[mythtv] A need for advanced player settings

E. Westbrook mythtv-dev at westbrook.com
Tue May 31 18:48:56 UTC 2011

This argument seems to recur frequently in this community.  This point in
particular prompts me to offer a solution.

On Tue, May 31, 2011 at 12:10, Stuart Morgan <stuart at tase.co.uk> wrote:

> On the basis of experience I can bet that many of them will still play with
> the values and in the process they will cause playback problems that they
> don't connect to their messing with things they don't understand.

I agree, this is certainly a problem and is best avoided.

But I believe the answer is NOT to use hard-coding and the unnecessary
exercise of a full compile as a mechanism to sort the people who need to
tune it from the newbs.  The time of a compile operation alone can make
repeated experiments very painful to those truly needing to do so.

The better answer, IMHO, is quite simple:  let's just not provide it in the

"Advanced configurables" is the term I generally use for this type of
setting, to refer to tunable settings values that are documented and
honored, but simply omitted from the user interface.

In MythTV's case, settings table values, documented of course, with the
currently hard-coded values as defaults -- but simply not offered in the GUI
-- would be ideal, I should think.

The level of expertise required is high enough to abate destructive newb
curiosity; the level of tedium is conveniently low for those who truly
want/need to easily tune the values; sensible defaults are easily provided;
and project maintenance is no higher than for any other configurable setting
(indeed arguably less since there is no GUI maintenance required).

If we fear that the entrepid newb will STILL adjust it, to her peril, it's
easy enough to document a stern warning alongside with the setting's
authoritative reference entry, where presumably she will have gone to find
the value anyway.

This strategy is my own preference in my own projects, and is very common
and effective elsewhere too.  I hope the MythTV community can consider it
thoughtfully and embrace it.

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