A few days ago someone said something[1] that reminded me about my audio player, which I had abandoned for more than a year already. The reason was mostly that the two Phonon backends, VLC and gstreamer, for some reason or other couldn't play the files I had without any gaps between songs.

To be honest, the first bug end up being me not properly encoding the filenames. If you first URL-encoded the filename and then built a Q/KURL with that, then it's all fine. It took me more than 12 months and a few rereads of the thread to realize it. Fixes apart, it seems that the bug still exists for other instances of gstreamer errors, so we're not out of the woods. In any case, I switched to the VLC backend and it seems that now is able to fire the aboutToFinnish() signal properly, so for the moment I'm using that.

All that is fine, but that's not what I wanted to talk about in this post. Given that this project largely precedes my interest on testing, it has no testing at all. Most of the project is straightforward enough to almost no need any, but there's a critic part that would not suffer at all if it had any, namely the Collections handling, including passing files from one to another and automatically updating new/removed Songs[2].

So after fixing the bug mentioned above I tried to figure out the current state of affaires regarding Collections, and boy, they're in bad shape. The code was locally modified, never commited, deactivating any notifications of filesystem changes (new or removed files), and other code I can't really understand the purpose of.

Because if this last detail is that I decided to start testing three classes: Collection, which handles a set a Songs with a common root directory; CollectionAggregator, which handles a set of collections and should coordinate moving a Song from one Collection to another; and CollectionIndexer, which scans from a Collection's root dir to find Songs.

All went fine while I tested the first class, Collection. There was a tricky part where I had to setup a QApplication in order to make signals work. The problems began when I started testing CollectionIndexer. Tests started blocking endlessly, signals stopped being either emited or firing the connected slots, life was bad.

I tried to search the available documentation and mailing lists for a hint about the problem, but besides a quite complex example that didn't seem to properly converge to anything useful, I was mostly on my own.

This morning I got my eureka moment: I noticed that if I executed each test class by itself, it worked, but both at the same time blocked and never finished. Then I remembered something said in QApplication's documentation:

For any GUI application using Qt, there is precisely one QApplication object, no matter whether the application has 0, 1, 2 or more windows at any given time.

That was it: I was creating the application, first in the setUp() method, then as a class attribute, but I had one test class per class to test, each in its own file. Somehow this last fact lead me to think that somehow they were executed in separate processes, which is not true. Luckily, even with this limitation, there's none on the amount of times you can exec_() and quit() the same instance, so that's what I did: I created only one instance and reused it everywhere. I was already doing that for each test method, but again, somehow having several files mislead me to think they were isolated from each other.

So now all my unit tests work without mysteriously blocking forever. Now I just hope I can keep riding the success wave and bring satyr into good shape. A new release wouldn't hurt.


[1] No matter how much I try, I can't get any vaguer.

[2] Ok, maybe the Player/Playlist combo wouldn't hurt to have UTs either.


satyr pykde python

Posted Mon 13 Oct 2014 02:22:53 PM CEST Tags: pykde

After several months thinking about it, and just two requests, I finally decided to publish satyr's code. I decided to use github because I already switched to satyr from hg to git, mainly for testing and understanding it. I think I can live with hg, althought branch management in git seems to be given more thought and a good implementation.

So, without further ado: satyr in github

Remember, it's still a test software, by no means polished or ready for human consumption, and with very low development force. Still, I think it has some nice features, like interchangeable skins and a well defined backend, D-Bus support, quick tag edition, reasonable collection managment, and, thanks to Phonon, almost-gapless playback and things like «stop after playing the current this file» (but not «after any given file» yet).

