[vlc-devel] What should we do about recursive preparsing?

Rémi Denis-Courmont remi at remlab.net
Wed Sep 26 18:24:14 CEST 2018

Le tiistaina 25. syyskuuta 2018, 23.33.13 EEST Filip Roséen a écrit :
> Given that the bug was present for such a long time, it seems many
> users have started to rely on (and like) the broken behavior present
> in versions prior to `3.0.4` (which should only have been enabled on
> `--recursive=expand`).

No. By and large, users are not used to any broken behavior. They are used to 
the old behaviour of 2.2.8 and earlier. The difference is much more noticeable 
with 3.0.4 than with 3.0.3, so the complaints come now.

The users are used to the then reasonable behaviour that VLC has had for over 
a decade until version 2.2.x (inclusive). That is to say, extracting 
directories recursively (except for infinite loops) in a single go so that the 
playlist shows and shuffles properly.

But of course, that behaviour is not really compatible with network browsing, 
which was not supported in 2.2... And thus you have to choose between pissing 
users off one way (no expansion) or another way (no/crappy network support).

> I stated that the broken behavior could already be relied upon, but I
> failed to see just how wide-spread this actually was. Below is a link
> to the relevant patch where I mention it.
>  - https://mailman.videolan.org/pipermail/vlc-devel/2018-July/120454.html
> So, now we need to decide how we handle this. From what I can tell
> there are two viable paths to walk, either we;
>   1. leave the behavior as it currently is, and do our best to educate
>   users that they can change the recursive behavior (and get back to
>   the one in `3.0.3`) by using `--recursive=expand`, or;

>   2. change the default value of `--recursive` to `expand` instead of
>      `collapse`.

Of course the default should be expand, like it was in version 2.2.8 and 
earlier. But at the same time, the recursion has to avoid loops and insanely 
deep depths.

> I have no idea how many silent complaints we have, nor is it easy to
> see how many users that actually appreciated the regression-fix. Given
> the activity on *trac*, it seems to imply that most users actually
> want to do full recursion by default (though it is as with most things
> a mere guess).
> What do you think?

With the benefit of hindsight, my regression report should evidently have been 
taken more seriously before the directory rework was merged and 3.0 was 
frozen, so the design could have taken the issue into account.

But even then, I do not know if/how this can be solved without either dropping 
network browsing or making it horrendously slow. It is only worse with the 
extra constraint of 3.0 API/ABI stability.

Реми Дёни-Курмон

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