However, I am not the VLC creator, just the one working on it since 10+ years. And I created the non-profit organization.
See the AMA for more details ;)
And that is perfect.
You've now been added to my regular donation cycle. I'd rather provide for longevity than a lump sum where I forget to keep contributing.
VLC should be the goal for most every application's settings menu. It is not just a menu to change settings, it's a menu that leads to discovery and learning. It's pretty much perfection.
I can just use the regular settings, or I can click advanced. If I do, I can look around and find new things. I can then take a little while to learn about what those new things are, what they do, and how they impact me.
It is pretty much perfect. I still haven't learned all there is to know about it. I still haven't tried every setting. It's just a video player - yet it has that many options.
I like complex, it gives me something to learn. I love it when I find something I don't already know.
Believe it or not, this is stresses a lot of people out, especially considering to the average user a lot more than half of the settings aren't going to be intuitively or immediately apparent.
I'm with you, I enjoy this aspect of things - I like to pick and pull things apart to figure out how they work, to mod them and make them mine and if I'm luckily/diligent, sometimes even make them better lol; be it by way of themeing or breaking out the code editor. but not everyone is like that.
Advanced preferences are complex, so it's like about:config
I used that to segue into quite a rant about how I lamented the lack of complexity in software. I extended it quite broadly into things like it being a sign of declining intellectual curiosity, about how aiming for the lowest common denominator was bad for those who understand computers, and even extended it to my dismay at the lack of decent help files.
It was long and rambling, touching on many subjects, and I think I should turn it into a more formal essay.
Anyhow, VLC gets the preferences options perfect. The UI can use a bit of work and the UX is a bit rough, but the multitude of options makes up for any shortcomings it may otherwise have. I haven't even really bothered to learn the command line options, which is actually a little strange for me. I spend quite a bit of time in the terminal.
And no, no... I made it a point to inform people that I wasn't wanting computing to revert to the older days. No, software wasn't better back twenty years ago. The Internet wasn't better and computers weren't better.
What was better was that programs actually had options. They had preferences. They had multiple ways that they could be configured. They could output and process work differently.
I guess my final message was a plaintive request that developers bring back my buttons. I miss those buttons. I get a hamburger icon that expands and the entire options, if it exists at all, is actually just a theme picker. Some software doesn't even have exit as a menu option. If I want to close an app on a mobile, it may actually mean finding a task manager just to close it. It gets even worse if there is no back option and I want to begin anew at the application's start screen.
So, I just wanted to take an extra minute and explain a bit more and to thank you. I already set up a donation and the project should get a donation every month, assuming I did it properly. VLC doesn't just do what it says on the box, it inspires me to learn, to discover, and to keep being curious.
I think all of those things are much more valuable than a video player. Anyone can write a video player. It takes someone special to write one that plays videos and encourages curiosity, growth, and learning.
Which is rather a long way to say, "Thanks, again!"
A software that does the right thing for everyone without any settings is several orders of magnitude more complex than a software that just lazily requires its users to configure it.
I agree with this. Even if the customer is a world-class developer.
> Anyhow, VLC gets the preferences options perfect. The UI can use a bit of work and the UX is a bit rough, but the multitude of options makes up for any shortcomings it may otherwise have.
I don't see how they're even close to "perfect". Yes, there are a lot of options, but when the average user doesn't know what options he might actually want or need to enable, that's not exactly, well, helpful. Here are a bunch of issues I have with the current set of options on the Simple page:
1. Interface: "Resize interface to video size". What in the world does this mean? If I play 1080p video on my 1600x900 monitor will the video suddenly expand beyond the monitor size and I won't be able to close it? Why would I want that?
2. Audio: "Enable audio"... er, you can already mute or set the volume to zero on your computer whether globally or for VLC itself, and you can set the volume near zero within VLC just for playback too, and you can mute the volume within VLC. Why in the world is there another option in Preferences? What's the difference? Is this supposed to be intuitive?
3. Audio: "Replay gain mode: None/Track/Album" in the "simple" options... you expect a non-"advanced" user to know what this means? And the tooltip is ever so helpful: "Select the replay gain mode"!
