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Re: [Linphone-developers] linphone-desktop package and OpenH264 codec

From: Greg Troxel
Subject: Re: [Linphone-developers] linphone-desktop package and OpenH264 codec
Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2021 08:16:07 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.3 (berkeley-unix)

Julien Wadel <> writes:

> So what we can propose is that we build ourself a msopenH264 plugin
> and put it in our releases URL. Then we change the behavior of the
> application to get this plugin aswell when requesting for the Cisco
> binary.

I can see why that would help a lot of people but it's important to
understand that it has two signficiant deficiencies:

  Downloading binaries is intrinsically nonportable.  That limits
  functionality to a very small set of operating system and CPU type
  combinations.  I view it similarly to asking people to run MS Windows,
  even if it turns into "you must run one of three popular systems".

  Running other people's binaries, in addition to needing code signing
  to verify they haven't been tampered with in transit, today needs
  reproducible builds so even if people need to run the distributed
  binary for patent reasons, they can verify it.

I am pretty sure that no matter what you do here, until people can
download software under a Free license, build it themselves, and use it,
this is simply not going to meet the Free Software definiton or Debian
Free Software Guidelines.

All that said, I realize you are in a bind because this codec appears
incompatible with Free Software due to patent issues.

So I would suggest that by default linphone not do any downloading of
binaries, and let people opt into it if they want, with a wizard to ask
yes/no at first run if you feel that's necessary.

Also I would deprioritize codecs lacking a Free implementation in

> For the unsecure download, there are no really strong verifications on
> it yet but we can add some like suggested in

Sure, having a cryptographic checksum in the linphone sources and
verfied at download time would be great progress.


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