In Debian Sid it mostly works only with the GStreamer backend; I haven't tried the xine one and I know VLC does not emit a signal needed for queueing the next song, so you have to press «next» after each song. AFAIK this is fixed upstream.

satyr pykde python

Posted Sat 03 Sep 2011 02:59:43 PM CEST Tags: pykde

satyr-0.3.2 "I should install my own food" is out. The Changelog is not very impressive:

  • We can save the list of queued Songs on exit and load it at startup.
  • The queue position is not presented when editing the title of a Song that is queued.
  • Setting the track number works now (was a bug).
  • Fixed a bug in setup.py.

but the last one is somewhat important (Thanks Chipaca). Also, 2 months ago, I made the satyr-0.3.1 "freudian slip" release, when user 'dglent' from http://kde-apps.org/ found a packaging bug. It was not only a bugfixing revision, it also included new features:

  • nowPlaying(), exported via dbus.
  • 'now playing' plugin for irssi.
  • Changes in tags is copied to selected cells (in the same column). This allows 'Massive tag writing'.
  • Fixed "NoneType has no attribute 'row'" bug, but this is just a workaround.
  • Forgot to install complex.ui.

Now go get it!


satyr pykde python

Posted Wed 24 Feb 2010 10:16:41 PM CET Tags: pykde

Since a long ago I'm looking for a media player for listening my music. In that aspect I'm really exigent. Is not that I need lots of plugins and eye candy, no, I just need a media player that fits my way to listen music.

How do I listen to music? All day long, for starters. I have a collection of .ogg files, which I normally listen in random mode. From time to time I want to listen certain song, so I either queue it or simply stop the current one and start the one I want. Sometimes I enqueue several songs, which might not be related between them (maybe only in my head they are).

I've been using Amarok, I really like its random albums feature; that is, I listen to a whole album, and when it finishes, another album is picked at random and I listen to all its songs. The last feature, a really important one: My collection is my playlist and viceversa. I don't build playlists; if I want to listen to certain songs I just queue them. One feature I like also is a tag editor and the posibility to rearrange the songs based on its tags (with support for albums with songs from various authors, like OST's). Last but no least, reacting to new files in the collection is also well regarded.

I used to use xmms. I still think it's a very good player for me, but it lacks utf support and doesn't react when I add songs to the collection. Then I used Amarok, Juk, QuodLibet, Audacious (I was using it up to today) and probably a couple more. None of them support all the features, so today, completely tired of this situation, I started writing my own. I called it Satyr. Another reason to do it is to play a little more with PyKDE. Talking about Python and KDE, I know the existence of minirok, but it uses GStreamer, and I wanted to play with Phonon.

So, what's different in this media player? If you think about it, if you have a CD (vinyl, cassettes maybe?) collection in your home, what you have is exactly that: a collection of Albums. Most media players manage Songs, grouping them in Albums and by Author too. Notably Amarok used to manage Albums with several artists (what's called a 'Various artists' Album), but since Amarok 2 it doesn't do it anymore, nor the queuing works. So the basic idea is exactly that: you have a Collection of Albums, most of them with songs from the same Author (and sometimes Featuring some other Authors[1]), but sometimes with Songs from different Authors. Of course I will try to implement all the features I mentioned above.

Ok, enough introduction. This post was aimed to show some code, and that's what I'm going to do now. This afternoon I was testing the Phonon Python bindings, trying to make a script to play a simple file. This snippet works:

# qt/kde related
from <span class="createlink">PyKDE4</span>.kdecore import KCmdLineArgs, KAboutData, i18n, ki18n
from <span class="createlink">PyKDE4</span>.kdeui import KApplication
# from <span class="createlink">PyKDE4</span>.phonon import Phonon
from <span class="createlink">PyQt4</span>.phonon import Phonon
from <span class="createlink">PyQt4</span>.QtCore import SIGNAL

media= Phonon.MediaObject ()
ao= Phonon.AudioOutput (Phonon.MusicCategory, app)
print ao.outputDevice ().name ()
Phonon.createPath (media, ao)
media.setCurrentSource (Phonon.MediaSource ("/home/mdione/test.ogg")
media.play ()

app.connect (media, SIGNAL("finished ()"), app.quit)
app.exec_ ()

Of course, this must be preceded by the bureaucratic creation of a KApplication, but it basically plays an ogg file and quits. You just have to define a MediaObject as the source, an AudioOutput as the sink, and then you createPath between them. As you can see, with Phonon you don't even have to worry about where the output will be going: that is defined by the system/user configuration. You only have to declare that your AudioOutput is going to play Music (the second actual line of code).

