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Topic: When will TAK go open source? (Read 45285 times) previous topic - next topic
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When will TAK go open source?

Reply #50
You've already inferred that you never created TAK for monetary gain;

That may have been the case initially, but it is possible that he may have had a change in his income recently, as for many people these days, and he is now having to look for ways to supplement his income. 

Instead of arguing about open source, lets put our heads together and come up with ways that we all can benefit, him through some income, and the rest of us through access to an excellent piece of software. 

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #51
Thomas, if someone comes with a codec using an algorithm that is already in TAK can you prove that you invented it? Don't you think it would be a good thing to release the source code with a license that ensures it cannot be used elsewhere without your consent? (No I do not know which license to use  )

You could ask for a small fee from each person requesting the source code. If the variables/comments are in German, so be it-- just make sure the fact is well known to anyone who requests the source code.

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #52
Thomas, if someone comes with a codec using an algorithm that is already in TAK can you prove that you invented it? Don't you think it would be a good thing to release the source code with a license that ensures it cannot be used elsewhere without your consent? (No I do not know which license to use  )



The classic decision for most any IP that can remain hidden in the final product.  Whether to keep it secret, or patent (which requires public disclosure).  WIth "secret" you have no protection against someone either coming up with the same idea themselves or figuring it out from what's publicly observable.



When will TAK go open source?

Reply #53
If you don't think so, then you should probably make the mob happy.

Although I wasn't a follower of TAK back in the YALAC days, I have been keeping an eye on the discussions for a couple of years now.  This "mob" has really only been just a couple of people; at least those who have been vocal about it in a somewhat less than respectful way.

 

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #54
afaik wavpack is only in the cowon players.

Out of the box maybe, but thanks to Rockbox support can be enabled on some Archos, iRiver, SanDisk and Toshiba DAPs plus a few generations of Apple iPod as well as early Mini and Nano ones, add to that support in CorePlayer Mobile, a piece of software available for the Symbian S60 3rd, Symbian UIQ v3, Windows Mobile PocketPC / ARM, Windows Mobile Smartphone / ARM, WindowsCE MIPS and Palm platforms, and finally consider the Logitech Squeezebox and the DViCO TViX Universal Jukeboxes, so still far from FLAC but not too close to Monkey's Audio either IMO.

thomas is right that going open source is not going to automatically get you into players.  wavpack has had slightly higher compression ratios and bsd licensed code for years.

Right indeed, the argument is till valid, I concur.
WavPack 5.4.0 -b384hx6cmv / qaac64 2.71 -V 100

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #55
This "mob" has really only been just a couple of people; at least those who have been vocal about it in a somewhat less than respectful way.

Thank you. I'm glad I'm not the only one of this opinion.

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #56
You've already inferred that you never created TAK for monetary gain;

That may have been the case initially, but it is possible that he may have had a change in his income recently, as for many people these days, and he is now having to look for ways to supplement his income. 

Instead of arguing about open source, lets put our heads together and come up with ways that we all can benefit, him through some income, and the rest of us through access to an excellent piece of software. 

the problem sounds like conflicting goals.  you can get more visibility through the open source route but for a codec then you have essentially no chance to make any money off of it, ever.  have to choose one, but once you do the former there's no going back.

to make money, I would say keep it closed and patent everything possible, if you have an identified niche where you could license it.  that might be what tilman liebchen did with mpeg als.

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #57
the problem sounds like conflicting goals.  you can get more visibility through the open source route but for a codec then you have essentially no chance to make any money off of it, ever.  have to choose one, but once you do the former there's no going back.


There is the indirect route..  it might make good CV fodder for a better day job.  For that, better known trumps.

Quote
to make money, I would say keep it closed and patent everything possible, if you have an identified niche where you could license it.  that might be what tilman liebchen did with mpeg als.


Varies by country, but for most you have to file either before first release or within 1 year.

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #58
Since the command-line encoder/decoder can already be used with wine, what's sorely missing is playback support. How are you going to provide that for the many music players out there, while keeping the source closed? It just won't work. You won't spend time to write a plugin for every music player, and no maintainer is ever going to accept a binary blob in their project anyway.

Yes, indeed. Thomas you shouldn't have become so agitated because this. I think skamp is hinting at a very important point when it comes to a Linux port. I think it's the breaking point of Linux support in TAK.

