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Subject: Re: Voice patches

Re: Voice patches

From: Nils <>
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2007 00:39:56 +0200

> -OTOH, I know some developers feel the voice feature is bloat. I'm
> thankful to one dev for at least telling it to me straight and discussing
> it. Even for more moderate devs, I understand that keeping Rockbox's
> binary size and resource utilization low is a high priority.

IMHO we have added many features that are far less useful for anybody and
make the binaries grow so I don't think this is a big problem for your
patches from what I've seen, admittedly I haven't looked at all of them.
Binary size increase is a cost that comes with every added feature and we
always have to consider if it's worth the cost.

I have tried a bit to advocate some patches on IRC and ask for advice,
> with no results so far. I've admitedly not spent a lot of time on IRC. But
> I believe my timezone (-0400), and the fact that my spare time is mostly
> at night, is cutting me off from a lot of the devs.

That should matter too much rockbox developers are spread around the globe
so you should be able to find
someone online at all times, but more importantly quite a few devs read the
logs of the irc channel to know what was discussed when they weren't around.

> I have a lot more ideas on making Rockbox's voice interface more usable,
> but at this point I'd like to see some progress on the simple patches and
> get a better feel of what's acceptable.

The best way to do that is to present and discuss your ideas, either on this
list or in the irc channel. To get early feedback on your plans and keep
others informed of what you are working on.

As I see it there are several reasons for the low activity from developers
with regard to your patches (or any other voice related patches) aside from
the usual limited free time problem :)

1) Few of the more active developers use the voice ui. This is probably the
major factor, as you stated it is not very interesting to work on stuff you
don't use yourself.

2) No one really knows the code, none of the active committers have worked
very much with the voice ui code and in the MAINTAINERS document that was
introduced a while ago this becomes apparent, there's no maintainer for
voice. This means that it is a lot more work for someone to review a patch
for this code.

3) The voice ui is buggy, there are a few annoying bugs around that cause
crashes, hangs and other glitches as well as some fundamental issues like
the no-voice-on-pause issue.

4) This is a bit related to 3) the voice ui ties in with the dreaded swcodec
playback code which no one understands fully either and is full of hacks and
buggy too, so any changes in or in relation to this can cause problems that
are hard to predict and debug.

5) Because of the difference in playback code between swcodec and hwcodec
players a lot of testing of changes in this area are needed, as the older
hwcodec players are becoming more uncommon among our users this can be quite

Personally I feel that improvements to this unique feature are very welcome
but I often do not feel qualified to review those patches.

Received on 2007-09-28

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