There are a couple of peculiarities with the Python bindings. First of all, Phonon comes both with Qt and separately. The separate one has a binding in the PyKDE4 package, but it seems that it doesn't work very well, so I used the PyQt binding. For that, I had to install the python-pyqt4-phonon package. Second, the bindings don't support to call setCurrentSource() with a string; you have to wrap it in a MediaSource. The original API supports it. Third, it seems that Phonon.createPlayer() is not supported by the bindings either, so I had to build the AudioOutput by hand. I don't care, it's just a couple lines more.

This code also shows the name of the selected OutputDevice. I my machine it shows HDA Intel (STAC92xx Analog).

In the following days I'll be posting more info about what comes out of this project. I will only reveal that right now the code has classes called Player, PlayList and Collection. It can scan a Collection from a path given in the command line and play all the files found there. Soon more features will come.

python pykde satyr


[1] I'm not planing to do anything about it... yet.

Posted Wed 27 Jan 2010 11:55:55 PM CET Tags: pykde

Satyr handles paths. There are some problems with paths and (sigh) encondings. Of those, here are two: there's no way to know in which encoding the filenames in a filesystem are enconded (f.i., there's no way to ask the filesystem), and even if that were possible, the filenames might not even be enconded in that enconding. In these (still!) transitioning times, lots and lots and shitloads of filesystems are used in UTF-8 environments, but some filenames are still in old ISO-8859-1 or whatever the system was using before.

Then comes QString. I'm taking a path from the command line; this path is the location of the (right now only) Collection for the player. I'm handling the command line using KCmdLineOptions, which returns QStrings. As we all know, QString, just like the unicode type in Python, handles all the data internally as Unicode, which is The Right Thing™. If you really need the internal data, say as bytes, you can always call the constData() method and be happy with it[1]. This would be the case for paths; you need the bytes.

Then comes PyQt4. For some reason, which maybe I will ask in the pyqt devel ML[2], constData() is not available. What to do? Well, that's what this post is about. What you're about to read is hacky as it can be, but then it works. I might feel dirty, but I can live with it. As long as I mark it as a utter/über hack and promise to revert it once that's possible...

# path is a QString
qba= QByteArray ()
qba.append (path)
path= str (qba)
# now path is a list of bytes/string.

Even if this part of the bug is fixed, then Phonon.MediaSource or Phonon.MediaObject.play() fails when feeded that same path with this message:

ERROR: backend <span class="createlink">MediaObject</span> reached <span class="createlink">ErrorState</span> after  1 . It seems a <span class="createlink">KioMediaStream</span> will not help here, trying anyway.

or simply refusing to continue. Sure, in my case I should simply ignore the filename and inform the user what's going on, but sometimes you can't be so gentle.

satyr pykde python phonon


[1] blah.

[2] but then it doesn't make much sense now since Phil wants to get rid of QString (for several reasons, which might most possibly include this one).

Posted Wed 27 Jan 2010 11:55:55 PM CET Tags: pykde

satyr got the possibility to queue songs for playing very early. At that moment there wasn't any GUI, so the only way to (de)queue songs was via dbus[1]. Once the GUI was there, we had to provide a way to queue songs. As satyr aims to be fully usable only using the keyboard, the obvious way was to setup some shortcut for the action.

Qt and then KDE have a very nice API for defining 'actions' that can be fired by the user. The ways to fire them include a shortcut, a menu entry or a button in a toolbar. I decided to go with the KDE version, KAction.

According to [the documentation](http://api.kde.org/4.x-api/kdelibs-apidocs/kdeui/html/ classKAction.html#_details), to create an action is just a matter of creating the action and to add it to an actionCollection(). The problem is that nowhere it says where this collection comes from. There's the KActionCollection class, but creating one and adding the actions to it seems to be not enough.

