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-   -   Packaging Gnac (An audio converter for GNOME) (http://www.linux-archive.org/fedora-packaging/310917-packaging-gnac-audio-converter-gnome.html)

Manuel Wolfshant 01-18-2010 12:26 PM

Packaging Gnac (An audio converter for GNOME)
 
Taylon Silmer wrote:
> Hello guys,
>
> I'm packaging Gnac, it's my first package and I have the following
> doubt:
>
> Gnac is an audio converter, it can convert a lot of audio files and some
> of these types aren't directly supported by Fedora. On the .desktop
> file, it register some of these non supported types.
>
> Michael Schwendt (he did the package review), find better if an
> application didn't register for MIME types it doesn't support, but some
> other applications like audio players does that.
>
> What I should to do in this case?
>
I'd be quite upset if I would have a file of an unsupported type and
when double clicking I would see an application which instead of playing
the file would cry "unsupported file" (or any similar message)
So I would say that Michael is right, unsupported types should not be
registered.
And after all, what would be the usefulness of lying to the users ?

Manuel
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Michal Ambroz 01-18-2010 05:43 PM

Packaging Gnac (An audio converter for GNOME)
 
Hello guys,
< So I would say that Michael is right, unsupported types should not be
< registered.
< And after all, what would be the usefulness of lying to the users ?

I beg you pardon, but I tend to disagree.
>From user perspective I would be more than happy to see that I have got
the right application to handle given format already.
Only thing I am missing is the right codec.

Gnac is using gstreamer that means that support for some other type of media
could be probably added just by installing plugins to gstreamer.
The fact that it is not supported out of the pure Fedora repository doesn't mean
that the support cannot be added by the user by installing the right plugin
(for example from the rpmfusion repository).

That is probably the reason why other media players do register for all possible
media types even without the right codecs present already in the system.

Best regards
Michal Ambroz

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Michael Schwendt 01-18-2010 06:00 PM

Packaging Gnac (An audio converter for GNOME)
 
On Mon, 18 Jan 2010 19:43:02 +0100 (CET), Michal wrote:

> Hello guys,
> < So I would say that Michael is right, unsupported types should not be
> < registered.
> < And after all, what would be the usefulness of lying to the users ?
>
> I beg you pardon, but I tend to disagree.
> >From user perspective I would be more than happy to see that I have got
> the right application to handle given format already.
> Only thing I am missing is the right codec.

1.) See http://bugzilla.redhat.com/555018#c4 - the app prints a very
ambiguous error message only.

2.) Fedora does not supply "the right codec". The app would still
advertise MP3 support, for example, even on installations where no 3rd
party repository is enabled.
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Manuel Wolfshant 01-18-2010 08:27 PM

Packaging Gnac (An audio converter for GNOME)
 
On 01/18/2010 08:43 PM, Michal Ambroz wrote:
> Hello guys,
> < So I would say that Michael is right, unsupported types should not be
> < registered.
> < And after all, what would be the usefulness of lying to the users ?
>
> I beg you pardon, but I tend to disagree.
> >From user perspective I would be more than happy to see that I have got
> the right application to handle given format already.
> Only thing I am missing is the right codec.
>
Actually as an ordinary user you would see an application that claims to
support a file type, but it does not. Most users have no idea what a
plugin is. And they do not care. They just want the application to
simply work (trust me on this one, I am doing user support since '87 and
I've had my share of WTFs). I might be persuaded to accept an error
message saying "It seems you want to play a file of type XYZ but
unfortunately you miss some bits. For a full blown experience, please
visit http://<useful hint goes here> install the support for XYZ and
retry". But I would remove without hesitation an application which pops
in just to say "Hey, Johny! Remember what you have just tried ? Guess
what ! It does not work ! (No, Johny, I will not tell you why, go figure
that yourself.)".