Encoding and decoding is one thing, and I'm sure you're going to release binaries for that sooner or later. But playback is a lot different, it's a lot more work.

First of all packet maintainers of GNU/Linux distributions will not include this "binary blob", because they are not allowed to. Legally. Period. Consider TAK to be not supportable by many distributions and therefore unaccessible for many users. So providing playback support for Linux at least, would mean for you that you must provide the TAK library by yourself. Downloadable from your website or some offload site you have access to. Essentially this is the same for the simple binary encoders and decoders. Not much different from the situation as it is now for Windows users. I guess some TAK enthusiasts using Linux or Mac OS X are ok with that, but I doubt it will help promote the codec among new users of those platforms. Anyway that's not the real big issue I see. There aren't that many Linux and Mac users on the world anyway... 

The far more greater implication for you and your workload when you are actually going to support non-Windows platforms 100% while keeping TAK as closed as it is now is that you will become the maintainer for not only the decoder and encoder binaries but also the playback library. This means whenever there's a major change in the Linux or Mac OS X system libraries that your TAK libirary depend on, you will have to spent some time updating your TAK library without adding any new features.

IMHO it's a big waste of your valuable time. I'm sure you rather want to solely improve the codecs algorithms instead of having to split up your time and also do work on maintaining up-to-date binaries for various other platforms. Also whenever you want to "ship" a new version of TAK (with actual new features that is), you will feel the urge to release it for all platforms at once. And if you don't there will surely come the nagging from non-Windows users...

I don't want to tell you what to do. I just thought by reading your responses and seeing what direction this thread has taken, that this point hasn't been focused on enough when it comes to "TAK for non-Windows platforms".

What I surely don't want to see is that you will try to provide multi-platform support but then get pulled into ever demanding time-consuming support hasslements.

I wish you'd clearly state that there will be no linux support, ever. TAK would be officially a Windows-only codec, and it would put an end to all the drama.

Yeah.

I can't see how keeping TAK closed as it is will lead to a beneficial outcome for both the non-Windows users and you, Thomas. It's just not realistic. It's kind of sad, and I'm not saying that you must open it up so that it spreads to other software and hardware players. You will know best if it's really what you want. Spreading TAK to other platforms, is it really necessary to reach your personal goals? If the answer is yes, can you still reach these goals or will the extra work in fact push you further away from them?

Well, it's not just this way for TAK, I think it's a common problem for every software project that started on one platform is about to become multi-platform. For fairly big projects it costs at least one additional coder for each platform so that new version can be released timely for all platforms.

Or am I wrong? Does anyone know of a closed source project that is able to provide multi-platform binaries in time without putting quite some amounts of manpower into it?

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #59
After reading this:
Since the command-line encoder/decoder can already be used with wine, what's sorely missing is playback support. How are you going to provide that for the many music players out there, while keeping the source closed? It just won't work. You won't spend time to write a plugin for every music player, and no maintainer is ever going to accept a binary blob in their project anyway.

Yes, indeed. Thomas you shouldn't have become so agitated because this. I think skamp is hinting at a very important point when it comes to a Linux port. I think it's the breaking point of Linux support in TAK.

And as some time has passed, i see that i may have reacted too harsh:
Aren't you a bit nitpicking? Would my statement only be honest if i added a list of possible player plugins and their exact release dates? Do you expect me to be a lot more precise than the vendors of paid software?

Not at all. I'm trying to make a point. I think linux support without opening up the sources is not realistic.

Sorry Skamp!  Affected by the context of some other posts in this thread, i have interpreted your post in an inadequate way.

another misconception here is that ideas can be stolen.  they cannot, they're not like bars of gold.  no amount of 'imaginary property' laws can usurp natural law.  you either have to keep it secret (until someone else picks the same idea out of the ether), or set it free with no attachments.

Maybe it's more like this (i am by no means a philosopher!):They are bars of gold (or possibilities), which exist in inexhaustible amounts and are basically freely available for everyone, but are buried very deep. If one takes them away from someone else, he is stealing his work (exvacating), but not the gold.

to make money, I would say keep it closed and patent everything possible, if you have an identified niche where you could license it.  that might be what tilman liebchen did with mpeg als.

Money would be nice, but i haven't done it for money and furthermore would see only very little chance to sell it. The only possibility would be something like this: A big company want's a lossless codec, a bit of money doesn't matter. No, they want it fast and they want something which contains patentable technology, not because they are interested into the technology, but because they want a format they own. Unfortunately i am mainly against software patents... I can imagine some situations, were they may be justified, but mostly they do nothing good.

