DVD burning + Ubuntu = hell

by davidnielsen

So one downloads a DVD image of a distro of the web, for safe keeping – one desires to burn it..

However is it not possible in Ubuntu, why you ask.

Very simple, the tool one uses in general of burning on UNIX is cdrecord (the package also seems to be known as cdrtools), this is maintained by a fella called Jörg Schilling, if you think that name is familiar it might be because he is the star of many flamewars on the Linux Kernel Mailinglist and he is also the man behind the Schillix OpenSolaris distribution. Now Jörg is very protective of his sourcecode, and appears to be very hostile towards GNU tools in general (just examine the warnings his package spits out when compiling), he probably has his reasons for this, he probably also has his reasons for the fairly insane syntax that cdrecord uses – but that’s a whole other issue.

Back to the core of the problem, Jörg wants to make money, this is very understandable, Jörg has to eat after all. Now the way in which he elects to make money is to sell for commerical use (personal use appears to be free on request) a version of cdrecord with full DVD support. To this effect it is my impression that he has refused to take DVD support patches to cdrecord – this of course leaves the user with the choice of patching the source with the OSS DVD patch or go with the closed source cdrecord-ProDVD package.

Now within Ubuntu there’s a relutance to play upstream, understandable as this is a costly business, with every release of cdrecord the patch need to be applied and possibly altered. This means that when the user merrily right clicks his DVD image in nautilus and selects burn image, it utterly fails – without mention that this operation is infact not supported.

In the end the user is the loser here – clearly a solution needs to be found as the current situation is not acceptable.

And behold one is in the making, it’s called libburn, however this project seems to have stalled. Libburn is not only GPL’ed but given that it seperates out the burner handling as a library it’s also good software design. So if anyone out there needs a project to work on and has the required skills to work on this, could you please do me the huge personal favor of having a stab at it – so to free users of all ages from the hell that is the current situation?