> Gnac is using gstreamer that means that support for some other type of media
> could be probably added just by installing plugins to gstreamer.
> The fact that it is not supported out of the pure Fedora repository doesn't mean
> that the support cannot be added by the user by installing the right plugin
> (for example from the rpmfusion repository).
>
In which case the app should register those media types in the moment
when the right plugins are installed

> That is probably the reason why other media players do register for all possible
> media types even without the right codecs present already in the system.
Or maybe they are all wrong. The most frequent reason I uninstall an
application is when trying to use it and notice that it does not perform
the tasks that it claims it. (Second reason is when the application
keeps crashing or misbehaving )

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Michael Schwendt 01-19-2010 07:51 AM

Packaging Gnac (An audio converter for GNOME)
 
On Mon, 18 Jan 2010 23:27:12 +0200, Manuel wrote:

> Actually as an ordinary user you would see an application that claims to
> support a file type, but it does not. Most users have no idea what a
> plugin is. And they do not care. They just want the application to
> simply work (trust me on this one, I am doing user support since '87 and
> I've had my share of WTFs).

Though, for those who do research about 3rd party add-on packages, installing
additional GStreamer plugin packages will make this particular app work.
Plus, the app's default .desktop file will not need a modification.
That's the only benefit. The users will not need to install a gnac-freeworld
packages to extend the application. Nobody will need to create and
maintain that extra package.

However, in the same way the 3rd party add-on packages provide additional
codecs to GStreamer, they may also

- supply support for even further file types _not_ covered by
the .desktop file,
- remove support for file types regardless of what the .desktop file says.

It boils down to deciding how Fedora would like it to be handled in
general. There are no guidelines about that yet. Fedora _without_ added
3rd party repositories does not provide MP3 support. Do we want software
to advertise MP3 support nevertheless? If so, what conditions must be
met? Clear error messages about failures to handle files, even if
"secret"/undocumented 3rd party codecs pkgs are missing?
How much weight do we give 3rd party add-on repositories in Fedora's
packages even if we cannot create RPM dependencies for any add-ons?

In another review, an audio utility examines files with "sox". Fedora's
"sox" does not handle .mp3, .mpc, .wma and many other file formats either.
It cannot easily be extended. One way to extend it is to _replace_ it
with an ugly shell-wrapper-script that handles some file types with
external tools, albeit in a very basic way only. Such a replacement
packages is not available yet, afaik. So, if the app pretended that
it would handle MP3, it would be wrong and also confusing. On the contrary,
if it only advertised support for the file types that Fedora's software
collection can handle, I would find that okay.

> I might be persuaded to accept an error
> message saying "It seems you want to play a file of type XYZ but
> unfortunately you miss some bits. For a full blown experience, please
> visit http://<useful hint goes here> install the support for XYZ and
> retry". But I would remove without hesitation an application which pops
> in just to say "Hey, Johny! Remember what you have just tried ? Guess
> what ! It does not work ! (No, Johny, I will not tell you why, go figure
> that yourself.)".

That's close to what Gnac does currently, unfortunately. It doesn't
complain at all about adding a file it doesn't understand. Later, upon
starting the conversion, it only says

Conversion complete with errors

in its status bar. Which isn't true. Actually the conversion had failed
entirely. On the console it's not much more specific:

Gnac failed to convert file file:///home/qa/Desktop/audio/test/1.wma
Error message: An error occured during conversion
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Taylon Silmer 01-20-2010 11:00 AM

Packaging Gnac (An audio converter for GNOME)
 
Once the audio player already does that, we shouldn't to continue
registering these mimetypes until exist some guideline?


Blog - http://www.focolive.org

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Taylon Silmer 01-24-2010 09:32 PM

Packaging Gnac (An audio converter for GNOME)
 
Someone has some other opinion?

I'm a new packager and in this case I don't know what I should to do.
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Rex Dieter 01-24-2010 09:37 PM

Packaging Gnac (An audio converter for GNOME)
 
On 01/24/2010 04:32 PM, Taylon Silmer wrote:
> Someone has some other opinion?
>
> I'm a new packager and in this case I don't know what I should to do.

I think the point here is there is no general consensus, and that it is
(currently) up to each maintainers best judgement.

-- Rex
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