David Faure faure at
Thu Jun 14 05:08:31 PDT 2012

On Monday 28 May 2012 02:23:49 DAV wrote:
> Hi, all!
> I finally did it :) I have update libxdg documentation:
>  - here is the small Wiki with basic info about the library:
>  - here is updated online Doxygen documentation:
>  - and code itself:
> Could you possibly take a look at the documentation please, especially if
> you are Stake Holder, like e.g. David :)

This part is quite confusing:

"What are the Global AVL trees mentioned above?  [...]

@note Actually, this problem is solved a bit different way. There is no Global 
AVL trees [...]"

Please describe the actual state of things, not what could have been done and 
was not done ;)

Because of this confusing documentation, I'm still not sure how one is 
supposed to see a "global tree" when using the caches directly (rather than 
when using the library API). What does "fixing the references" mean?

This is about the case where a local mimeapps.list refers to a globally-
installed .desktop file, right ?

> > > * List of XdgFileWatcher structures
> It's just like you said - there is no any file watching facility. This
> structures is used just
> for checking validity of cache files.

OK, I see. I got confused by the naming because of the resemblance with 
QFileSystemWatcher (FAM/inotify stuff).

> > "text" is not the name of a mime type. "text/html" is. Is there any 
> > reason for
> > splitting text/html into two leaves in the tree? Is this for supporting
> > mimetypes like text/* or image/*? Hmm, why not. But otherwise it's a bit
> > pointless and confusing.
> Hmm... It could be so, but the reason of this is performance. When we have
> only tens of mime types it won't be a problem, but when we are speaking
> about
> thousands or even tens of thousands for each mime group/sub type
>  (i.e. application/ text/ etc) it will be a serious problem.

There will never be so many mimetypes. On a modern linux system there are 
about 400 mimetypes in application, and 660 overall.
In any case, cutting the mimetypes in two, and performing two AVL-tree 
lookups, doesn't sound faster than performing one AVL-tree lookup with the 
full mimetype name... But anyway. I don't have time to experiment with that, 
and neither do you apparently, so let's leave it as such.
But let's not use "thousands or tens of thousands" as an argument, it's not a 
valid argument :)
> > > Each value of this tree is an AVL tree of sub types (e.g. html), which
> > > contains a list of pointers to XdgApp structures.
> > 
> > What does this structure contain? The full contents of the desktop file,
> > again?
> > Or do I misunderstand that?
> > Surely there's no need to duplicate the contents again, for each mimetype
> > associated with the application. Wouldn't it be enough to write in this
> > tree,
> > the name of the desktop file, in order to then look it up in the other
> > tree if one wants to get more details about it?
> > Or is this space-optimized anyway, by pointing to the same data in the
> > on-disk cache?

These questions remain.
> Well as I mentioned before old documentation was a bit outdated and, lets
> say, didn't describe whole things clearly enough... I hope new one will.

Well you changed "structures" into "items", but that doesn't really answer my 
questions :-)

Does the second tree point into the first one, or does it have its own items?

> > With a tree for the associations coming from desktop files, and another
> > tree
> > for the contents of defaults.list/mimeapps.list, one has to look up into
> > multiple trees to be able to answer that question. Wouldn't it be faster,
> > and
> > simpler (higher level) to have a single tree, combining these two?
> > I.e. a simple tree with
> > 
> >  key = mimetype -> value = list of desktop files
> > 
> > ("merging" .list files into the desktop files) would give an immediate
> > result,
> > compared to three lookups (initial list, then added associations, then
> > removed
> > associations), all this multiplied by the number of paths in XDG_DATA_DIRS
> > plus one local dir, of course.
> Everything just the way you describe it - the library returns merged
> results from
> all XDG_DATA_DIRS directories and local directory too. 
> When one asks the library
> about, e.g. default associations the library returns a list of apps from
> all ".list" files
> (system-wide) there is no initial list and there is no need (and actually
> possibility too)
> to scan XDG_DATA_DIRS. All this implementation details (like XDG_DATA_DIRS
> and
> local dir) encapsulated in the library.

Yes I know that the library does all this. My question is: could we make this 
more optimized and reuseable, by having this logic at the time of building up 
the binary cache, rather than at the time of reading into the cache?
Otherwise we're really not gaining much by having this cache, if it only has 
raw unprocessed copy of the file contents.

The binary cache only makes sense if it contains data in 'ready to use' form 
(as much as possible).

> > Do you think this could be done? Or am I overlooking some difficulty here?
> It could easily be done by adding one more function which will group the
> results from
> different groups ("Default Associations", "Added associations", etc).
> By the way, this functionality is implemented in example in online
> documentation.

I'm not asking for more functions, but for a different layout in the on-disk 
cache :-)

But yes, this goes together. The most common use case for this library should 
require a single function (plus iteration loop) rather than three (plus 
iteration loop), and the on-disk cache should be optimized for this use case.

If the user-preferences-handling code needs to explicitely access "added" and 
"removed" lists, it can just use the mimeapps.list files, as it does already. 
So if you want to keep this API in the library, it could just read these files 
directly. Or don't provide it.
But the goal of the on-disk cache is really to pre-process the data in order 
to make the "which app(s) handle this mimetype" lookup as fast as possible,
and as simple as possible for developers.

David Faure, faure at,
Sponsored by Nokia to work on KDE, incl. KDE Frameworks 5

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