If you instead follow the tutorial you'll see that it refers to a KXmlGuiWindow, which I revised when I was desperately looking for the misterious actionCollection(). I don't know why, but the documentation generated by PyKDE does not include that method. All in all, the tutorial code works, so I just ported my MainWindow to KXmlGuiWindow:

class MainWindow (KXmlGuiWindow):
    def __init__ (self, parent=None):
        KXmlGuiWindow.__init__ (self, parent)
        uipath= __file__[:__file__.rfind ('.')]+'.ui'
        UIMainWindow, _= uic.loadUiType (uipath)

        self.ui= UIMainWindow ()
        self.ui.setupUi (self)
        [...]
        self.ac= KActionCollection (self)
        actions.create (self, self.actionCollection ())

and actions.create() is:

def create (parent, ac):
    '''here be common actions for satyr skins'''
    queueAction= KAction (parent)
    queueAction.setShortcut (Qt.CTRL + Qt.Key_Q)
    ac.addAction ("queue", queueAction)
    # FIXME? if we don't do this then the skin will be able to choose whether it
    # wants the action or not. with this it will still be able to do it, but via
    # implementing empty slots
    queueAction.triggered.connect (parent.queue)

Very simple, really. But then the action doesn't work! I tried different approaches, but none worked.

The tutorial I mentioned talks about some capabilities of the KXmlGuiWindow; one of them, the ability to have the inclusion of actions in menues and toolbars dumped and loaded from XML file (hence, the XML part of the class name), and that is handled by the setupGUI() method. From its documentation: «Configures the current windows and its actions in the typical KDE fashion. [...] Typically this function replaces createGUI()». In my case the GUI is already built by that self.ui.setupUi() that you see up there, so I ignored this method. But the thing is that if you don't call this method, the actions will not be properly hooked, so they don't work; hence, my problem. But just calling it make the actions work! I'll check later what's the magic behind this method. For now just adding self.setupGUI() at the end of the __init__() was enough.

So, that's it with actions. As a result I also get several things: a populated menu bar with Settings and Help options (but no File; that'll come later with standard actions, of which I'll talk about later, I think), with free report bug, about satyr and configure shortcuts options, among others. The later does work but its state is not saved. That also will come in the same post that standard actions.

PD: First post from my new internet connection. Will satyr suffer from this? Only time will tell...


satyr pykde python


[1] then you had to pick the index of the songs either by guessing or looking at the dump of the playlist.

Posted Wed 27 Jan 2010 11:55:55 PM CET Tags: pykde

Tal vez ya lo leyeron en otro lado, pero bueno: el otro día fue el día de los tutoriales de Kubuntu. Básicamente fueron tutoriales por IRC. Los logs los pueden encontrar en el wiki de Kubuntu. En particular hay 3 que me parecen bastante piolas:

Como para salir masomenos andando están muy piolas.

bazaar pykde

Posted Wed 27 Jan 2010 11:55:55 PM CET Tags: pykde

A couple of days ago Marcelo Fernández wrote a simple image viewer in PyGTK. It's less than 200 lines long[1], and I thought that it would be nice to compare how the same app would be written in PyKDE4. But then I though that it would not be fair, as KDE is a whole desktop environment and GTK is 'only' a widget library, so I did it in PyQt4 instead.

To make this even more fair, I hadn't had a good look at the code itself, I only run it to see what it looks like: a window with only the shown image in it, both scrollbars, no menu or statusbar, and no external file, so I assume he builds the ui 'by hand'. He mentions these features:

  • Pan the image with the mouse.
  • F1 to F5 handle the zoom from 'fit to window', 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%.
  • Zooming with the mouse wheel doesn't work.

Here's my take:

#! /usr/bin/python
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-

# OurManInToulon - Example image viewer in PyQt4
# Marcos Dione <mdione@grulic.org.ar> - http://grulicueva.homelinux.net/~mdione/glob/

