Not including multimedia codecs by default in Mint8

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theevilone6620
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Not including multimedia codecs by default in Mint8

Post by theevilone6620 »

So I just got done reading the blog about the release of Mint 7 KDE and was surprised to find that the Mint team is considering to not have the multimedia codecs installed by default in Mint 8.
We’re currently discussing this within the team. The proposition is to move from having the codecs installed by default, to having the installer download and install them… like it’s done for the language packs. There would be an extra checkbox in the advanced section of the installer for people to uncheck if they don’t want to have the codecs. The discussion is still ongoing, no decision has been made so far, and your opinion is valuable. People, please comment on this.
I personally feel like the team should keep things as they are, the installation process of Mint is one of the most attractive things about using Mint in general. I know that if I trash my install of Mint at any given time Im only 20 minutes away from having everthing freshly installed again. This would never happen in Windows and is one of the most annoying things about Windows. 3 hours to install the OS!!! That is crazy.

My point is, the longest part of the installation process comes from having to download and install the language packs. Which I generally click skip to speed up the installation process and so that Im not constantly offered updates for the language packs after installing Mint. However, in the past I have let the installation process install the language packs and this generally adds at least 10 to 15 minutes on to the total amount of time needed to install the OS. (I have a 12Mbps connection just in case your wondering). Having to download and install the multimedia codecs would only increase the time needed to install Mint and therefore make things worse and not better.

Personally, I love Linux and Mint is my favorite distro not only because it is fast and stable. But because everything just works out of the box. Except my sound, which I hope is fixed upon the release of Mint 8. When I first started using Linux, I distro hopped for a while, trying Ubuntu, Mandriva, Fedora, OpenSuse, and PcLinuxOS. Mint was the stopping point for me because not only is the look and feel of it bettter than any other distro, but like I said everything just works

Lets be real here for a minute. When people are first trying out Linux hoping that they can find an alternative to Windows, they dont want to have to spend time trying to figure out how to get their media to work. They want to turn there system on and be able to surf the net, watch videos on YouTube, listen to there MP3's and send emails. Alot of people will simply see that they cant do these things and just give up. Now I know that having the option to download and install the codecs would still provide the funtionality but like I said earlier, one of the best things about Mint is that it only takes a few minutes to install it.

That is really comforting, when I was using Windows I would dread breaking something and having to reinstall windows because of the amount of time that it took. Nobody wants to have to reinstall there OS even if it is a fairly quick process, but it makes things a whole lot better knowing that if I have to do it, it will only take a few minutes and Ill be back to utilizing my OS again.

I think since I started using Mint, Ive insatlled it at least 10 times over the past 2 or 3 months. Ive used Mint 6, Mint 6 KDE, Mint 7, Mint 7 64bit, and Mint 7 KDE RC1.

To sum this all up, I say just keep things as they are, this allows for a fast install and the functionality that everybody that uses Mint has come to know and love. Afterall, for those that dont want the codecs installed, they can just download the version that does not include them. This way, everyone gets what they want and Mint keeps moving forward, making things better and faster. Not slowing down the install process..

These are my thoughts not yours and I know what I like!!!1
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trojdor
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Re: Not including multimedia codecs by default in Mint8

Post by trojdor »

I agree 100%. Leave them in. When I first discovered Mint I was trying to find something that would work 'out of the box' for my non-geek clients and relatives.
I ended up using it myself for my laptop and with version 7 fixing several networking issues, it may make it to my desktop.

To whom it may concern, please note: The ONLY reason I ever considered using Mint in the first place was because the codecs and libdvdcss were already in place and worked. I would not have tried it and grown to like it otherwise. It came down to Dreamlinux or Mint. And DL went backwards in performance and reliability while Mint went forward. Sure you can install the codecs after the fact, and you can install and configure for DVD play, and sure, you can even change the theme later...but what do you have now? Vanilla Ubuntu! Currently Mint is a shining star in the distro world. I think the main reason is that it represent the fulfillment of the promise of 'Linux on the Desktop' that has so far eluded us. You may be underestimating just how important (and how rare) that is.
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Re: Not including multimedia codecs by default in Mint8

Post by emorrp1 »

what about the possibility of a "multimedia" edition which would be made in the same way as the current main release (i.e. simple renaming). And the "main" release which would install extra software goodies in place of the codecs, but have an easy-install option in the menu (and similarly for the multimedia edition)
If you have a question that has been answered and solved, then please edit your original post and put a [SOLVED] at the end of your subject header
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awong
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Re: Not including multimedia codecs by default in Mint8

Post by awong »

emorrp1 wrote:what about the possibility of a "multimedia" edition which would be made in the same way as the current main release (i.e. simple renaming). And the "main" release which would install extra software goodies in place of the codecs, but have an easy-install option in the menu (and similarly for the multimedia edition)
If the team wants to go that route, they may as well make the "multimedia" edition a DVD and include the extras on it.

