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PiTiVi Creator Responds To Readers Fears…

Notice: This post is more than a year old. It may be outdated.

Earlier today Edward Hervey of the PiTiVi team responded to my previous post regarding PiTiVi becoming a default application in Ubuntu.

His response was very well mannered and addressed many of the concerns both I and readers had concerning PiTiVi’s’ potential inclusion in the default set of applications in Ubuntu. So much so I decided to whisk it from the murky depths of disqus and post it here so more people could read his response!

This is the reason comments were closed off from the previous post; so they may continue here with his response informing any further discussion.

May I also remind reads that this site is run, written & sourced by ONE person [myself] and personal insults are not appreciated. You are not forced to read this blog.

What a depressing post (in some aspects). I’ll answer the various questions/comments/rants all the same.

Re: PiTiVi doesn’t support DV/mpeg4/whatever-format

Where did you get that idea from ? PiTiVi doesn’t come shipped with codecs, it relies on GStreamer to provide the needed plugins/decoders/etc… If you load a DV file in pitivi and you don’t have the plugins, the application missing-plugin system should appear proposing you to download the needed plugin.

(I will reply on this: I personally got this “idea” from the UDS09 meeting where this was raised. I have, personally, had issues with formats in PiTiVi so one can understand why this issue comes up.) 

Re: Collabora pushed PiTiVi aggresively into ubuntu
 That’s 100% totally wrong. I personally had chats with Jono and Rick Spencer about having PiTiVi shipped as a default application, and canonical were interested by the idea of having a video editor shipped by default. All of this was far from being enforced, or us (Collabora) going out of our way to have PiTiVi shipped by default. And nothing’s engraved in stone at this point. If we (pitivi development team) get feedback/help on improving what’s bothering people by the Lucid release date and people deem it good enough to be shipped by default, great ! If we get no help… well.. PiTiVi won’t die and people will still be able to use it via PPAs.

(The “pushing” quote came from the blueprint on launchpad and from the meeting at USD09. The quote has since changed on the blueprint to a less aggressive sounding one.) 

RE: Why ship PiTiVi as default app and not another video editor
I’d say the main reason is that all the dependencies (except for goocanvas, which is pretty slim) are already shipped by default : GStreamer, GTK, python. All the other editors would require bringing in more dependencies. I’ll let Canonical/Ubuntu confirm that or not.

RE: lack of features …
On this part we have always taken the stand of making sure features are as solid as possible before adding new features. In terms of video editing, that means you do need to have input/output format support rock solid, trimming/cutting rock solid. Check out how many clips/movies/documentaries/… out there and see how much of them make use of video effects, for how long, and how many don’t.

The two features we find critically missing are : video transitions and overlaying. I just merged yesterday the videomixing branch yesterday to master which enables setting transparency on every video streams (like Sony Vegas does). It still has some issues, but having it in master will force/speedup the bugfixing process.

Video effects are not a top-priority. Getting those… without being able to do the features above are pointless. We won’t diverge from that point of view. Helping us get the above rock solid as fast as possible … will mean you will see video effects faster.

To people throwing generic rants about sucking
Write a video editor (or any non-trivial multimedia applicatoin), then come back and rant about other people’s application sucking. Then we might have a proper discussion. In the meantime… you’re not improving the situation.

(This is a bit hyperbolic. Users have a right to have opinions on software, particularly software that may be part-and-parcel of promoting Ubuntu to new users. Everybody’s opinion is valid – even if it is misinformed.)

PiTiVi is dead or no longer maintained
The 3 main developers (who also happen to be hired by Collabora and that includes myself) have been working on some other company work in the meantime. Keeping Collabora hiring those 3 developers, means ensuring they have time to be paid to work on it also. (I’d personnaly love to have people working 100% of the time on PiTiVi … but you need to take into account the reality of running a business).

We’re progressively getting more company time for PiTiVi (Brandon has been back on it full time for the past frew weeks for example). It’s far from being abandoned/dead, just that we do it at our own pace. It’s freely available (LGPL, no copryight attributions required) and will always stay that way. We always welcome contributions and are pretty fast to review/commit patches.

Drop in on #pitivi on or send us a mail on and come and give your feedback, what can be improved, what’s good and should be kept and … who knows … be part of the pitivi team :)

Edward Hervey: PiTiVi creator/maintainer, GStreamer hacker, Collabora Multimedia co-director