I forgot to quote DonP:

Quote
There is the indirect route.. it might make good CV fodder for a better day job. For that, better known trumps.

That's quite close to what i would like to achieve.

Or am I wrong?

I don't think so.

I have to agree to most if not all of what you said...

I have to find a good solution for my (and also the users) dilemma. But i will not repeat the (open source announcement) mistake from some years ago and present a plan too early.


When will TAK go open source?

Reply #60
The only possibility would be something like this: A big company want's a lossless codec, a bit of money doesn't matter. No, they want it fast and they want something which contains patentable technology, not because they are interested into the technology, but because they want a format they own. Unfortunately i am mainly against software patents... I can imagine some situations, were they may be justified, but mostly they do nothing good.


Maybe ask the Nero AG if they need today's most efficient lossless codec?  Or if they need a new developer?

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #61
1) Couldn't you at least release the source code of the decoder?

No. Unfortunately the source of the decoder would already reveal most of the codec's technology. Most of it's compression power could then be achieved by adopting the code. Only my very fast encoding algorithms would be kept secret.


NO. If it gets popular and remains closed, it will get reversed, as happened to WMA, WMV, NTFS, World .DOC and other things. 

Quote
My current preference is a later fusion with FLAC


Completely different new codec under old name ?
/\/\/\/\/\/\

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #62
I can't bitch about FlaCUDA being restricted to Windows right now, I can only hope Gregory (or yet another third-party) will port it over to my platform of choice (linux).

For the record, it now runs under linux just fine, and from Gregory's lightning fast response I assume it didn't work before only because he hadn't tested it (and because linux users like me didn't bother to give it a try until now). FlaCuda was multi-platform from the start.

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #63
I'm impressed by TAK but have stopped using it in favor of FLAC (with or without lossyWav) so I can use (play) the files on hardware platforms too.
It's good you brought this up and were honest about regretting your original promise. Now that's out of the way, it's up to you (TBeck) what to do. Take the time you need to evaluate your options.
My 2ct are: there was a momentum for a more efficient lossless codec when you started with it all, but it might disappear over time. Processing power and storage capacity keep increasing. Although, as TBeck says, it is better to use the best algorithms, this is not always what happens in the end.

Newest Flac versions (e.g.): "Flac 1.5 (TAK Powered)"

May I suggest FLACaTAK (pronounced "Flac attack")     
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #64
If you don't think so, then you should probably make the mob happy.

This "mob" has really only been just a couple of people; at least those who have been vocal about it in a somewhat less than respectful way.

If his optmizations are merged with FLAC, then he would benefit all FLAC users.

The best scenario IMHO would be an jump in FLACs version (be it 1.5, 2.0, etc) with a press release citing the substantial speed/compression improvements and saying that "All this is thanks to TBeck, that ported several algorithms he has developed in TAK over the years" or "Thanks to TBeck's work, we bring to you a new release of FLAC with the following improvements...", or something like that. It would be probably picked by many websites, unlike the TAK 2.0 release, for example.

But FLAC must remain backward/foward compatible. I agree with DOS386 that an different codec with the same name is confusing. The tak files must at least continue to have an different file extension, if tak's encoder/decoder is going to be distributed together with FLAC libs. If tak ever get to be muxed in .ogg files, this would also generate confusion (unlike mka for example, people expect only vorbis and rarelly flac inside .ogg files).

That is my 2cents.

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #65
Quote
another misconception here is that ideas can be stolen. they cannot, they're not like bars of gold. no amount of 'imaginary property' laws can usurp natural law. you either have to keep it secret (until someone else picks the same idea out of the ether), or set it free with no attachments.

In the US patent climate that seems a very dangerous thing to suggest, Josh. Not to seem like a GPL Groupie, but setting it free with no strings attached may very well result in someone else taking your idea and running with it (to the USPTO). Sure, supposedly ideas cannot be patented, but it's getting very close to that with those process and business methods etc. patents that are given out these days. Anyway, on to my main post.

