State of VideoLAN
It's been a long time
In this post, I will come back on a few points that happened in our last year.
VLC is doing quite well actually, but some things could be better...
VLC 1.1.0 was out last year, in June.
This release was a tremendous success, and probably the one where we've had the best success for launch.
Of course, 1.1.0 had a lot of bugs, since people still refuse to test our betas and RC versions, and as usual, 1.1.1 was ready and out in less than a month.
The 1.1.x-bugfix branch is quite stable and feature-full.
We still have notorious issues with PulseAudio, DVD Unicode path and Font caching on Windows. But all of them have been fixed in the git master.
1.1.0 to 1.1.9 updates
We've done 9 minor additional releases in 11 months from 1.1.0 to 1.1.9. And 1.1.10 is imminent...
While, this is a bit annoying for the users, seeing the poor update mechanism in VLC, this is mostly due to numerous security issues found and fixed in VLC.
This shows that a very small team, like VLC's can care enough to support and have a strong security focus... Even when people are volunteers.
Since the switch to SourceForge, for mirroring the downloads, VLC has been downloaded 237 millions of times, in 11 months.
The repartition per country, is the usual one as seen on my numbers post. And 57% of those downloads were done through the upgrade systems of VLC; the rest came from various websites, including the VideoLAN website.
VLC team and development
Unfortunately, the VLC core team is still very small, and I might say smaller than before. The Bus Factor of VLC is still too low.
However, the number of next-to-core VLC developers and the number of VLC contributors has quite a bit.
With this increase, the process for reviewing patches and the quality of code entering VLC has improved a lot. This is good for VLC's maturity.
On the same topic, a lot of code has been cleaned up and outdated modules have been removed.
I will speak of VLC 1.2.x in a later post. But, you should know that VLC 1.2.0 is in a good shape and development is still happening at a very fast pace.
But VLC isn't the only thing happening in VideoLAN.
Websites and machines
The main VideoLAN website was redesigned and simplified a lot to stop confusing our users. The users feedback was quite good, on this part.
The other services have been cleaned, removed and improved a lot (major software upgrades, spam fighting, uptime improvements).
The main external websites are now:
Software upgrades: libdvbpsi, libdvbcsa
- libdvbpsi has seen one major upgrade and a change of license: it is now LGPLv2.1.
- libdvbcsa has seen one major upgrade to increase speed.
- Phonon-VLC has seen several upgrades in the last year and is now perfectly working on Linux/KDE, Mac and Windows. Most of the rough edges have been fixed now and it will gain maturity this summer, once again. The amazing work from KDE folks, like apachelogger, is to be noted.
libbluray and libaacs
Those 2 libraries are focused on Blu-Ray integration for video players, and are still in early development.
On the communication and community work, VideoLAN schedule has been quite full too.
And finally, we've celebrated our 10 years of open source in February.
However, the fact that the core team is still mainly composed by a handful of volunteers can be worrisome for the future.
We need your help and we are quite confident for the future!