I prefer the current main edition with all the codecs included. As others have mentioned, Mint working OOTB with multimedia and not having to download codecs makes a system setup so much faster and convenient, especially for new Linux users.
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richyrich
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Re: Not including multimedia codecs by default in Mint8

Post by richyrich »

I can just imagine how hard it is for the developers to pick & choose & delete drivers/apps to make Mint into a 700 mb ISO by including all of the multimedia codecs.

I would prefer to have the diverse driver availability for better hardware detection & compatibility, more goodies, and still fit a CD.

Easier to download the codecs during install if all the hardware just works!
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Pierre
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Re: Not including multimedia codecs by default in Mint8

Post by Pierre »

The ONLY reason I ever considered using Mint in the first place was because the codecs and libdvdcss were already in place and worked.
yep - leave 'em IN. 8)

It's why the Main version is that much better.
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Re: Not including multimedia codecs by default in Mint8

Post by terrorblader »

And one more vote for codecs in!I remember when I first tried Linux a few years back , and I was still on dial-up .. man I hated to download those codecs .. and Fedora Core 1 did not have an "auto-installer" for multimedia codecs , I had to search for several RPMs ..And , like the others said , most of us love the out-of-the-box functionality!
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Re: Not including multimedia codecs by default in Mint8

Post by rekik »

:!: Plus one vote for codecs in the main CD :!:
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linuxviolin
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Re: Not including multimedia codecs by default in Mint8

Post by linuxviolin »

I guess this is a not bad idea. The idea here is instead of having to maintain three editions, main-64-Universal, giving extra work (hey, Mint is not Red Hat or Suse or even Ubuntu), to merge 2 editions to keep just 2. The codecs will be always installed during the install if the user wants, just one box to check and even the box will be checked by default, so no action or problem for the user except if (s)he doesn't want the codecs, in this case (s)he'll have to uncheck the box. Not a big deal! At the contrary... And download codecs is a 3 minutes thing max, almost nothing.

I guess for the Mint Team this can be a good/better solution/idea. :roll:
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theevilone6620
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Re: Not including multimedia codecs by default in Mint8

Post by theevilone6620 »

LinuxViolen,
Well your post about the 3 minute thing is definately not accurate. Although in theory it should only be a 3 minute thing, it is not in reality. Like I said when I started this thread. I have a 12Mbps connection and allowing the installer to install the language packs adds on like 20 to 30 minutes to the installation time. I dont know what the deal is with some of these repos, but they are really really slow most of the time.

Although I do get the point of making this a option in order to not have to support so many different versions of Mint, to me this is the beauty of Mint. Now the only way I would support not having them included by default would be if the out of the box hardware support got better. Which unfortunately I dont think can be accomplished by the Mint team alone.

So like I said to begin with , Leave them in :D
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rekik
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Re: Not including multimedia codecs by default in Mint8

Post by rekik »

And download codecs is a 3 minutes thing max, almost nothing.
Don't forget that some people doesn't have internet connection at all, others have very slow one, others have there modem not detected etc.
Last edited by rekik on Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
Husse
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Re: Not including multimedia codecs by default in Mint8

Post by Husse »

The only reason this is discussed is the legal situation in the US (and possibly Japan)
I think they should be left in
If the legal problem is solved by a checkbox to install (but the codecs in the ISO) that'll do
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Re: Not including multimedia codecs by default in Mint8

Post by nitehawk »

Well,...I would HATE to have to download the codecs (etc.). I'm on dialup (have to be). I have used Debian quite a bit,..and I can install all the extra "goodies" from their "multimedia.org" site,....but it takes a loooooooooooooong time to get it all. If Mint went that-a-way,....I'd be hard-pressed to really see the difference. I use Mint, because of the OOTB ease-of-use.
If the codecs were there in the iso,.....no problem.
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linuxviolin
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Re: Not including multimedia codecs by default in Mint8