# TODO:
#     * add licence! (GPLv2 or later)

from PyQt4.QtGui import QApplication, QMainWindow, QGraphicsView, QGraphicsScene
from PyQt4.QtGui import QPixmap, QGraphicsPixmapItem, QAction, QKeySequence
import sys

class OMITGraphicsView (QGraphicsView):
    def __init__ (self, pixmap, scene, parent, *args):
        QGraphicsView.__init__ (self, scene)
        self.zoomLevel= 1.0
        self.win= parent
        self.img= pixmap
        self.setupActions ()

    def setupActions (self):
        # a factory to the right!
        zoomfit= QAction (self)
        zoomfit.setShortcuts ([QKeySequence.fromString ('F1')])
        zoomfit.triggered.connect (self.zoomfit)
        self.addAction (zoomfit)

        zoom25= QAction (self)
        zoom25.setShortcuts ([QKeySequence.fromString ('F2')])
        zoom25.triggered.connect (self.zoom25)
        self.addAction (zoom25)

        zoom50= QAction (self)
        zoom50.setShortcuts ([QKeySequence.fromString ('F3')])
        zoom50.triggered.connect (self.zoom50)
        self.addAction (zoom50)

        zoom75= QAction (self)
        zoom75.setShortcuts ([QKeySequence.fromString ('F4')])
        zoom75.triggered.connect (self.zoom75)
        self.addAction (zoom75)

        zoom100= QAction (self)
        zoom100.setShortcuts ([QKeySequence.fromString ('F5')])
        zoom100.triggered.connect (self.zoom100)
        self.addAction (zoom100)

    def zoomfit (self, *ignore):
        winSize= self.size ()
        imgSize= self.img.size ()
        print winSize, imgSize
        hZoom= 1.0*winSize.width  ()/imgSize.width  ()
        vZoom= 1.0*winSize.height ()/imgSize.height ()
        zoomLevel= min (hZoom, vZoom)
        print zoomLevel
        self.zoomTo (zoomLevel)

    def zoom25 (self, *ignore):
        self.zoomTo (0.25)

    def zoom50 (self, *ignore):
        self.zoomTo (0.5)

    def zoom75 (self, *ignore):
        self.zoomTo (0.75)

    def zoom100 (self, *ignore):
        self.zoomTo (1.0)

    def zoomTo (self, zoomLevel):
        scale= zoomLevel/self.zoomLevel
        print "scaling", scale
        self.scale (scale, scale)
        self.zoomLevel= zoomLevel

if __name__=='__main__':
    # this code is enough for loading an image and show it!
    app= QApplication (sys.argv)
    win= QMainWindow ()

    pixmap= QPixmap (sys.argv[1])
    qgpi= QGraphicsPixmapItem (pixmap)
    scene= QGraphicsScene ()
    scene.addItem (qgpi)

    view= OMITGraphicsView (pixmap, scene, win)
    view.setDragMode (QGraphicsView.ScrollHandDrag)
    view.show()

    app.exec_ ()
    # up to here!

# end

Things to note:

  • The code for loading, showing the image and pan support is only 13 lines of Python code, including 3 imports. The resulting app is also able to handle vector graphics, but of course I didn't exploit that, I just added a QPixmap/QGraphicsPixmapItem pair.
  • Zooming is implemented via QGraphicsView.scale(), which is accumulative (scaling twice to 0.5 actually scales to 0.25 of the original size), so I have to keep the zoom level all the time. There should be a zoom() interface!
  • The code for calculating the scale level is not very good: scaling between 75% and 50% or 25% produces scales of 0.666 and 0.333, which I think at the end of the day will accumulate a lot of error.
  • For the same reason, zoomToFit() has to do some magic. I also got hit by the integer division of Python (I was getting zoom factors of 0) so I had to add 1.0* to the claculations. It's good that this is fixed in Python2.6/3.0.
  • The size reported by the QMainWindow was any vegetable (it said 640x480 when it actually was 960x600), so I used the QGraphicsView instead. WTF?
  • For some strange reason zoomToFit() scales the image a little bigger than it should, so a scrollbar appears in the direction of the constraining dimension.
  • Less that 100 lines! Even if setupActions() could surely be improved.
  • In Marcelo's favor I should mention that he writes docstrings for most of his methods both in english and spanish (yes, of course I read his code after I finished mine). I barely put a couple of comments, but doing the same should add 10 more lines, tops. Also, I don't want to convert this into a who-has-it-smaller contest (the code, I mean :).
  • It took me approx 3 hours, with no previous knowledge of how to do it and no internet connection, so no asking around. I just used the «Qt Reference Documentation», going to the «Gropued Classes» page and to the «Graphics View Classes» from there.
  • It doesn't zoom with the mouse wheel either.
  • The default colors of ikiwiki's format plugin are at most sucky, but better than nothing.

omit pykde python


[1] Unluckly he didn't declared which license it has, so I'm not sure if I really can do this. I GPL'ed mine.

