[vlc-devel] Update on the VLC browser plugins

Rémi Denis-Courmont remi at remlab.net
Mon Oct 11 19:44:00 CEST 2010


This is a long overdue update on the state of the two VLC plugins for web 
browsers, i.e. the ActiveX plugin for Microsoft Internet Explorer, and the 
Mozilla plugin for just about every other browser.

Effective today, the web plugins will be separated from the VLC media player. 
This is mostly an organizational change for us developers and should not 
directly affect our end-users. There are several motivations behind this:

❶ Prove the plugins are really independent from the stand-alone player.
The web plugins will be used as a testbed to ensure the quality of "LibVLC". 
LibVLC is our Software Development Kit; it enables third party computer 
programs to leverage the power of the VLC media player engine.

❷ Let the web plugins development follow its own pace and decouple it from the 
VLC media player development cycle. This will enable the VideoLAN project to 
deliver innovations and important improvements to its flagship
VLC media player to end users faster than previously. Similarly, enhancements 
to the web plugins will not anymore be kept on hold for months until the next 
major version of VLC media player major is released.

❸ Work on the web plugins will become much easier once separated from VLC. 
Hopefully more developers will be able to join the VideoLAN project's efforts 
to deliver a best-of-breed open-source cross-platform cost-free multimedia 

But that was the good news. Many of you surely noticed that the web plugins in 
VLC 1.1 were not on the level of quality that you should expect, and not as 
good as previous versions by any measure. While VLC 1.1 was a great new 
release of the media player, it was more of a brown-paper bag release as far 
as the web was concerned. That's the bad news.

The explanation to this unsatisfactory state of affairs is rather trivial. The 
last active developer who was working on our web plugins left the VideoLAN 
project 2 and a half years ago. Since VideoLAN is a volunteer project, we are 
entirely dependent on staff sponsored by third parties, and hobbyists - by far 
mostly on hobbyists in fact at the moment. As is, nobody has stepped up to 
take the plugins over. Unfortunately, I cannot promise that we will address 
this problem as, well... we're dependent on goodwill. Obviously, any help is 
welcome. By that, I mean time, not money (if you have money and no time, then 
hire someone who has time and no money).

I don't need to say that, we also welcome skilled and motivated developers 
willing to help with other areas of the VideoLAN project as ever.

Thank you for your attention and continued support,

Rémi Denis-Courmont
on behalf of the VideoLAN project

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