FFhistory: early contributors

There are still many prominent people worth separate posts but for now I’d like to give a shout-out to the various developers (mostly coming from MPlayer) who worked on FFmpeg before 2006. Why 2006? This was a time when the project started participating in Summer of Code program that drew some students in. Plus 2005-2006 was the time when a lot of video hosting sites were found (a couple of them even surviving to this day) and you can guess what technology they started to use…

So here’s the list and remember: if somebody is not listed here that means he is likely to appear in some other post. I’ll try to add some description of the work but in many cases if I have nothing to say assume it’s “provided bugfixes, tried to improve things and so on”.

  • Luca Abeni—or Luca A (to distinguish him from Luca Barbato);
  • Dénes Balatoni—Vorbis decoder and some SPARC VIS optimisations;
  • Michel Bardiaux—beside the patches he’s also known as one of the Mikes (to complement Michael Niedermayer and Mike Melanson);
  • Gildas Bazin;
  • BERO—some Japanese guy whose work was related to gaming consoles (he improved SH4 support and added decoders for some console formats);
  • Felix Bünemann;
  • Matthieu Castet;
  • Romain Dolbeau—AltiVec optimisations;
  • D Richard Felker III—a guy from MPlayer famous for his lengthy rants about libc (and his patches were often related to fixing various C language-specific issues). Eventually he went forward and wrote his own libc;
  • Philip Gladstone—tried to improve ffserver;
  • Wolfram Gloger;
  • Roine Gustafsson;
  • Wolfgang Hesseler;
  • Falk Hüffner;
  • Panagiotis Issaris—beside his other work he also tried to provide a simple LGPLed H.264 encoder (that was rejected by being ineffective);
  • Zdeněk Kabeláč;
  • Todd Kirby;
  • Nick Kurshev
  • Loïc Le Loarer—I remember him for some H.264 decoder patches;
  • Loren Merritt—a genius responsible for the development of x264. In FFmpeg he mostly made its H.264 decoder faster and introduced some other optimisations (like optimised FFT for various SIMD instruction sets);
  • Guillaume Poirier—another developer responsible for AltiVec optimisations;
  • François Revol—also a HaikuOS developer (and as such he tried to make sure the project compiles on BeOS);
  • Steven M. Schultz;
  • Roman Shaposhnik—a developer from Sun Microsystems who worked mostly on making the project build on Solaris and introducing support for DV format. Also he’s remembered by his reply “DV maintainer drunk” (see here for a context);
  • Alexander Strasser;
  • Leon van Stuivenberg.

There were more contributors, often with one-off patches. And there were other people who merely started contributing back then and whose contributions will become more significant later (like the already mentioned Luca B. or not yet mentioned Robert Swain). So do not expect this list of people who played a minor role in the project to be exhaustive.

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