Linux News Today: MKVToolNix 8.6.1 Open Source MKV Split and Merge Tool Now Available for Download
Moritz Bunkus informs us about the immediate availability for download of MKVToolNix 8.6, another maintenance release of the acclaimed cross-platform and open-source MKV (Matroska) manipulation software.
According to the release notes, MKVToolNix 8.6’s primary focus are bugfixes, as it resolves many of those nasty issues reported by users since the previous maintenance release of the software. But, the new version also introduces better scripting, by adding support for exporting the identification result of the mkvmerge tool to the JSON format.
However, it looks like MKVToolNix 8.6 is more than just another maintenance release, as it implements a new function that breaks backwards compatibility, in the way that it will no longer be possible to start text files created by the MKVToolNix tools, such as chapters that have been extracted with mkvextract, with a byte order mark.
“Back in the day people believed that text files would be encoded primarily in UTF in the future and that distinguishing between those formats automatically with a byte order mark seemed sensible,” said Moritz Bunkus. “Reality has shown that things turned out differently: text files are overwhelmingly encoded in UTF-8 if they originate on Linux/Unix/Mac OS and in Windows’ local encoding otherwise.”
BOMs are no longer recommended, but that might change
Therefore, the developer no longer recommends users to use byte order marks (also known as BOM) when using his MKVToolNix software on any of the supported operating systems, including GNU/Linux, Microsoft Windows, and Mac OS X. But if there will be enough requests from users to keep the support for byte order marks in the application, the change will be reversed in future releases.
Other than the above, due to the implementation of the JSON output, MKVToolNix 8.6 requires Clang 3.4 or GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) 4.8.0 or newer for compilation. As a consequence, Moritz Bunkus no longer offers binary packages of the application for the Debian GNU/Linux 7 (Wheezy) and CentOS 6 operating systems. Download MKVToolNix 8.6.1 for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows right now from Softpedia.