>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 

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 

>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.