Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 17th Dec 2009 00:18 UTC
Mac OS X MacNN has just published an important news item regarding the future of the Mac OS X version of the VLC mdia player. According to VLC's developers, the Mac version is at risk of being discontinued due to a lack of developers. Update: The VLC developers claim that Apple is working against them: "Apple doesn't want us on the Mac platform and is blocking us a lot, and refuses to explain why."
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If Apple would like to see VLC on OSX, they can afford to pay the developers to work on it. Ditto for Microsoft if they want a Windows version. If either Apple or Microsoft would devote 1/10 of what they spend on lawyers to sue people to instead donate to free software projects, they'd have amazing free products to offer their users.

Barring a major change of attitude on the part of commercial OS vendors, developers should spend their donated time and effort where they'll be appreciated by a grateful community of users.

I think a lot of open source devs work on a particular project to scratch their own itch; that is to say they work on VLC for OSX to fix a particular problem _they_ have with it, or a particular problem _they_ have with using grep on Windows etc. I know the couple of tiny-weeny patches I've submitted have been to fix a bug I have personally hit.

Doing free software work for the community to benefit from is surely a noble cause, but I'm not sure that is most people's drive to work on open source.

BTW why would Microsoft or Apple give 1/10 of a crap if VLC dies a painful death on their platform? They both already supply a competing app supporting the formats they care about.

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