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When upgrading to the latest FFmpeg (4.1) through Homebrew, I noticed that an overwhelming number of new dependencies were installed. At the same time, brew info ffmpeg revealed that all installation options were gone. So someone decided that there is only one FFmpeg, then. All or nothing. Where can I find information about this decision and the reason for doing so?

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Issue 31510: Remove all options

See Remove all options from Homebrew/homebrew-core formulae #31510:

Options in formulae don't produce a good user experience because they have to be built from source, we don't test them in CI and each combination of options provides a new chance for new failures to occur. We should seek to (eventually!) remove all options from formulae in Homebrew/homebrew-core in favour of enabling as much non-exclusive functionality as possible in a given formula for widely used options or encouraging the community to maintain their own custom options in a tap (e.g. https://github.com/denji/homebrew-nginx/blob/master/Formula/nginx-full.rb). As an absolute last resort if we need to depend on the same formula multiple times with different options (e.g. #13133) we can consider vendoring formulae using resource blocks or even duplicating formulae.

You can explore the history of the ffmpeg formula to see other changes to the dependencies and options.

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    Ah! So it's not only FFmpeg. Well, as much as I hate a dozen dependencies falling down on me like a ton of bricks for every little utility I want to check out, now I don't have to endure 15 minutes of fan noise compiling FFmpeg anymore. So good news in the big picture, then. Thanks for pointing this out. – forthrin Feb 9 at 15:08

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