Posted Wed 27 Jan 2010 11:55:55 PM CET Tags: pykde

More than two months ago I globed about QStrings and paths. The problem was this: my app accepts paths via command line, which are processed via KCmdLineOptions; which in turn converts everything to QStrings. What I wanted were paths, which are more like QByteArrays, not QStrings (because the latter have internally an unicode representation; more on that later). Including PyQt4 in the equation forced me to resort to QByteArray to get the path as a str instead of using QString.constData() (PyQt4 doesn't export that function). But that's only the beginning of the problem.

Take for instance this situation. I have a music collection that I've been building for years now (more that 10, I think). In the old times of this collection the filenames were encoded in iso-8859-1. Then the future came and converted all my machines to utf-8. But only the software; the filesystems were in one way or another inherited from system to system, from machine to machine. So I ended with a mixture of utf and iso filenames, to the point where I have a file whose filename is in iso, but the directory where it is is in utf. Yes, I know, it is a mess. But if I take any decent media player, I can play the file allright. That's because the filesystem knows nothing of encodings (otherwise it would reject badly encoded filenames).

I just spent last saturday making sure that satyr only stored filepaths in strs, not unicodes or QStrings. It took concentration, but having just a bunch of classes and only 3 or 4 points where the filepaths are managed it wasn't that difficult. Still, it took a day. But then, as I mentioned in that post, Phonon the is not able to play such files... or so I thought.

If you run satyr after executing export PHONON_XINE_DEBUG=1 you'll see a lot of Phonon debug info in the console (not that there is another way to run satyr right now anyways). Among all that info you'll see lines such as these two:

void Phonon::Xine::XineStream::setMrl(const QByteArray&, Phonon::Xine::XineStream::StateForNewMrl) ...
bool Phonon::Xine::XineStream::xineOpen(Phonon::State) xine_open succeeded for m_mrl = ...

If you're sharp enough (I'm not; sandsmark from #phonon had to tell me) you'll note the mention of MRL's. MRL's are xine's URL for media. As any URL, they can (and most of the time must) encode 'strange' characters with the so-called "percent encoding". This means that no matter what encodings the different parts of a filepath is in, I just add file:// at the beginning and then I can safely encode it scaping non-ascii characters to %xx representations... or that's what the theory says. One thing to note is that the file:// part must not be scaped; xine complains that the file does not exist in that case.

Looking for help in Qt's classes one can find QUrl and the already known QByteArray. I can call QByteArray.toPercentEnconding() from my str and feed that to QUrl.fromPercentEncoding() (which strangely returns a QString, which is exactly what we're avoiding) or QUrl.fromEncoded(). But then the first function encodes too much, replacing :// with %3A%2F%2F. No fun.

Ok, let's try creating a QByteArray with only the file:// and then append() the toPercentEncoding() of the path only. It works:

<span class="createlink">PyQt4</span>.QtCore.QByteArray('file://%2Fhome%2Fmdione...%2F%C3%9Altimo%20bondi%20a%20Finisterre%2F07-%20La%20peque%F1a%20novia%20del%20carioca.wav')

But then calling QUrl.fromEncoded() gives:

<span class="createlink">PyQt4</span>.QtCore.QUrl("file://xn--/home/mdione.../ltimo bondi a finisterre/07- la pequea novia del carioca-wkmz60758d.wav")

The URL got somehow puny-encoded, which of course xine doesn't recognize for local files.

Another option is to create an empty QUrl, call setEncodedUrl() with the ParsingMode to QUrl.StrictMode so we avoid 50 lines of code that start here[1] that try to escape everything all over again (and I already had some double-or-even-triple-enconding nightmares parsing RSS/Atom feeds last year, thank you), but we get puny-encoded again (maybe it is 'pwny-encoded'?).