To TBeck:

While I'm a bit late in adding my voice to the chorus, I just wanted to congratulate you on the work you've done so far. From an April fool's joke to a format that's technically more efficient and faster than most others codecs is no small feat. As such, it's a shame that there doesn't seem to be much place for your codec in it, at least not in the foreseeable future. Similarly, some of the other reactions here have been rather unpleasant in that they seem to be somewhat oblivious to the fact that you "also" have a say in deciding what happens to TAK. Unfortunately, intellectual property rights are a rather contested issue, and people sitting on the extremes are generally the most vocal. ("we have a right to the fruits of your labor" is something Marx strongly disagreed with when factory owners said it, though it's unclear to me what he would think of the fact that the proletariat is now making the same claim. )
In any case, my own opinion is that you should just do what you think you would enjoy most: either decide to just keep on going (regardless of adoption rates) and just have fun trying to make the most of the codec, trying different things to see what works best, or merge with FLAC when you feel you don't want to put more time into doing so. (Although I obviously favor either of these options over you just stopping altogether.)
(Full disclosure: I currently am a MAC -c4000 user who doesn't really see a reason to recode his library.)

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #66
Quote
another misconception here is that ideas can be stolen. they cannot, they're not like bars of gold. no amount of 'imaginary property' laws can usurp natural law. you either have to keep it secret (until someone else picks the same idea out of the ether), or set it free with no attachments.

In the US patent climate that seems a very dangerous thing to suggest, Josh. Not to seem like a GPL Groupie, but setting it free with no strings attached may very well result in someone else taking your idea and running with it (to the USPTO). Sure, supposedly ideas cannot be patented, but it's getting very close to that with those process and business methods etc. patents that are given out these days. Anyway, on to my main post.

Wrong, only ideas can be patented. More preciselly, only specific types of ideas, listed in the country's patent law, can be patented. This list has been growing over the last 3 centuries, but I hope it starts to shrink again (software patents/bussiness methods patents are seriouslly harmfull, for example).

Also, it is expansive to make and mantain an patent. In many countries you have to pay an anual fee for the maintence of the patent, in addtion to all the costs to first make the patent. If you don't plan on making money on the idea, or don't need nuclear arms for an cold war, it is generally not an good idea to fill a patent. If someone try to steal your idea using the patent system (otherwise it is "only" a copy), and USPTO aproves it, you still have the prior art defense, that should work.

An usefull rule of the thumb when talking about the many types of "intelectual proprierty" laws: if you know something about copyright laws, for example, you can assume that in patent laws, or trademark laws, or trade secrets laws this thing will be different. In most cases you will be right, as those laws have different origins, talk about different things and evolved diferently.

I will not comment on Marx because that would be going waaay off topic. PM-me in case you are interested.

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #67
If someone try to steal your idea using the patent system (otherwise it is "only" a copy), and USPTO aproves it, you still have the prior art defense, that should work.


If you have enough money for the process.

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #68
What seems obviously overlooked is the time-consuming process of securing intellectual property. TAK has demonstrated that it has special sauce under the hood, so why shouldn't proper credit go to its creator? From that perspective the entire open/closed question of TAK is premature at this time. I think a logical step would be helping the author with the legal and license issues. For example, who even knows which geographical jurisdictions certain licenses cover?

Another thing that seemed obvious is that new hardware player development is ongoing. I really do not see TAK "losing" here despite its current lack of hardware support. (slightly OT: When I recall Vorbis going v1.0 the adoption was slow because it was not being "added-in" to existing HW, usually a new player supported it from the start.) I don't see the need for a new format to support old devices when there's a trend of faster and more extensible DAP's becoming available, and it seems obvious lossless on portable players is not mainstream enough at this time to be high priority.

Being this is HA, why not suggest things like setting up a PayPal (or whatever equivalent) donation account for TAK development, licensing, legal filing fees and blah blah blah. Although this suggestion seems obvious I don't recall it being stated prominently.
"Something bothering you, Mister Spock?"

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #69
Being this is HA, why not suggest things like setting up a PayPal (or whatever equivalent) donation account for TAK development, licensing, legal filing fees and blah blah blah.

Count me in for €100 for a copy of the source code under a FSF-approved license.

