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Open Source Media Software

Ask Slashdot: What's The Best Place To Suggest New Open Source Software? 225

dryriver writes: Somebody I know has been searching up and down the internet for an open source software that can apply GPU pixel shaders (HLSL/GLSL/Cg/SweetFX) to a video and save the result out to a video file. He came up with nothing, so I said "Why not petition the open source community to create such a tool?" His reply was "Where exactly does one go to ask for a new open source software?"

So that is my question: Where on the internet can one best go to request that a new open source software tool that does not exist yet be developed? Or do open source tools only come into existence when someone -- a coder -- starts to build a software, opens the source, and invites other coders to join the fray?

This is a good place to discuss the general logistics of new open source projects -- so leave your best answers in the comments. What's the best place to suggest new open source software?
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Ask Slashdot: What's The Best Place To Suggest New Open Source Software?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 15, 2017 @02:07AM (#53670759)

    No, people won't build shit for you. We will certainly assist people as they build, but the open source community doesn't take requests other than bug fixes on their own work.

    Tell your friend to get off his ass and build it himself.

    • by WarJolt ( 990309 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @04:23AM (#53671003)

      Many open source projects are well funded. They are for profit. It is free to use, not free to develop. There's a well defined model for making money on open source.

      The projects that are developed by only hobbiest are the exception, not the rule.

      You can pay someone to develop software for you.

    • A reasonable response, but I've often wondered why we haven't seen more efforts to crowdfund OSS.

      The free rider effect will obviously be an issue, but I suspect plenty of people (even organizations) would still be very willing to pay into a project that provided reasonable guarantees of a refund if the spec wasn't at least 80% met or something. The existence of a fundraising deadline (such as the one Kickstarter has) would help push back against the free rider effect as people realize it won't happen if
      • Also, those who chip in large amounts (including organizations) could perhaps add to the spec, or at least add stretch goals.

        Double-plus ungood -- no pigs should be more equal than others.

        As soon as you do that, you're no longer all contributing to the proposed project by the developers -- you're all contributing to the unknown and undisclosed project favoured by the big spenders. I've seen projects for language learning materials where everyone chips in and has their say as to which language the materials are developed for, and what ends up happening is that the resources of all are pushed into the most popular languages, which

        • you're all contributing to the unknown and undisclosed project favoured by the big spenders

          Yes but it would be an open process with, preferably, a third party guarantor who will issue refunds if the initial goals are not adequately delivered on. The big contributors wouldn't be allowed to remove the goals that previous contributors had agreed to by giving their money, and if the big contributors try to take the project in an unwelcome direction post-release then it can be forked like OpenOffice.org was.

          It's a bad idea to exclude corporate money altogether. The better solution is to try and har

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      This is why open source software can be so unwelcoming to newcomers. Someone asks about a new feature that they would find useful, and some arsehole invariably chimes in with "(learn to code, figure out what tools you need, learn those, learn how to collaborate on open source software and then) take the project on yourself".

      I get it, I've had ridiculous requests for some of my open source projects before. But that doesn't meant I won't listen to more reasonable ones, and implement them if it isn't too much

      • That, and you can always say , 'Sorry, but we don't have the bandwidth to do this. Is this something you'd be capable of supporting or contributing to'?
    • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @02:51PM (#53672891)

      No, people won't build shit for you.

      Tell your friend to get off his ass and build it himself.

      Classic rude answer by a stuck-up asshole.

      Sorry, but asking "Where exactly does one go to ask for a new open source software?" doesn't warrant this kind of "cram-it-up-your-ass" response.

      There are probably a thousand ways to respond but you had to go and pick the worst, most graceless way to do so. Bravo, asshole!

      • Its cunts like this that propagate the myth that us open source dudes are arrogant pricks. Thanks for that

        • Its cunts like this that propagate the myth that us open source dudes are arrogant pricks. Thanks for that

          You're welcome. People like him infest the various Linux community support forums, and their first response is often something like "READ THE MANUAL, YOU FUCKING N00B!!"

          Which would be great advice if the manual was only 2 pages long, or if there was a manual at all, but this brick-in-the-face response puts so many people off, and they usually end up with a "fuck Linux" attitude.

