Why is chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-nonfree called nonfree and not unstripped or restricted?

Asked by Alex Converse on 2009-08-29

Why is chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-nonfree called nonfree and not unstripped or restricted?

chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-nonfree is kind of a funny name. The Ubuntu ffmpeg packages include those MPEG decoders/demuxers by default. Ubuntu also includes "-unstripped" packages that include *encoders* for various patented MPEG formats.

Most Ubuntu packages that seem to include nonfree in the name either are closed source like (flashplugin-nonfree) or are licensed under terms incompatible with the Debian Free Software Guidelines (like ttf-xfree86-nonfree). FFmpeg as used in chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-nonfree is licensed under the LGPL v2.1.

Question information

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Chromium Browser Edit question
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Last query:
2009-08-30
Last reply:
2009-09-02
Fabien Tassin (fta) said : #1

i used nonfree as in non-patent-free. iirc, the equivalent codecs are shipped in multiverse.

Alex Converse (ajc30) said : #2

I downloaded jaunty's libavcodec52 package

http://packages.ubuntu.com/jaunty/amd64/libavcodec52/download

strings libavcodec.so.52.20.0 | grep -i aac
aac_decoder
aac_parser
ff_aac_pred_sfb_max
ff_aac_num_swb_1024
ff_aac_num_swb_128
ff_aac_pow2sf_tab
ff_aac_spectral_sizes
ff_aac_codebook_vectors
ff_aac_kbd_short_128
ff_aac_kbd_long_1024
ff_aac_parse_header
ff_aac_spectral_bits
ff_aac_spectral_codes
ff_aac_scalefactor_bits
ff_aac_scalefactor_code
ff_aac_ac3_parse
aac_main
aac_low
aac_ssr
aac_ltp
Prediction is not allowed in AAC-LC.
Read beyond end of ff_aac_codebook_vectors[%d][]. index %d >= %d
More than one AAC RDB per ADTS frame is
Error decoding AAC frame header.
alex@barcelona:~/Desktop$ strings libavcodec.so.52.20.0 | grep -i 264
h264_decoder
h264_parser
h264_mp4toannexb_bsf
ff_h264_lowres_idct_put_c
ff_h264_lowres_idct_add_c
ff_h264_idct_add_c
ff_h264_idct8_add_c
ff_h264_idct_dc_add_c
ff_h264_idct8_dc_add_c
ff_h264_idct_add16_c
ff_h264_idct8_add4_c
ff_h264_idct_add8_c
ff_h264_idct_add16intra_c
ff_h264_lps_range
ff_h264_mlps_state
ff_h264_norm_shift
ff_h264_decode_rbsp_trailing
ff_h264_pred_init
ff_h264_decode_nal
ff_h264_decode_sei
ff_h264_decode_picture_parameter_set
ff_h264_decode_seq_parameter_set
ff_h264_find_frame_end
ff_h264_mps_state
ff_h264_lps_state
vdpau_h264
fast pskip (H.264)
memory management control operations (H.264)
enables constant quality mode, and selects the quality (x264)
minimum interval between IDR-frames (x264)
weighted biprediction for b-frames (H.264)
high profile 8x8 transform (H.264)
access unit delimiters (H.264)
H.264 / AVC / MPEG-4 AVC / MPEG-4 part 10
x264 - core %d
h264_mp4toannexb

As you can see both the AAC and H.264 decoders are present in this binary. This package lives in main not multiverse. This is libavcodec52 not libavcodec52-unstripped.

As far as multiverse goes, other multiverse codecs have the -multiverse suffix not -nonfree (like gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse).

Alexander Sack (asac) said : #3

personally I agree that -nonfree isn't nice ... however, -unstripped is proably even less meaningful for users. also the gstreamer plugin names are probably not really shining example for naming either: "bad" and "ugly" is not really less funny than -nonfree imo.

Reinhard Tartler (siretart) said : #4

unstripped is even pretty misleading, the name was a mistake to begin with.

since karmic, there are no 'unstripped' ffmpeg packages anmore. The 'base' package includes stuff like aac, various encoders, etc., and is accompanied by ffmpeg-extra which is compiled against various optional 3rd party packages.

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