FFhistory: hosting and admins

As I mentioned in the prologue, not so long after FFmpeg went public it was spotted by MPlayer which offered developers, hosting and after a while the project was fully migrated from from SourceForge to mplayerhq.hu.

So the people responsible for hosting and administration of the server played a very important role in FFhistory. Here are the people I can think of:

  • Árpi (Árpád Gereöffy, the creator of MPlayer);
  • Diego Biurrun;
  • Reimar Doeffinger;
  • Janne Grunau (mostly a co-admin in libav times);
  • Dr. Attila Kinali;
  • Michael Niedermayer (has to do it since the times FFmpeg went independent);
  • Måns Rullgård (he’s also responsible for hosting almost all of non-x86 FATE machines and overall FATE infrastructure).

IIRC the hosting story went like this: at first Árpi was hosting and administrating everything, then he retired leaving the server in care of Biurrun-Kinali-Rullgâ triumvirate. The provider switched from a Hungarian one which owned favours to Árpi to a Swiss one that owned favours to Dr. Kinali. After the split FFmpeg had to search for a new hosting as the admins stayed with libav, so for a while Árpi managed to provide it. Eventually though he could not do it any longer and some Bulgarian ISP stepped in and the server is managed by another group of ex-MPlayer developers. Additionally Git hosting for FFmpeg is provided by VideoLAN (somewhat because of the split and fight for the project name).

Most of these people have contributed to the project more in various other roles so I’ll talk only about the two of them—Árpi and Attila.

Árpi is known by the nickname of “the world’s best admin” because he obviously isn’t one. He managed to lose server data after saying the phrase “I don’t need backups, I got RAID”—and that was RAID of IBM Deathstar HDDs. His coding style was terrible (MPlayer originated as a hack and people still remember its monstrous mplayer.c and mencoder.c along with the wonderful solution for the robust MPEG video playback “if it segfaults, catch signal and restart decoding”). On the other hand he was known at the Hungarian demo scene, managed to create one of the best opensource multimedia players and provided hosting when it was needed and hard to come by. So pass your own judgement.

Doctor Attila Kinali also comes from MPlayer. He has not made as large contribution as a programmer (though he maintained DGA driver for Matrox video cards in MPlayer) but he provided competent server administration and had active participation in social activities, often providing a voice of reason (being somewhat older than most other people; Update: Attila said that it is not true, a lot of the developers were of his age or even older back in the day and the times when younger developers joined to change the picture were too short). The main flaw: you can leave him to guard good chocolate but don’t ever expect it back.

2 Responses to “FFhistory: hosting and admins”

  1. Paul says:

    FFmpeg is good pink chocolate

  2. Kostya says:

    Considering what you’re comparing it to…