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Re: Considerations for 'xmms' removal from Debian

#include <hallo.h>
* William Pitcock [Sun, Jul 15 2007, 12:06:47AM]:
> Eduard Bloch <edi <at> gmx.de> writes:
> > 
> > I see this in strace output with default configuration. Switching the
> > setting between on-display and on-load makes it even worse, then it
> > opens every file THREE times. Sorry, wtf?
> > 
> This is a result of codec detection, and has been improved upon in
> Audacious 1.3 (presently available in unstable?). XMMS does not perform
> codec detection, but instead guesses on how to proceed. That behaviour
> is broken in more than a few ways.

I disagree. As said, I dislike a simple player touching every file for no
good reason, and I do not consider "codec detection" a such one. There
is simply no important information you would gather from that. Validity
of the file and the length are only interesting at play time.

I fail to see what is so "broken" about the XMMS way. It may be
inconvinient for you when doing (re)design since you have to deal with
uncerntainity. But, well, are you going to create a comfortable player or
yet another piece of stupid multimedia software?

> > Further, it has broken SIGTERM handling. Unless I am able to find such
> > visible problems within minutes, this program is no replacement for the
> > good old XMMS.
> >
> It handles SIGTERM gracefully. That's not broken. SIGTERM is not

Ok, I confused it with SIGINT. But let me give you a short walk-trough
from the perspective of a potential user:

$ audacious /data
 - a gray window appears, instead of the player. Ookay, let's wait few
   seconds for the app to initialize. Waiting 10 seconds. 20. 30. XMMS
   would be playing already (this is measured!).
 - Okay, examining what this stupid window is good for. Propably for
   error messages, but there is nothing, and the window has no title.
 - I change to the terminal and try to kill with with Ctrl-C. I cannot,
   because this window steals the WM focus every second. First WTF.
   Well, I manage to press Ctrl-C quickly. It says it received SIGINT
   and is going to terminate. Seems to have stoped stealing the focus.
   Great, but...
 - ... it does not stop scanning. The stupid window is still there and
   the app does not die. Second WTF.
 - Well, now it steals focus every 10-20 seconds, while I am typing this
   text. Third WTF.
 - Enough, doing "killall audacious".
   The thing still does not die. Any my harddisks still suffers.
   Fourth WTF.
 - "killall -9 audacious"
   Thanks, worked. Enough of this crap.

So, that's it. The user experience is a disaster, like it or not. It
shows childhood diseases I have not expected in a serious application
for daily use, not even talking about replacement for the "good old

The proper way to present information to the user in a userfriendly way,
this would be IMO the following: a splash screen (see Gimp as example)
which has a progress bar, where the number of files is displayed, with
some status messages. Something like:

 - "Searching for files (%d found)"
   %d runs from 0 to N while it walks through directories, and the
   progress bar runs slowly. I can imagine a simple algorithm to make it
   move and reach about 50% of the bar during the scan.
 - "Identifying files (%d/N, %d valid)"
   N is the number found before, %ds are updated while the
   identification runs, and the progress bar is complete when the
   process is through.

Well, both steps could also be merged if you identify on the fly.
And now, only after the steps above, you may display the current error
message, which is designed almost well IMHO.

> > I don't want to have it entirely deactivated, I want it to work then and
> > only then when I need this information.
> > 
> Hitting F5 on your keyboard will cause metadata to be loaded manually
> if you have disabled automatic metadata loading.

And this is documented... where? Why not in the documentation balloons?
Ever heard about ISO 9241? Please get a copy and read parts 13 and 14, I
would also recommend reading VDI 3850 which is IMO a good tutorial in
designing human machine interfaces.

Die rechte unwillkürliche Originalität ärgert sich, daß nicht jeder
ist wie sie -, die scheinbare will gar nicht, daß andere sind wie sie.
		-- Jean Paul

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