Post by linuxviolin »

theevilone6620 wrote:Well your post about the 3 minute thing is definately not accurate. Although in theory it should only be a 3 minute thing, it is not in reality. Like I said when I started this thread. I have a 12Mbps connection and allowing the installer to install the language packs adds on like 20 to 30 minutes to the installation time. I dont know what the deal is with some of these repos, but they are really really slow most of the time.
Whao, 12Mbps? Great! What speed! Here I have just a 2,40/50 Mbps connection, at its better. And with this connection I have already downloaded all codecs and languages packs in Ubuntu or other distros in much less than 30 minutes! I promise you, codecs downloaded in about 5 minutes, of course if you know what we seek and the time to write the command in a terminal or find them in the package manager. 20/30 minutes? Hmm, you are sure of your connection? :roll:

rekik wrote:Don't forget that some people doesn't have internet connection at all, others have very slow one, others have there modem not detected etc.
Yes, but no internet connection? I guess, but I can be wrong, it's not the majority, there are not many people without internet connection at all currently... but it's "sad" because Linux and *BSD... are OSs very axed on the internet, no connection amputates it at least half. Linux needs an ADSL connection to give its maximum, but not obligatory a very fast connection, look at me for example, 2,50 Mbps is quite sufficient ;-) How, with no connection, people download a distro?! :roll:

Dial-up (e.g. nitehawk), yes it's not fabulous...

But I think here, see the Husse post, the idea is to put the codecs in the CD but to add a box and let people check or not it (but checked by default) for a legality problem:
Husse wrote:I think they should be left in
If the legal problem is solved by a checkbox to install (but the codecs in the ISO) that'll do
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Re: Not including multimedia codecs by default in Mint8

Post by awong »

Husse wrote:If the legal problem is solved by a checkbox to install (but the codecs in the ISO) that'll do
I can live with that - may I suggest having the box checked by default to avoid problems for new users who normally leave check boxes as their defaults. :)
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Re: Not including multimedia codecs by default in Mint8

Post by FedoraRefugee »

All I can say is that after YEARS of using Fedora, where you have to manually find an install guide, enable a 3rd party repo, and then install these codecs yourself selecting each one, that you people complain about the STUPIDEST things!!! :lol:

Hey, whatever you have to do to make Mint legal is cool. As to the last post, I think having the box checked by default kind of defeats the idea of the user "signing" for these codecs. Also, I am not too sure about Husse's suggestion of still supplying the codecs in the ISO. Is this not still the vendor distributing them? I do not know the precise legalities here though.

All things considered, we all like the system as it is now. If Clem can keep on flying under the radar with it I think that is the best bet. If he is receiving pressure for this then the least we can do is check a box upon install and wait a few minutes while the few MBs worth of data download. It certainly would not cut into install time in any appreciable way even with dial up.
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Re: Not including multimedia codecs by default in Mint8

Post by Husse »

supplying the codecs in the ISO. Is this not still the vendor distributing them?
That's what we wonder too - we might need some legal advice, boring as it might be :)
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Re: Not including multimedia codecs by default in Mint8

Post by Fred »

Husse,

By all means consult legal counsel. I think you will find that if it is on the same iso with the program it is still considered distribution, just as it is now. As Mint gets bigger and bigger in the USA, there will be more and more of these kinds of issues. I know Mint isn't based in the US but as you grow our patent and copyright issues will impact you more and more over time. Unfortunately, in this case, our laws have a long reach.

The Free Software Foundation offers free legal advice to the community and would be a good source of reliable information. I have used them before to clarify issues, when I was still working. As you know, good IP attorneys are expensive.

Just based on my understanding of the issues, I think that a simple download and install script placed in the menu that the user could run simply by clicking it would solve the codec issues. The user can download and install without implicating the distributor. In most cases these codecs are free for the user to use. You just can't distribute them.

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Pierre
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Re: Not including multimedia codecs by default in Mint8

Post by Pierre »

If the legal problem is solved by a checkbox to install (but the codecs in the ISO) that'll do
Husse's idea is probably the best overall solution to the dilemma :(

However, I still think that it is crazy for a O/S that *not* based in the USA, has to comply with it's crazy software rule(s).
that is, why do us who reside in the RoTW - be held to ransom ????.
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Re: Not including multimedia codecs by default in Mint8

Post by Husse »

@ Pierre
It's perfectly OK outside the US (and possibly Japan) but it would be a good thing to have the same main edition everywhere, not least because of magazine CD/DVDs (you don't get them any more here I think - it's downloading that is the thing)
I guess we have to keep it as is, perhaps with some modification
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