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Re: Proposal: Install swfdec by default.



On Wed, 2008-01-16 at 15:10 +0000, Benjamin Otte wrote:
> Brian Pepple <bpepple <at> fedoraproject.org> writes:
> 
> > I would like to propose that we [possibly] install ... swfdec-mozilla
> > by default starting with F9.
> > 
> As the maintainer of Swfdec, I'd like to add some comments about this option
> that should help you decide about this proposal.
> 
> The short version is that I would not recommend Swfdec for distro releases that
> do a long-term support release. Apart from that, I'd be very happy if
> distributions include Swfdec as long as they don't expect a perfect Flash 
> player.
> 
> Swfdec has arrived at a stage where it can be useful to a lot of people. It
> plays most smaller Flash files and is often good enough for mid-sized Flash
> files, such as the players on the various video sites or Flash games. However
> it's also pretty bad on Flash-heavy websites and not very good at playing 
> Flash 9.
> 
> However, there's also some reasons that speak against Swfdec. Swfdec has not 
> had a lot of exposure yet. I have no clue about how many people use it, but 
> shipping it by default on a distro such as Fedora would increase that a lot. 
> And exposure can uncover lots of issues that upstream (we) didn't think about, 
> such as finding lots of problematic crasher bugs or flooding our bugzilla. I've
> experienced this exposure issue once with GStreamer, so I feel pretty well
> prepared, but who knows.
> 
> Another issue coupled with the above is that the Swfdec plugin runs in-process
> in the browser. [1] This of course means that when Swfdec crashes, your browser
> is gone, too. However, we're still proud of the Swfdec's stability. But you 
> have been warned. :)
> Another thing is that Swfdec has never been security audited. We've run it with
> tools like zzuf, we've got pretty evil tests in our testsuite, we copy an
> existing and proven system, but we're no security experts and Swfdec is 50k
> lines of code.
> 
> Swfdec is also in heavy development, I tend to call it "surprisingly usable
> alpha software". We change a lot of code quickly. (A year ago Swfdec didn't 
> even play Youtube.) This also means that we currently don't want to support the
> current versions eternally. (Probably - like Gnome - we'll actively support it
> until the next stable version is released in 6 months.) This is my main reason
> for not suggesting it for long-term support releases.
> 
> So that being said, I'd be very happy to see you install Swfdec-Mozilla by
> default. I'm running it in my default browser since about a year and I didn't
> get annoyed at it.
> 

Thanks a lot for this perspective, Benjamin. 

One thing we can do to get you some exposure is to put swfdec-mozilla in
the default install for the beta. If the deluge of crasher bug reports
turns out to be overwhelming, we'll remove it again for the final
release.


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