4. Video: "Use hardware YUV->RGB conversions"... this is a Simple setting? How/why is an average user (or even a power user) supposed to care about this? Do you ever worry about it?
5. Video: "Enable video"... er, why not just let users hide the video from the video playback (e.g. drag & collapse, or with a button)? Why in the world is this a global setting for the entire player?
6. Codecs: "x264 preset and tuning selection"... even as a developer I have literally no idea what "ultrafast" and "slower" and "placebo" as well as what "film" or "psnr" or "grain" imply, or why I would ever need to change them. Isn't this a clearly advanced setting? These are the kinds of drop-down options you expect to a hastily-written GUI front-end of a command-line tool that just expects the user to "know" the right thing to do somehow.
Putting all possible options there is half the battle. The harder part is making it so the user would actually use them. VLC still has a long ways to go for the latter, unless its target audience is multimedia experts.
Don't get me wrong VLC is an incredibly useful and great software available on many platforms, both UI and UX have improved a lot since the early days but still confusing. This arguably bad UX is the reason VLC is a second class citizen to MPC-HC / smplayer on all the computers I maintain.
What part is confusing? What is confusing in VLC that is not in the other ones? The main UI has max 10 buttons.
Especially when comparing with MPC-HC and smplayer and mplayer, which are 3 different look, UI and UX...
Sorry, you just sound like the usual hater...
(note: I understand that linking to other software might come off as offensive, but I truly feel there is a place for both. VLC is pretty much irreplaceable for many, many things)
Thanks VLC team for all the good years !
No need to wait for a slow site to load and having to click through multiple confirmation screens (Paypal)...
I don't need the ability to dispute: I am not going to change my mind later about this donation.
I don't need to buy BTC: like many bitcoin users I already have some in my possession, ready to be spent at any time.
For a donation transfer speed doesn't matter, but for actual purchase it's a lot more than 30 s last I've tried
It's important to understand the difference between a broadcasted transaction (tx received by most Bitcoin nodes, "0-confirmation", 1-2 seconds) versus the transaction being included in at least 1 block ("1 confirmation", ~10 minutes). Some merchants accept 0-confirmation tx, while others require 1 confirmation. But in almost all cases it's fine to accept 0-confirmation transactions:
• ordering physical goods online (an order takes more than ~10 minutes to be shipped & delivered anyway)
• ordering virtual goods/services (eg. paying for VPN: the vendor can simply cancel the service if the tx is never confirmed)
• any low-value real-world transaction (eg. paying for groceries... no one will bother with a double-spend attack to steal groceries)
If they don't check with PayPal to discover this the money is given to a different organization.
What would be iTunes-ifying it?
Les héros de l'Internet, c'est Aaron Swartz, Jimmy Wales et Sam Hocevar. Pas moi :)
And all the VLC people are.
I made a donation to VLC and encourage every people to do so.
It seems to me that your response was seemingly the right moral thing to do. However, I can also see a lot of practical benefits of having a pile of cash to improve open software.
Yes, I did. But only if the terms are fine and moral. That never happened.
I’ve been using VLC for 6 years and nothing has compared.
When do you expect the cast to chromecast feature to make it into the stable build for Mac?
Thanks for your work, you should have taken the money ;)
Seriously it just means that your work is that valuable.
jbk, you have a lot of good submissions. To bad I haven’t seen more of them up on the HN-board.
Added to my donation list too.
Well, I'm not pushing a lot...
I only have ETH in my wallet... will try to donate later.
Spyware and hacking is not a clean business model, as far as I am concerned.
But, you know, you can invest in my startup, if you prefer :)
Emacs Magit author just finished one. People gave enough for him to work for about a year.
Patreon also requires creators to regularly post updates and provide goodies to their subscribers. What could the VLC developers even give to their subscribers except publicly available changelogs? The devs should - and I believe also want to - rather develop the player instead of thinking about what to give to maybe 50 people on Patreon every other week.
It's better to send donations via SWIFT anyway but most Americans here can use Paypal a lot easier right now instead of waiting for a never coming Patreon campaign or complicated wire transfers with high fees.