          I cringe every time I see one of these pricks responding from atop his high horse, completely forgetting that at one time he too wa

  • Two options... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 15, 2017 @02:08AM (#53670761)

    This person has two options:

    1: Program their own and release it as open source software.

    2: Pay someone to make the software and release it as open source software.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Exactly.

      And paying for someone to create the software you need isn't as expensive as you might think.

      Write up a detailed specification of exactly what you need, post the job on a freelancing site like freelancer.com or upwork.com and get some bids.

      You put money in an escrow and they don't get paid till it's done. I would recommend only hiring freelancers that have a few completed jobs with good feedback. I've hired a few new freelancers before with no feedback and while some were good most took jobs they co

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        I would recommend only hiring freelancers that have a few completed jobs with good feedback.

        If everyone followed your recommendation, how would freelancers find "a few completed jobs" and earn "good feedback" in the first place?

    • Re:Two options... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @04:08AM (#53670991) Homepage

      Third options:

      3: Find a project that already does something very close to what you want and who'll probably see the value of your suggestion.

      I have both suggested such things to other projects and have taken on similar feature requests on my own open source projects.
      If it's a good idea, it doesn't matter where it came from.

      On the other hand, if you're looking for a place to dump your ideas and then expect other people to go looking for them, then why do you expect somebody to take the effort for your idea while you couldn't even be bothered with it yourself?

      • Based on other comments, it sounds like the software this person wants already exists. A couple people mentioned AVISynth.

        If they actually need something new, yeah they could champion adding the functionality to an existing project, but to refine that more I'd say find an existing project that serves the same *people* who would benefit from the new functionality. It's not just that the functionality of the software should be similar, you're looking for a group of users / programmers who would like to have

      • Third options:

        3: Find a project that already does something very close to what you want and who'll probably see the value of your suggestion.

        I'll add a 4th option along those same lines: Find a community that would benefit from the software and see if you can get a group of people to help build and/or help finance it. If it's 3D printer software, try drumming up support in the various 3D printer groups. If it's 3D rendering software you want then find groups that do 3D rendering. If it's novel software then anything's game. If you are wanting an open source clone of existing software then it would probably be best to find a related group th

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Third option: Find some software that does something similar and suggest adding this as a new feature.

      That's how a lot of open source software starts. Take something that exists and build on it. In this case it seems like maybe a plug-in for VirtualDub or AVISynth might work. I'm not that familiar with the state of open source video editing so maybe someone else can make a better suggestion.

      Once suitable software is identified, perhaps someone has already written something similar. Last time I checked GPU a

    • While some people who live in their own personal bubble think the Open Source (GNU) model can work for everything, it really does fall apart on a fundamental level.
      Maintaining a project over a project life cycle is hard work. Sure you may get some people willing to volunteer their time who are mostly college students or the growling level of retiring tech workers. However your project will need to be sufficiently interesting enough for people to develop, and invest their time in.
      As been stated many times

      • You are right that maintaining a project is hard work and expensive. However, the reason for wanting something to be open source is so that in the event the maintainers of a project go belly up, just like a company can go belly up, the sources are out there so that anyone who wants to use it for one reason or another can do it. It also helps in case someone has a really exotic piece of hardware that's not widely supported, like, say, the original Be Box.

        Yeah, a lot of people assume that anyone who wants

      • Now as for what the article was asking for, seems rather specialized. No one is going to do some specialized work for free so the requester can make tones of money off of it, even if it is open source.

        It seems specialised, but if you break down the task, what the OP's friend wants is: 1) a GPU pixel-shader filter for video editing and 2) a video editor UI that doesn't have any extraneous fluff, but just runs a single filter on a single file and generates an output file.

        To me, that cuts to the core problem in OSS in my book -- there are large-scale projects that try to deliver a fully-featured package and there are ad hoc projects that produce a small-scale tool for a particular task, but aren't particul

    • 3. Contribute an incremental change to an existing project such as Avidemux.
  • Uhh... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chris Katko ( 2923353 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @02:12AM (#53670773)

    There have got to be tools out there already...

