----- Original Message -----
I don't understand how removing Totem from the default
installation (or even
completely from Fedora), without a replacement, helps end users. How is
their situation supposed to get improved with this step? Power users will
manage, but the group which actually liked a simple-interface video player
like Totem (or perhaps used it as a default video player for their parents -
my case) will need to look for a new one. General users will be clueless and
will search the Internet, discovering broken outdated guides all around (of
course, that's the same situation as with missing codecs. Also, we're
talking just about users from countries where software patents don't apply,
obviously). Additionally, if the video player is present but can't play the
content, at least a reasonable message can be presented to the user, perhaps
with some guidance and links ( example ). If the player is not installed at
all, the user is left completely in the dark. Overall, by removing the video
player, I don't see improvements in any of those cases, and I see more
complications for some of them.
GNOME Videos will still be available, from here:
with all the bells and whistles.
I think that, out-of-the-box, clicking on "Install" on this website will lead
to a better experience than 1) finding out about third-party RPM repositories
2) enabling said repositories 3) triggering the codecs to be installed, including
the aforementioned PackageKit-gstreamer helper bugs
I intend to advertise the upstream distribution of totem via my own blog, and
Fedora Magazine (which apparently can link to Flathub without problems).
Also, having a Workstation product without a pre-installed video
guaranteed to get bad press (and I don't mean just journalists, but user
opinions). Suddenly, "Fedora" can't even play open-source codecs by
Our mission is to "advance software and content freedom", but we wouldn't
even able to play FOSS content out-of-the-box? That's really... weird.
Not to find false equivalences, but we don't ship with a mail client
I'd really rather not have the application available in Fedora, than have it
be a cut-down version that's really hard to extend. In the end, the end-users
will go the way you mentioned earlier, look for a video player, and end up
installing VLC from Flathub, instead of trying to figure out why this sucky
video player couldn't play anything.
It seems ironic to me that such a proposal would arrive in a time
in the best situation ever, compared to history. Many codecs patents expired
lately (mostly audio, true) and we can play them reasonably well. VP8 and
VP9 are used on a massive scale (YouTube), even though in situations where
common users don't interact with them (unless you download videos from
YouTube, I do). WebM hasn't made the impact we wished for, but you can still
see it from time to time, particularly with FOSS-related events. Hopefully
AV1 will change this. Overall, it's not much, yes, but it's still better
than it used to be (at least that's my perception). And I believe I saw a
claim somewhere (can't remember where) that we could get higher profile
support in openh264 in a near future (perhaps Christian can comment on
this). That would of course flip this whole discussion upside down, because
suddenly we'd be able to play the most widespread video codec.
There's a long tail of codecs that are not playable on Fedora, and will probably
never be playable, most of them too niche to be worth spending the time to look
whether they're covered by patents that are still running, and there's some
already reasonable amount of videos available online as H265, which we won't be
able to support for a while.
The support is better than it's been, but it's still far from optimal, and this
discussion only covers GStreamer codecs and demuxers, which can be detected and
somewhat automatically installed. We also have the question of other patent-covered
uses such as video acceleration.