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High-End Lightworks Video Editor Finally Says Why They Didn't Go Open-Source Yet

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  • High-End Lightworks Video Editor Finally Says Why They Didn't Go Open-Source Yet

    Phoronix: High-End Lightworks Video Editor Finally Says Why They Didn't Go Open-Source Yet

    Way back in 2010 it was announced that Lightworks would be going open-source as this high-end, non-linear and cross-platform video editor solution. This video editing system has been used by many films over the years from The Wolf of Wall Street to Bruce Almighty to Moulin Rouge to Pulp Fiction as well as many other movies and television shows while also being approachable enough that it's used by less advanced video editing enthusiasts. Lightworks going open-source would be a big win, but ten years after their failed plans were announced they finally have shed some light on why such move away from being a proprietary application never materialized...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...No-Open-Source

  • #2
    I can understand the middleware issue, but it really doesn't matter if all of it isn't pretty. They would likely find that the community would be willing to help with various cleanups. It might also be possible to release it in a form where it has broken dependencies and let the community help with finding alternatives that could at least be used in the OSS version. Just a thought

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    • #3
      Yeah I don't get either why cleaning up the code needs to be done before it goes FOSS.
      Are they afraid it shows a lack of quality and therefore confidence in their team which might lead to others taking over the project (/fork)?

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      • #4
        Sounds like excuses and they are evaluating potential business options. I don't really fault them but I don't see why they cannot be honest about it. Perhaps they fear it shows disorganisation?

        As for quality... most software in the multimedia and gaming industry is very quick and rough. This can always be fixed by a caring community.

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        • #5
          I guess one possibility is that they have proprietary dependencies directly in the repo and they need to externalize it and have it managed by a dependency manager instead, but 9 years is a long time for dealing with that even if it's pretty grim.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by AJenbo View Post
            I can understand the middleware issue, but it really doesn't matter if all of it isn't pretty.
            The issue may be that if you remove all the middleware and replace it with dummy artifacts, it really is not a usable open source release anyway (remember the kerberos ebones release?). And they may not even own all the IP in the code base to be able to open the code up. As I recall, Sun (with all their resources) reportedly spent a huge number of person-years before open sourcing Solaris to insure that they owned all the IP that was in the code base (and replacing that which they could not show they owned). That type of work (both legal review, and code changes) is not something that generates revenue (or new features/capabilities) so it tends to be background work that is always a number of years away from completion.

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            • #7
              I do not see why they would release it as open source, what would be the benefit? It's being used by big budget, big name studios to release big name movies and it commands a decent licensing fee, once they release it as open source any incentive to pay for the software goes out the window, someone wishing to use it could just download the source code and build it themselves.

              Even worse, someone will fork it, remove the trademarked branding and release it as an identical free software, effectively killing the company and putting everyone out of work.

              People just don't get it, you can't make money from "free", some companies like Red Hat make money from support contracts, certification fees and the like, but their software by itself doesn't generate a dime. Microsoft on the other hand is not only laughing all the way to the bank but owns the bank.

              The OSS crowd really needs to get the're collective heads out of their asses.

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              • #8
                With how deeply the middleware is likely embedded in the program, I guess they either have to replace it or somehow modularize it.

                If they replace it then they need to make 100% sure that the new version will be just as good if not better, and that takes time and a lot of rewrites

                If they modularize it then there's still a lot of rewrites and they still have middleware.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
                  Sounds like excuses and they are evaluating potential business options. I don't really fault them but I don't see why they cannot be honest about it.
                  They probably put it aside when they had other, more pressing, matters and it just never came up again since none of their customers cares if they're open source or not right up until someone mentioned it now that they porting it to Apple's new ARM SoCs.

                  You can expect similar news in the coming years where companies are evaluating / reevaluating partial/full open sourcing. Don't overthink it.

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                  • #10
                    I cannot give you an estimate of when that might be at this stage
                    Translation into English:
                    NEVER

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