[vlc-devel] Re: stringreview wxwindows result.

Derk-Jan Hartman hartman at videolan.org
Sun Jan 25 07:25:03 CET 2004

On 25 jan 2004, at 05:45, R. Bernstein wrote:
> Derk-Jan Hartman writes:
>> modules/gui/wxwindows/open.cpp:
>> - I know i'm gonna hit a nerve here, and i think atm it's not even
>> advisable, but in a clean userfriendly interface the MRL field should
>> not be necessary for an end user.
> Do we have a clean user-frendly interface?


> I'm not exactly sure what you mean here. Hide the MRL text entry and
> always force user to use check boxes, dropdowns buttons and menus?


> If this is what you mean, I see a some downsides. First you have to
> make sure you can do everything from the selections. For VCDs, one
> thing I think that's lacking is the ability to specify the audio and
> subtitle track in the menus.  (Can one add this in the MRL text box?)
> It would be great if someone would add this on the VCD disc selection
> page/tab.

Which is just why the intf isn't clean. However the problem is that you 
can only say: Select first subtitle or audio track. You cannot say: 
Select English Language
This is purely due to the fact that VLC doesn't do preparsing of it's 
items nor will it do that in the near future.

> A second problem is keeping the interface and the plugin in synch. If
> the capabilities of an input plugin change, they will probably get
> reflected in the MRL parser since an input plugin (at the moment)
> *has* to define and field that. In the future it would be nice to have
> a common MRL parser for common things like device/media location,
> "title" and "chapter" selection. But even then an input plugin has to
> define what entities exist and what they mean and that has to be
> coordinated.

This can only be removed, when there is a somewhat 'stable' API in vlc 
i think.
However i disagree that everything should be possible from the 
interface. It adds unnecessary complication for most users. There is 
the commandline and the advanced preferences for the demanding users.

> Last, it is useful to show the correspondence between the MRL form and
> the button/dropdown box form. Here it is possible to get rid of the
> entry box and an additional box that pops up something which shows
> what the result MRL is. Or to some extent one can compare with the MRL
> that appears down at the bottom when playing - but this is more
> cumbersome.  And there will always be those who find it just easier to
> type the MRL than to go through the button/MRL selection.

MRL must go. It is a bad interface design concept.

>> - "PBC LID" rocky? what is that for label? it's completely useless, 
>> who
>> knows what PBC LID means?
> PBC stands for Playback Control. If you think changing "PBC" to
> "Playback Control" is clearer by all means change it. As for what LID
> means, this is from the section "Concepts used by this Plugin" form
> doc/intf-vcd.txt:

Do end users need this? if you ask me, even things like chapters and 
titles are a complete waste of space. I'm an advanced user and i 
haven't even once used them in my 2 years of heavy usage. It's cool 
that it's possible, just don't bother me with it in an interface, 
that's what I have the commandline for. (Maybe i'm too much a mac user 
:)   )
>   A "playback list item" (also called a "list id or LID) combines
>   "entries" and "segments" and "tracks" together with some navigation
>   logic. "Playback Control" is simply starting playback at a particular
>   playback list item, and unless otherwise specified you'd start with
>   the first playback item which we call P1.
> You only get that selection if you have the check box "Use playback
> control?" selected under access/vcdx. Otherwise the label says either
> "Entry" or "Track"
> As for begin completely useless, I'm not sure how you came to this
> judgement. So how did you?

I meant that using a label that i have to grep for in the sourcetree to 
understand what it does, is not a good label. A label needs to make 
clear what something is supposed to do or be used for.

> I'll however admit that playback control in vlc as it currently stands
> is severely crippled because switching between still frames (for menu
> selections) and motion videos seems broken. Right now I tend to thing
> of the brokenness lying more in the MPEG decoder and a lack of a nice
> way of telling the engine that the stream characteristics have changed
> so to you reset your parameters.
> Although I've spent quite a lot of time trying to figure out how to
> address this, I haven't been successful. (And despite pleas for help
> or information, none has been forthcoming.)

I don't think anyone really knows :)
> But to the extent that VCD is authored to use playback control and
> *doesn't* use still frames, things work okay, I think.

Videolan - VLC media player
Derk-Jan Hartman (hartman at videolan dot org)
Developer of the MacOS X port of vlc

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