Yet! Heres hoping.  :)  )

Again, you're insisting that we think what you want us to think, so that
you can then make derogatory comments about it.

> This right/left wing religeous take that some people have on their
> "Favorite OS/Platform" is really not on and poor form.

This openly bagging the membership of a user group is not on good form

> As much as I see Linux and it's importance with respect to it's role in
> the IT game, I've come to the conclusion that it will never get anywhere
> as a desktop product until someone takes it, exerts entire control over
> it and inject's a shitload of money into it. In the meantime, all Linux

That would kill the spirit of it!

The important thing to remember with free software, is that you never
take steps backward. It can never be taken away from you. You might not
think that Linux is ready for your desktop, that's fine. It's ready for
mine. At some point in the future, whether there's money and control or
not, it will be ready for most people. You don't serve your customers a
soup that's half cooked, but you do let the chefs sip it and add more
ingredients. This doesn't mean that it will never be ready.

> will ever be is a means for poor people/students to express their
> creative juices in the hope that someone recognises their abilities and
> starts paying the individual appropriately for their intelectual
> greatness.

You're forgetting how many companies are paying for free software
development. And how many are using it in their products. They probably
don't see it the way you do, and neither do I.

> I've also realised that this, "It's free" business doesn't actually
> work. You university types should know first hand that here in australia
> (for starters), education is becoming more eexpensive. Slowly, little by
> little our "educated" population are turning around and going "fuck it",
> who's the highest bidder. Why ?. Because the landlord want's more money.
> Petrol is over a dollar. Life is EXPENSIVE.

So people have to get real jobs at some point. I would guess that most
free software developers have real jobs, and the lucky ones get to work
on it as their real job.

> So now that we've brought it down to what it's really about, I'll give
> $500.00 (Cash in hand) to whoever can make my Linux based video editing
> system work AND work reliably to the same level of performance and
> reliability that I get from Microsoft Windows.

Are you offering to lend us your laptop for testing? It sounds like your
laptop is most of the problem.

> And before I get told, I have dropped linux as a destop solution. I am
> still happy to push it as an alternative backend solution though where I
> honestly believe it works very well.

I have used it on my desktop since mid 2002. Never looked back.

> I want to be able to watch a full screen divx movie (high quality) while
> importing/exporting video to tape in DV format via the firewire port
> from within one of the more decent video editing applications. Video and
> audio play lag times need to addressed as well. Ie: file/buffer/hw
> interaction and management. There still isn't a decent audio editor for
> linux either.

I think there is although I've never used it. I remember it being on /.
several times.

> I suppose I want the DIRECTX (TM M$) equivalent for Linux. One standard
> not lots of different ones, and yes I'll pay for it.

Are you by any chance aware that the DirectX API changes so much during
each successive release that they have to include separate binaries in
the one bundle to handle all applications dating back to DirectX 1.0?
How is this in any way superior to having the source to all your
libraries? I suspect that most of the success of DirectX is due to
market dominance rather than clever design.

> Time for change through incentive.

Fair enough. I suspect you could have solved it yourself though if you
read the howtos.

>    John.

Have fun,

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