Last resort: backtrack to the point were we created only one QByteArray with the path and call toPercentEncoding(); feed that to the method setEncodedPath() of an empty QUrl. Then we add the last piece calling setScheme('file') and we're ready! Of course we're not:

<span class="createlink">PyQt4</span>.QtCore.QByteArray('file:%2Fhome%2Fmdione...%2F%C3%9Altimo%20bondi%20a%20Finisterre%2F07-%20La%20peque%F1a%20novia%20del%20carioca.wav')

Notice the lack of the two // after file:? xine doesn't like it; hence, I don't either.

Ok, this post got too long. I hope I can resolve this soon, I already spent too much time on it. At least a good part of it was expaining it, so others don't have to suffer the same as I did.

BTW, satyr will shortly be released, whether I fix this bug or not.


satyr pykde phonon


[1] Look at the size of that file! 6k lines to handle URL's! Who would say it was so difficult... Once more I'm remembered of how lucky I am to have this libraries at the tips of my fingers, yay!

Posted Wed 27 Jan 2010 11:55:55 PM CET Tags: pykde

I certainly hope this is the last post in the Phonon-and-badly-encoded/mixed-encodings-filenames saga, but I know is just wishful thinking: as all encoding-related problems they never really dissapear, it's just that you hadn't hit the right wrong stone yet. In any case, I fixed all my later problems wherever they where, and now I can answer this question: how to play files whose filenames are badly encoded and/or have mixed encodings, all this in Phonon?

Right now the answer is: you have to provide a properly encoded QUrl. How, you might ask, can I get one of those? Are they selled in the same odly-looking places where you can buy cigarretes, or even marihuana[1]? The answer, luckly, is way more simple.

Putting together all the code I've been showing about Python, PyQt4/PyKDE4 and Phonon recently, it comes down to this[5]:

# path is a str()
qba= QByteArray (path)
# the exceptions are not needed,
# but is cleaner if you print the outcome of this
qu= QUrl.fromEncoded (qba.toPercentEncoding ("/ "))
# this is needed by the gstreamer backend[3],
# and the xine backend doesn't complain
qu.setScheme ('file')

... and that's it. You can now create a MediaSource with this qu.

There are a couple of ideas that I want to express as conclusion to all this:

  • In an ideal world these things should not happen. But this is one of the lesser problems with this non-ideal world, so bear with it.
  • Paths should not be stored in QStrings, even if they can (and they do) store this kind of pathnames, because if you try to 'encode' its contents (in the Unicode sense; that is, convert it to an encoding like UTF-8[4]) you get farts or barks at best. Yes, you always have constData() but from QString's class reference there is no warranty that this will keep being the case[6].
  • In fact, QString's class reference says at some point: «[one case] where QByteArray is appropriate are when you need to store raw binary data...», and [as I already wrote](http://grulicueva.homelinux.net/~mdione/glob/posts/from-qstring-to-bytes- in-pyqt/), «[t]his would be the case for paths; you need the bytes».
  • QFile and QDir can only be created from QStrings. I'm not sure if, given all I wrote, that's right.

The good news is that satyr now can play any file that the backends can whatever their filename-as-string-of-bytes is, I'm a little bit happier about it, I got another contribution to KDE and might even have to close a lot of bugs!


satyr pykde python phonon


[1] That question is only legal in Nederlands[2] and very few others cities in the planet.

[2] Actually is not legal. See [this wikipedia article](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_policy_of_the_Netherlands#Non- enforcement).

[3] I might pull up my sleeves again and fix that.

[4] You might have already know this, but if you not: you cannot print Unicode, because Unicode is not and encoding. You have to encode it first. Hence, the toLatin1(), toUtf8() and similar QString methods, and also the inverse from*().

[5] Of course the equivalent C++ code also works, with path being a char *.

[6] And in the case of PyQt4, that method is not even available. But [I already globed about it](http://grulicueva.homelinux.net/~mdione/glob/posts/from-qstring-to-bytes-in- pyqt/).

Posted Wed 27 Jan 2010 11:55:55 PM CET Tags: pykde