>Hey Salsaman, you are the author of LiVes.. can you introduce yourself to the >bulgarian users? > Hi, I am Salsaman, the main developer of LiVES which is a video editing system and VJ tool for Linux, BSD and UNIX. The project is developed as Free software, and can be downloaded from http://lives.sourceforge.net. The project relies entirely on donations and sponsorship for its funding. There is a mailing list with around 100 members, and the application is downloaded around 2000 times per month. Myself, I am originally from the UK but 3 years ago I came over to Amsterdam to work, and even though that particular job finished, I decided to stay here. This is a great city to live in, and I have a lot of good friends here now. > >Why is LiVES such a great piece of software? > > Well, thankyou for asking such a nice question :-) I think it's great for a lot of reasons - firstly, I think about how people like to use computers for fun - watching movies, playing music, playing games. I try to combine all these things in one application, that is, you can take any of your music, any video and mix it all around in a way which should be a bit like a game. I think using computers should be an enjoyable experience, and I also know that different people like to work and play in different ways, so the idea in LiVES is to try and accomodate that. Secondly, the program has developed very much in response to requests and feedback from the users themselves. Thirdly, I eat my own dogfood, meaning I don't use any other applications for editing video. So if there is something I want to do, I have to write it myself. Of course, this is a bit of a limitation, since LiVES is still in development, but it's very motivating to get more done in LiVES. >What is your favourite OS? > > Well, it's no secret that I like Linux (or GNU/Linux, for the purists). >When did you start developing LiVES? > > Well it all started about two years ago. I bought a new digital camera, and it had the ability to take ten or fifteen second clips. So I had this idea of maybe linking a few of these clips together, and since the camera was silent, adding some audio. Anyway, that small application has slowly turned into a very usable video editing system. >What are your previous projects? > > Well, in the past I've worked mainly for companies, writing in-house applications. However I am now working as much as I can on LiVES, and I think people appreciate that. It would be nice to be able to continue that, but funding is still a difficult issue for open source projects, particularly in the early stages. However, I manage as well as I can. Some of my other open source projects include an experimental database, and one of the xscreensavers, anemone. LiVES is my first large open source project. >Are you developing other open source software? > > At present I am spending all my time developing LiVES, so no time for other projects. However, if my project overlaps with another one, then there can be some mutual assistance, for example I am currently implement a libvisual interface (see http://libvisual.sourceforege.net), and so I have been helping the developers there with a few bugfixes. >what is the philosophy behind LiVES, and how did it develop? > > The philosophy is very simple: freedom and openness. Freedom to use tools for free, freedom to create video without having to tie yourself to any company, freedom to change the code of the application. And being very open, following open standards and opening up the media - allowing programmers access to the individual frames of a video clip. That's what the plugin builder tool is all about, you can extend the application to suit your own needs. That philosphy has been there since the beginning. >Have you been in Bulgaria? > > Yes a couple of times for ski trips when I was at school, so about 20 years ago I was in Pamporova. It was back in the Soviet era, and it seemed the only things that were sold in the shops there were vodka, chocolate and pottery ! But I do remember eating some very nice goats cheese... >WHats is your opinion about the open source community? > Well, I think that it is a community of very very different people, economically and politically you will find everthing from laisez-faire capitalism to anarchist communism. But I think the common thread is a love of freedom and a true pleasure in understanding how things work. > > What do you see as the major challenges facing that community in the next >couple of years? > > Well, firstly I think there is the patent threat, if software patents are allowed in the EU then there is no telling what the consequences will be for open source development. So it is very important to raise awareness about this issue amongst people, the website ffii.org has a lot of information about this. Technically I think the work I see going on around now is one of linking applications together. For example in the real time video field we want to make it easier to connect video applications together in chains, with the output of one application feeding into the input of another. So the challenge here is to develop new, open standards that are completely free to use, but which still allow a diversity of applications to use them. If we can get past these challenges, then I see a very bright future for open source :-) >What was the best feedback that you got? > > The best feedback I get is when people like the application so much they want to contribute something. A lot of people have helped out, translators, testers, some people have already contributed plugins. The worst feedback is no feedback, because then I have no idea if people like what I'm doing or not. So please, send an email, even if it's just to say "this program sucks", or preferably "this is a great program". Developers appreciate things like that :-) >Are you a family man? > > Not really, I'm single, and I live quite far from the my other family members. But having said that, I enjoy the company of others, and when I do get the time to visit my family it's always a nice experience. >How much of your time do you spend working with and developing LiVES? > > Well, as I said, I am working full time on LiVES, that's been the case for the last year and a half. I spend a lot of time working with the program, partly developing it, partly using it for making video art or for VJing. And there is also a lot of other work to do, for example maintaining the website, making releases, trying to promote my video/VJ work, and communicating with other developers. So it's pretty much all my waking hours... >What advice would you give to young people just starting their careers in >information technology? > > Hmmm...that's a difficult question. I would say, just try to learn as much as you can - it's more important to know the fundamentals than a specific language or operating system.