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #70
First of all packet maintainers of GNU/Linux distributions will not include this "binary blob", because they are not allowed to. Legally. Period.

just wanted to point out, that this is not true. most distributions include binary blobs. usually for hardware support.
you can find a list of completely free distros here at the fsf. the most popular ones are not among them. but i still agree that as a closed format tak will have a very difficult time in linux.


as a former tak user (while i was still on windows) and linux user i would really welcome TAK to go open source. but even apart from that i think it is the right way to go. if recognition for your work is important to you thomas, think about this: your "fame" is proportional to the success of your project. whether it is open source or not. open sourcing will definitely boost software and hardware adoption which would make it more successful, maybe it will even attract contributors to help you improve the codec.

merging tak's features into flac would be the coolest thing of them all: combining tak's performance with flacs popularity and hardware support. maybe in a new major version flac v2. but, i've no idea if that is even technically possible.
tom and josh joining forces to work on the greatest and best lossless codec!
i don't know about you, but to me this sounds like a dream come true

thanks for answering our questions in this thread thomas
please let us know where things are going.

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #71
TBeck, can you provide an estimate on the amount of functions or speed/compression increase from TAK that are implementable into FLAC without breaking backwards compatibility? If it still doesn't make FLAC improved this way as efficient as TAK 2.0 then you probably shouldn't hesitate with the merger, as you will still retain your niche. :)

Anyway, I actually came here because I figured I could reencode my lossless collection into TAK, but knowing there is no out-of-the-box Mac/Linux and potential Rockbox support I guess I shouldn't. Many thanks for doing this, though; I've been following TAK's development in its early days, and you've been doing a terrific job improving both speed and compression ratio while nearly no other lossless codec progressed in the mean time. It's worth a lot no matter what TAK's future will be.

Just don't let your work fade into obscurity, that will be the worst scenario.
Infrasonic Quartet + Sennheiser HD650 + Microlab Solo 2 mk3. 

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #72
One thing worth considering with licensing is selling license exceptions.  When a copyright holder releases their source code under a copyleft license such as GPL they are not giving away their rights to offer the same code to different parties under different terms.  So if TAK was released under GPL (or similar copyleft) it would become easily useable in free software projects and would almost certainly eventually be packaged for Debian, Fedora etc and so be available in all their numerous derivatives.  But the author may still sell license exceptions. For example a company might want to use the code in a proprietary project, this may not be possible with GPL'd code.  But the copyright holder i.e. the author of TAK, when licensing the code as GPL did not give up his copyright or his right to offer the same code to others in a different way, so he can offer the code to the interested company and sell them a license exception (actually he can give them the exception but selling is more likely in this context).  Nobody else can do this, only the copyright owner. There is a very interesting article on the subject by none other than RMS Selling Exceptions

Before I posted I'd thought that this might have been mentioned before but a search showed only the  idea of dual licensing, which is slightly different and anyway the proponent suggested dual GPL/LGPL which makes no sense afaik.

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #73
My 2 Pfennigs:

What's the purpose of TAK? What will you (i.e. TBeck) use it for? Well, there is a small probability that someone will call you up, saying "I want this, what's your price?" but I doubt it. The lossless market isn't that big,  and the improvement over the peers, while noteworthy, is not revolutionary (I mean, 10 percent up in HD space or 20 percent gain in speed doesn't save lots of money!) The niche for "closed" formats -- for DRM? -- is miniscule, and without being pushed by Windows and Apple (who already have their own formats), TAK will never be widespread as a closed format. Probably not as an open either (except as merged into ... say, FLAC as someone suggested), because honestly, who does really desperately need TAK?, but at least with a fairer chance as open.

This is not unrelated to the Linux support; lots of devices run Linux (e.g. Squeezebox, Android). But even more important: lots of devices cannot use your Windows binaries, and will stick to formats with sufficiently open specification. That does not necessarily mean that your encoder/decoder has to be open source.

Publication is of course irreversible, so do not open up until you are fairly sure that this is what you want. And if you want to finish what you started before handing it over to someone else, fine. I don't need your source code 

(I appreciate its existence, as there isn't much other development of lossless audio these days. But the lack of support and openness keeps me safely in FLACland, where I know I can still play my TBs of music the day Bill Gates provides the next OS update "which may render 3rd party programs unusable" and by coincidence (or not) Jcoals is hit by the train.)
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

When will TAK go open source?

Reply #74
@TBeck
There's a way I  think you could avoid to make TAK code to be just stolen, and then TAK just  forgotten . Just try to  promote  the format as much  as possible, when the source code is released.
Use advertisements. Talk of the format and advantages to a lot of people. Try to make it adopted by hardware manufacturers.  Now if someone re-use your code, his new format won't be popular, because everyone would have heard or already adopted TAK.  Unless he improves TAK  compression algorithms , and keep the improvements for himself.

 
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