[mythtv] Strange scheduler bug

J. Donavan Stanley jdonavan at jdonavan.net
Tue Mar 9 18:49:29 EST 2004

Bruce Markey wrote:

> It is not required. I'd suggest an option flag that the user can
> choose if they want to 'forget' things that are auto-expired or
> not. Some people may believe that if something didn't capture their
> interest the first time then there is no reason to keep recording
> it. Others may think that if if they didn't see it it will still
> be new to them the next time.

It obviously caught their interest.  This isn't Tivo with "suggestions".

> What you are suggesting is that the system could do a better job
> if it determined that the user has watched something. I believe
> this is problematic in several ways and is not really useful.
> In general, the system can determine if a user watched part of
> a show but if it hasn't been deleted, it can not determine if
> the user still wants to watch more of that show.

A simple slider "Mark a show as watched if I've seen X% of it" gives the 
user full control.  A "Mark this show as unwatched" solves the problem 
of being past the threshold of "watched" but not finished with it yet.

> Someone could also skip to the end to see that it recorded all
> the way through or may jump through to see if there are segments
> or guests worth watching before deciding to delete it or keep it
> to watch later.

See above.

> Checking if there is a bookmark or storing the highest keyframe
> accesses or timing when playback was entered and exited or counting
> how many keyframes where accessed or checking to see if the last
> minute has been accessed or any other method doesn't tell the system
> how the user feels about the show. If a user watched then deleted
> a show, there is no ambiguity. If the user accessed a show but
> didn't delete it, there is probably a reason. 

And if a user recorded a show there's probably a reason as well.

> Watching something then not deleting it yet hoping that it will get 
> deleted just
> doesn't seem to me to be typical behavior. 

I've not deleted the majority of things I've recorded.  I record movies 
that I want to keep around to watch again, I record series of shows that 
I want to keep around etc etc.  It may not be typical for behavior for 
*you* but you can't fall into the trap of "I think like this therefore 
so does everyone else".

> If I've watched more than five minutes of something but haven't 
> deleted it then I
> either haven't finished watching it yet or I have finished and
> may want to watch parts of it again. Of course, you can/should
> uncheck auto-expire for things to keep so I think the unfinished
> show is the more relevant case.

Agreed there, if you REALLY don't want it auto deleted uncheck the box.  
But then that's not what this discussion is all about.

> Now, you are suggesting 'forget' for something that was not
> watched so that it will re-record but don't re-record things
> that were marked as being watched. However, if I hadn't finished
> a show and therefore hadn't deleted it, that would be marked as
> "watched". If auto-expire deleted it, I'd want to be darn sure
> that it DID re-record so I could watch the rest of it. And that
> Discovery show on Borneo that sat there for 3 months, I'm never
> going to watch it even if it does comes on again.

Then either 1) Allow it to record any show. 2) Set your recorded 
threshold high enough that that doesn't happen 3) mark the show as 
unwatched or 4) uncheck the auto delete box for it.  The general idea of 
the recorded flag was to make the OPs idea a little better (i.e. don't 
rerecord stuff I've already seen but feel free to record things that get 
auto deleted before I get around to them).  After that the thought 
occurred to me that we might be able to leverage it to allow us to keep 
unwatched recordings around as long as possible.

> Of course, I'd actually delete the show about Borneo but the point
> is that there is no clear cut way for the system to determine if
> it believes the user has finished watching something and there is
> no clear cut correct behavior even if it could.

Of course the question then becomes why did you record it in the first 

While it's true there's always the possibility that something could be 
marked as watched when the user isn't finished with it.  It's simply NOT 
as problematic as you're making it out to be. Then again, I don't see a 
need for re-recording expired shows on a regular basis either.

> If that sounds like a good idea,
> No, not really ;-)

You've not presented any compelling reason for why it's not, other than 
the fact that you personally don't like it.

>> recording history for auto-expired programs if they haven't been
>> watched" setting and then make the auto-expire code check that setting
>> whenever it expires something.  Making a note on my TODO list about it
>> anyway just in case. :)
>  I could add an option to "remove
> Either add a flag for "Allow re-recording shows that have been
> auto-expired" or the inverse of forgetting by default and a flag
> for "Do not re-record shows that have been auto-expired". Each
> user can then decide for themselves based on their habits without
> imposing the system's assumptions about how the user behaves.

And yet one simple flag adds both finer control to this feature.  Gives 
you finer control over auto expire, and could allow for things like 
highlighting unwatched recordings.

Highlighting uunwatched recordings is where I first thought of adding a 
watched flag.  It not been a  a big enough issue for me to bother 
writing the code / and submitting a patch for it.  But if the allow 
re-recording stuff is going to be written then I probably will set down 
and write it.  Folks can either use it or not after that.

More information about the mythtv-dev mailing list