[mythtv] Strange scheduler bug

J. Donavan Stanley jdonavan at jdonavan.net
Wed Mar 10 06:43:03 EST 2004

Bruce Markey wrote:

> J. Donavan Stanley wrote:
>> It obviously caught their interest.  This isn't Tivo with "suggestions".
> Huh? That didn't parse. The best I can make of it is that you
> interpreted "interest" as in interested to add a record rule.
> What I meant was that there is a record rule but the user
> wasn't "interested" in the episode to the point of accessing
> it in whatever way triggers a watched flag by the time it
> expires.

If you're really not interested in EVER watching a recording, do you 
often leave it laying around?  If you do then the watched logic for 
expiration wouldn't be for you and you could choose not to use it.  On 
the same note, you probably don't want it re-recorded either so that 
logic would need to be disabled as well.  HOWEVER if you  normally 
delete things your not interested in ever watching.  The watched flag 
could serve as a layer of protection.

>> 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.
> That misses the point entirely. The assumption is that the
> system can determine for the user that they must no longer want
> to have this show that they didn't delete. This assumption is
> incorrect. The rule to set this unneeded and confusing flag is
> moot.

I fail to see how it's confusing.  If the user sets a slider that says 
"After I've seen at least 90% of a show mark it as watched" then THEY 
are the ones deciding when a show has been watched or not.  If they also 
set a flag that says "Try to delete watched recordings before unwatched 
recordings" they are the one making the assumption of what they want to 
do with the show they didn't delete.  If the system was simply making a 
decision based on an arbitrary hidden number someplace that would be bad 
thing but that's never been the suggestion.

The idea of using the watched flag in the auto delete is that *fewer* 
shows get deleted not more.  If you've watched a show or not and you 
don't want it auto expired then you should set it to not be 
auto-expired.  The system will eventually get around to deleting it 
regardless.  So if your real intent is to keep it then you should 
protect it.  By choosing watched over non-watched for purposes of 
auto-deletion the assumption made is that if the user recorded it he 
wanted it recorded, and if they haven't watched it yet it means they 
haven't gotten around to it.  If that's an incorrect assumption, then 
they can choose not to use the watched flag for auto-expire...

>> And if a user recorded a show there's probably a reason as well.
> Exactly, so why should the system impose any different behavior
> hinging on an algorithm for how much the file has been accessed?
> That would not be any sort of clear indication of the user's
> intent and should have no bearing on the auto-expire decision.

Again, this is about deleting fewer recordings not more.  The system 
wouldn't *impose* anything, the user would *choose* to use it or not.

>> 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".
> Oh, the irony. That's exactly my point. All that is needed is
> a flag for whether to include or exclude things in oldrecorded
> when they auto-expire so the user could decide for themselves
> what makes sense. I was posting in favor of the user having the
> choice rather than having a behavior imposed on them.

And I was proposing a suggestion that could make that more usefully and 
put more control over the behavior.  With your suggestion, we'd have a 
binary setting to either rerecord things that have been auto deleted or 
not to.  So if a user turns on this re-record flag, they're then forced 
to delete recordings of shows they've already watched because the system 
re-recorded them plus have to deal with scheduling issues.  To me it 
makes far more sense to only re-record things that haven't been 
watched.  If I've watched it and I want to keep it then I'll mark it not 
to be deleted.

> You saw fit to reply to my posts saying "We'd need a "watched"
> flag for that to work well..." Well, no. There is no need for a
> "watched" flag in order to have an option for the user to decide
> if they want auto-expire to include things in oldrecorded. Therefore, 
> your response to my post was, in fact, incorrect.

As I said above, the binary flag would result in a lot of unwanted 
re-recordings of shows...

>> 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.
> Well, it is related in that there is a mechanism where the
> user can clearly indicate her intentions. What concerns me is
> the belief that if the user doesn't clearly indicate their
> intentions then the system should use a formula to decide
> what those intentions must be.

And everything I've suggested also allows the user to clearly state 
their intentions.

>> 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.
> But I don't think you can make the determination of watched or
> unwatched or what watched but undeleted means to each user. If
> you could, it is unclear which should be kept longer.

Again it's up to the user to tell us that...

>> Of course the question then becomes why did you record it in the 
>> first place?
> Because it was an episode in a science series that usually covers
> more interesting subjects than botany in Borneo.

So then delete it, or allow it to eventually get eaten when it's older 
than the watched shows + their bonus...

>> Then again, I don't see a need for re-recording expired shows on a 
>> regular basis either.
> Right, and I can see valid reasons either way which is why I
> suggested that this should be an option.
And yet adding a flag to add *more* control is bloat?

>>> 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.
> Bloat. More complexity for no tangible benefit but more user
> confusion. You haven't presented any compelling reason that
> this is necessary and haven't acknowledged that your assumptions
> may be backwards.

The exact same case can be made for the original idea.  I'm not making 
any assumptions here.  I'm adding more control for the user.

>> And yet one simple flag
> The flag is simple, the logic is broken ;-).

*sigh* I'm sorry but a flag with options to turn it on and off isn't 

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