Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Cracken Beagle

I am sick of Jamie justifying his attacks and negativity toward Beagle with the juvenile "they started it."
"Beagle devs still have big problems with stablity and memory usage and they admit themselves its no where near ready....Tracker also has much more support from Gnome devs with a greater willingness to integrate so its inevitable that tracker will become mandatory anyhow in Gnome sooner or later." -- Jamie McCracken, Nov 2006
I am a GNOME developer who disagrees. As I mentioned during Jamie's talk at GUADEC, I do not see how using Tracker as a replacement store for applications like Banshee is plausible. Tracker stores its data in a set of tables with three columns, URI, key, value. So for Banshee, you would have one row for each attribute (key) of metadata for each audio file. Such a store is going to be much larger on disk (since it has to store the URI and key for each attribute) and take impossibly longer to run useful queries. Jamie estimated it would take roughly 5 seconds to return the information for 10,000 songs - something that takes an optimized, specialized database a fraction of the time. I'm sure there are cases where a centralized triple-store could be useful (tagging), but Jamie's promise of "a synergy of technologies that are designed to provide a highly sophisticated, innovative and integrated desktop", this all-singing, all-dancing bear, is unrealistic and distracting. Lastly, when F-Spot was proposed for inclusion in the default Ubuntu install, there was much discussion. I have found little discussion regarding the recent decision to include and turn on Tracker in the default Ubuntu install, and this concerns me.