      - MPC-HC supports running custom shaders. (Supposedly KMPlayer does too, but I'm not familiar with it.)

    I'm not sure if it supports file output. But that's already 99% of the battle already done for you. It supports pixel shaders, loading files through codecs. So even if it doesn't, why not just fork the github, and patch on some super-ugly-yet-functional file output?

    But backing up further. What... exactly do you need the shaders for? Does it have to be a shader running on a GPU, or do you simply need filters? Is the task you're attempting really going to take advantage of a GPU?

    As for "doing it for you", you can suck my balls. If you're capable of writing shader code, you're capable of dumping frames to a file.

    • Re:Uhh... (Score:5, Informative)

      by MatthiasF ( 1853064 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @03:02AM (#53670871)
      Pretty sure VLC and other video players can do this as well. I know VLC can apply filters and save out videos, and have seen demonstrations of people applying OpenGL shaders to videos.
    • Re:Uhh... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Sunday January 15, 2017 @03:07AM (#53670885) Homepage Journal

      Yeah, basically this. Find the software that's closest to what you want to do and get on their community software and ask if there's already a way to do it. Your idea probably isn't unique, but just in case it is, the community can give feedback as to whether it's a good idea or not, and then if it is good their docs or people in the community will tell you how to put in a feature request. At that point, follow most of the advice others are giving about building or buying.

  • Alien source software. n/t

  • You find a contractor through some coders-for-hire or bounty webpages. You negotiate the price. You put in contract that the software will be covered by opensource license of you choosing, be it Apache, BSD, GPL, MIT or any other.
    Then you wait for coder to deliver what you've ordered.

  • ITS CALLED EFFORT (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Joviex ( 976416 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @03:34AM (#53670937)
    So since /. has finally become google search for the entitled, lazy futurist, where can I go to get smei-nerd news without "do my homework" bullshit entries?
  • Github and SourceForge are good places to look. One of the best things I know to do honestly, is to google "alternative to [software]" and go to the alternativeto website and filter for open source. Another thing you can do is use Twitter and search for #opensource #video and things like that. Everyone uses Twitter differently, but that's how I organize mine (@theouterlinux). Tumblr I use for command line help and tutorials. Also, I post software links and article on TheOuterLinux.com. If there's Linux invo
  • on Windows on could use Avisynth (with https://github.com/mysteryx93/... [github.com]) to apply HLSL Shaders,..
    (not sure if something similar is available for Vapoursynth)

  • Use Blender? (Score:5, Informative)

    by greggman ( 102198 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @04:04AM (#53670983) Homepage

    Blender has video editing built in I've heard. It probably also supports shaders. note: I'm only guessing as I have barely used Blender

    video editing in blender [youtube.com]

    • Re:Use Blender? (Score:5, Informative)

      by mysticgoat ( 582871 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @07:24AM (#53671319) Homepage Journal

      Yes, Blender. It is cross platform and on an adequate platform (multicore CPU, certain GPUs) it could possibly do what is wanted. It can also be extended using Python plug-ins, so it could be further developed if necessary. Blender can also use render farm technology so it can probably scale to meet any reasonably large job, its limitation being only the number of computers you can afford to use.

      Since the person(s) inquiring about this had not mentioned Blender, I can only assume that they are either too lazy or too lacking in basic Google skills to do any work themselves. Learning to use enough of Blender's interface to manage its video editing tools is not something one can do in a weekend. Learning enough Python to create any necessary plug-ins is also non-trivial. The inquirers seem to want someone to make a one-button application to do what they want. I think they have a basic misunderstanding of what Free Open Source Software is all about.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    In case you haven't noticed: There's a shortage of good software developers because there is no shortage of programs that need writing. If you want something developed, pay for it and then release it as open source. But you didn't want to give your resources to the open source world, did you? You wanted some programmer to invest time and effort so that you could have your free (as in beer) software. Go away.

    • by ledow ( 319597 )

      Every game project that I've ever worked on.

      Some bright spark with ten million ideas and now idea how to code them, or even describe them algorithmically.

