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Re: [PATCH] gnu: icecat: Add ffmpeg support.

From: Mark H Weaver
Subject: Re: [PATCH] gnu: icecat: Add ffmpeg support.
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2017 18:51:35 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.1 (gnu/linux)

Mathieu OTHACEHE <address@hidden> writes:

>> Have you tried installing 'gst-libav' in your profile?  That's what I
>> do, and I'm able to watch videos in icecat that use those codecs.
> Yes I tried but I'm still not able to read videos from dailymotion or
> vimeo for instance. With this patch, it seems to work.
> Youtube also report support for H.264 and MSE & H.264 is problematic
> with current icecat (with or without gst-libav), but working with this
> patch.
> See:
> Do you share the same observations ?

Indeed, you're right.  For some reason, our current IceCat package
doesn't acknowledge the existence of the H.264 decoder in gst-libav,
although 'totem' is able to play such files via gstreamer and gst-libav.

It would be preferable to find out why the gstreamer approach is not
working properly.  I see at least three disadvantages of depending on
ffmpeg directly:

1. Every time ffmpeg is updated, IceCat would need to be recompiled.

2. Users who wish to avoid codecs under threat by patent holders would
   have no easy recourse, whereas currently they can simply avoid
   installing 'gst-libav'.

3. Supporting all of the codecs in ffmpeg entails a security risk,
   because it contains a large number of codecs, some of which surely
   have security flaws.  An attacker can find an obscure codec in there
   that nobody uses and exploit it.  At present, users can greatly
   mitigate this risk by installing only 'gst-plugins-good'.

For multiple reasons, it would be best to isolate patent-encumbered
codecs to optional plugins, rather than "baking them in" to our

What do you think?

Thank you for looking into this.


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