[gst-devel] Proposal for XML Description File for Plugins

Jeff Mitchell jeff.mailinglists at gmail.com
Wed Feb 9 21:27:19 CET 2005

> Good grief, you are _so_ not getting it.

Don't mistake my disagreement with you for ignorance.  Despite your
previous assertion, I have yet to see a shred of evidence that
supports the fact that your way is the only way it can be done -- nor
any evidence that your way is even a good way.

> This is what you need to do:
>  1) Create a program that pulls out information that would be relevant
>     to documentation from all plugins installed on your system.
>     Select only the plugins that are from the product 'gst-plugins'.
>     Write out the information for each plugin into an XML file using
>     the DTD of your choosing.

Any particular system may not have all plugins installed, which would
lead to incomplete tables if the script used to build the web site is
run on such a system.

>  2) Put that XML file into gst-plugins CVS and make it build into a
>     nice document.

Cue big monolithic XML document number 1.

>  3) Add any information you wish to this document, possibly modifying
>     the DTD because you want to add additional fields.

Arbitrarily modify big monolithic XML document number 1.  Already this
is becoming clunky...

>  4) Change the program in 1) so that will do everything in 1) above,
>     *but* *also* read in an XML file, modify information for plugins
>     that have changed and/or add information for plugins that are new,
>     and write out the new XML file.

So now you propose to gather information from both the (possibly
incomplete) binaries and some XML file, somehow keeping track of what
has changed or is new, and merging the data.  Cue big monolithic XML
document number 2.  Even more clunky.

>  5) Write a script that complains about missing or bogus information
>     in the updated XML file, so that we can include it in the build
>     process and complain loudly on the buildbots if anything is wrong.

So now, after merging as-yet-undefined data pulled from random
sources, identify what's missing.  This could be done much earlier
with a DTD/schema.

>  6) Put it into the web build system so that we have a nice status
>     page on the web.

As described, this is messy.  It's an ugly hack.  There's no reason
this can't be done elegantly and extensibly, and with far less work
and with better output.

>  - Any plan that requires modifying the source code of plugins is
>    probably wrong.

I'm trying to get *away* from modifying the source code of plugins --
which is the system you have *now*.

>  - API changes _will_ _not_ _occur_ in the 0.8 series, so there's no
>    point in discussing it.

Excellent, I'm fully in favor.  So we better make sure we have a way
for any extra information we may want to be gained from the plugins
without changing the API as it currently is.  Wait, I have an
idea...wouldn't this be a *perfect* use for an alternate data

>  - If we have a plugin documentation system working before the 0.9
>    API freeze, we'll probably just drop any redundant information
>    in the plugins, especially if it needs to be translated.

I've been told that a lot of Gstreamer developers very strongly
dislike redundant information...

I should note that throughout this whole reply of yours, you did not
contribute any information relating to what is most important right
now and what I specifically asked for input on several times in my
previous posting -- namely, what information we wish to have in the
status tables.

Good grief indeed...


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