[vlc-devel] Re: Download size

Rémi Denis-Courmont courmisch at via.ecp.fr
Sat Aug 13 10:44:59 CEST 2005

Le Samedi 13 Août 2005 00:38, Clément Stenac a écrit :
> (1) A recent study showed that the VLC debian package is the package
> that depends on the greatest number of libraries

  IMHO, while related, the problem is significantly different on 
proprietary OSes (Windows, Mac OS X) and open-source ones. I would 
assume that with a huge number of dependencies, the VLC package in 
Debian is indeed quite small by itself.

  Also on general-purpose Linux distributions, big libraries such as 
libxml2 and the gpgerror-gcrypt-gnutls (did you ever try to remove one 
of these on Debian?) combo should always be present, so it doesn't 
really matter that vlc depends on them.

  On the proprietary OSes, I don't think of a plugin manager as a 
satisfying solution either, that's plain user-UNfriendly. I mean, how 
don't you remember how ANNOYING that "install component" dialog box is 
in Microsoft Office ?
  And we don't even have a way to tell the user (s)he must download a 
plugin to do what he tries to do. That is just impossible with the 
current architecture where it is, in most case, the plugin that knows 
if it can handle something, not the core that know which plugin to use.
  I've only ever seen eally HUGE software packages (ala MS Office) do 
that. IIRC, the plugin download system was more meant as a way for non 
European citizens to obtain plugins that are legally challenged in 
Europe. Also, we don't have any general-purpose lossless decrompression 
algorithm in VLC, so it could do more harm than good if many plugins 
were to be downloaded that way.

  The only solutions (besides separating browsers plugins) would be:
 - build a light version with only the most commonly used features for 
the poor few dialup Internet users,
 - use the proprietary libraries instead of the open-source 
dependencies, but that could raise some legal concerns, is often poorly 
documented and/or too specific to be usable (e.g. HTTP/SSL 
implementation in Windows). And nobody will want to do that unless 
(s)he is paid to do it.

Rémi Denis-Courmont
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