At the recent Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, I was chatting with someone heavily involved in a major open source SQL database program. I asked how he feels about the interminable hype surrounding so-called NoSQL databases. Among other sentiments, he mentioned that he felt positive regarding the fact that there is competition in the open source database arena once more which is driving much innovation.
Of course, I have to frame everything through my multimedia lense and I pondered the notion of competition in open source multimedia development. Some of my fondest memories of open source development come from 2002-2003 when the xine and MPlayer teams were engaged in open war, trying to create the best open source multimedia player. The competition was a major factor.
These days, the deepest multimedia development occurs on the FFmpeg project. FFmpeg is pretty much a category-killer. There’s nothing else like it in the open source or proprietary worlds (and if you think you know of a competitor, it’s probably using FFmpeg as its backend). Would things move faster if there were serious competitors to FFmpeg?