Allow me to rephrase that:
When you fuck an other guy girlfriend behind his back, you're an ass. Specially when you fuck the girl at her boyfriend place and later get her to leave him for you.
VLC creator did exactly that.
I'm pretty sure you're talking about something you don't even know the beginning of. I won't get into details, let's just say I know what happened and how it happened and that I know what I'm saying when I say what I say.
translate: why not accept and not care because opensource so someone fork or even yourself on the long term
A computer-savvy acquaintance installed it for them once upon a time.
I get the impression the idiots who offered the money just don't understand logiciel libre.
If you actually care about the openness of the project, selling it is a bad idea regardless of forkability.
This reminds me of the adage: "When the product is free, you are the product".
People really hate ads. With Adblock Plus, there has been no forking because it's kind of hard to tell unless you're paying attention that it lets some ads through. Either way, I think a lot of people have moved on to uBlock Origin.
Don't underestimate the outrage caused by an ad where there was none before.
A question for you: How do you stay motivated to work on OSS projects over a long term?
Very much weird. Mostly people don't realize I am the one they are talking about. It is the same on Reddit...
Often I get downvoted on Reddit about VLC, like I don't know what I'm talking about :)
> A question for you: How do you stay motivated to work on OSS projects over a long term?
You find new ideas and new challenges.
I've noticed this on just about every subject discussed on reddit, though it's particularly bad in tech-related subs. Objectively false information ends up being upvoted to the top, while accurate information coming from people who know what they're talking about ends up being buried in downvotes. It's pretty ridiculous.
/r/Technology would be more accurately named /r/DunningKrugerGoneWild
Hilarious, but somewhat typical for Reddit (and other places with voting systems).
> Often I get downvoted on Reddit about VLC, like I don't know what I'm talking about :)
Even if you preface it with something like "Hi, VideoLAN President / VLC lead developer here ..." (or something) ?
I'd expect on the more technical subreddits, that should suffice? (maybe not on the biggest/general ones though, too many people makes for some may not even read the whole comment before voting)
We have a few other products that will come to life later. Invest in it!
He might be rich. Or he might be just well-off (not rich) and he figured out that millions of euros are not going to increase his satisfaction.
And no, realizing this doesn't make you less greedy. I'll take the money even though I know it'll be a net negative in my life. And I know this very well because I have been through it.
If you're gonna sell out, at the very least get enough money to hop into the poorest rich category.
If you're going to think of good or happiness as a transactional thing, you can "steal" some happiness from millions of people to increase your own (e.g. by getting tens of millions of dollars) but in doing so you've likely decreased to total happiness of the world. MAYBE you can make up the total amount of reduced happiness by spending that money to do good somewhere else, but you can never really know whether you've been successful and you can also never really know just how much you've worsened people's lives long-term.
I find it unlikely that people interested in purchasing VLC so they could monetize it would stop at a level that users would consider acceptable.
Selling out your users for money is almost always going to be a net loser in the currency of happiness in the world.
If the initial media attention isn't enough, they could spend some of the excess on an ad campaign to inform users that "the most popular VLC fork is now [new name]".
You think most of VLC's users are the type who would read about a fork on a site like this? I imagine their user base is much larger than that.
The name is meaningless if they implement ads.
So there's your problem. Your software is hard to use and hard to find out about. Get it into distros so that installing it and trying it out is as painless as possible.
If I don't know it exists or have to hunt around the web for a copy, I'm unlikely to donate to it.
VLC is amazing software and I deeply thank you for your efforts :)
Click the link to find out! The money was to put in some kind of ads or sponsored content
You should see SSL from Google though.
Sure. An unconditional redirect would be better, but that requires a dedicated IP
Neat idea, but wouldn't this still be exposed to ISP-level attacks? Since the user is still loading the page initially in plain HTTP, so the ISP could still inject code, remove the JS redirect, etc.
That was amazing to hear!
If something like this had happened I would have migrated the machines I maintain for sure but probably not to the VLC fork.
Also, he might have refused "refused several tens of millions of € to keep the software ads free" however he did not mind relicensing VLC for free under a less copyleft and user-protecting license so that it would be included in the apple store.