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I can wholly sympathise with Joe Barr’s experiences with MPlayer; I tried to set up a few good, recent video players on my Red Hat laptop a while back, and the DLL hell just wasn’t worth it.

The attitude is hilarious too:

Don’t get me wrong. There is documentation. It is scattered, and often incomplete, and carries the same attitude I had seen elsewhere, but it is there. An example of that attitude, taken verbatim from the FAQ:

Q: I compiled MPlayer with libdvdcss/libdivxdecore support, but when I try to start it, it says: error while loading shared libraries: lib*.so.0: cannot load shared object file: No such file or directory

I checked the file and it is there in /usr/local/lib.

A: What are you doing on Linux? Can’t you install a library? Why do we get these questions? It’s not MPlayer specific at all! Add /usr/local/lib to /etc/ and run ldconfig. Or install it to /usr/lib, because if you can’t solve the /usr/local problem, you are careless enough to do such things.

What the hell are BOFHs doing writing a video player? Go back to LARTing lusers, or something!

I finally got XINE set up, thanks to two lovely RPMs from Red Hat’s Rawhide bleeding-edge distro. (At least someone around here knows how to package software ;)

There’s a few other packages which (I’ve heard) boast scary maintainers. Very nice to look at, but ask a question and the maintainer’s likely to stab you. Can’t see the point of that, myself. Half of writing free software is the fact that the users will contact you at some point. Get used to it!

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