      And programmers desperately working to get to the point that they can implement the better ideas that they had and have been able to test and describe for years beforehand.

      Ideas are ten-a-penny. People who can code them are not, and they will have had all those ideas too, and know why the others aren't viable.

      If you don't understand big-O notation, simple

  • Using tools that already exist, create your art and explain how you actually achieved the effect. Then, you get coding geniuses that will want to automate your result to create other art. I've been lucky that some of my madness have inspired coders to automate some of my flows (and very appreciative too). You have to give a little to get more. Not rich, but I heard that rich people implement this philosophy too. :)

    Some shameless self promo of things that I concocted and then others actually crea
  • The 'make a request and be served for free' thing is what people need to understand doesn't happen. But if multiple people who have the same wish can know about each other, that can enable them to co-ordinate efforts where they could contribute something but not all of it. Connecting people's wishes and efforts is what matters not demanding stuff for free.

  • I've had similar ideas and looked into it a few times in the past, so I can see a few reasons why this is not done. First, if you are working with raw video, then the bandwidth requirement is going to be the bottleneck, and you're not better off offloading the shader to GPU. In order to make good use of GPU, you have to integrate video encoding and decoding into your GPU pipeline as well, and that takes specialized drivers to do. I don't see any way to do it with OpenGL/OpenCL. If it's doable and makes sens

  • by allo ( 1728082 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @10:16AM (#53671671)

    Go and make some offer to pay somebody to do it. Then you will get it and you can decide to open source it.

    Or are you asking for free work done for exposure?

  • Qt [www.qt.io] can do this easy-peezy. It won't even take day. I've done a similar thing, though not with shaders, but they added the shader logic recently [doc.qt.io]. My usage was prior to that.

  • There is already open source software for pretty much any problem you may have. In your case, a combination of ffmpeg, avisynth and some coding (if you can make your own shaders, you can cobble a shell script together).

    Or you mean, how can I get someone to package a nice GUI with all the stuff I want in it? Not how open source works. Open source only amplifies the effort you put in something useful, and if you don't have the skills to make something useful, learn them or buy them.

  • mpv [mpv.io] allows the user to supply GLSL scripts using the --opengl-shaders=filename option, and it can save single screenshots to files after those shaders have been applied (Ctrl-S), and mpv is scriptable (in Lua or C), so all you need to do is write a script that single-steps through the video, then writes such a post-processed screenshot to a pipe which you can use as input to "ffmpeg".
    But as others already stated: The problem here seems to be the "I won't do it myself, I want others do it for me for free"-m
    • mpv [mpv.io] allows the user to supply GLSL scripts using the --opengl-shaders=filename option, and it can save single screenshots to files after those shaders have been applied (Ctrl-S), and mpv is scriptable (in Lua or C), so all you need to do is write a script that single-steps through the video, then writes such a post-processed screenshot to a pipe which you can use as input to "ffmpeg".

      Doesn't mpv support direct output to a series of PNGs? MPlayer does it simply with -vo png.

      Incidendally, I'm working on something related to the original question. I use shaders for math art demos, and I already have the option of using image files as the input (shameless example [youtube.com]). It would be trivial to accept a new file for each frame, so it could process video from a series of images. The speed would only be a couple of FPS due to I/O bottleneck, but it won't be realtime anyway. The reason I haven't d

  • If such a site existed, I wonder if it would be any better than that 'suggestion box' we often see at companies or businesses. You often wonder if anybody actually reads the suggestions, let alone gives them any weight. You could certainly pay someone to build a custom tool for you, but that can often cost many $ thousands. Perhaps a better idea would be to create a website where people can post stuff like 'I need a solution to problem X. I am willing to pay $10 (or $20, $50,...) for it'. Then others can se
  • It's important to understand that the Open Source Community is NOT a pool of developers looking to contribute to ANY open source project.
    It's not even a single community. It's more along the lines of where every project is a Nation State, each with it's own form of government.

    Every software project starts with a need to solve a problem.

    Commercial software identifies the potential market share, committing time and resources to solve that problem.
    OSS projects typically start with an individual creating a sol

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