What is wrong with exo?

Sean Davis smd.seandavis at gmail.com
Wed Aug 26 10:08:37 CEST 2015

Hey Felipe,

On Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 3:38 AM, Felipe Contreras 
<felipe.contreras at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> I've rarely encountered bugs in Xfce, specially drastic ones, but when
> I do, they are always in exo. I sent patches to fix them and they take
> forever to get applied. It seems nobody is maintaining it.
> It has happened twice that support for BitTorrent magnet links breaks,
> twice have I fixed it, and twice have my patches been ignored for the
> longest time. Is there no testing framework, does nobody check basic
> use cases?

A lot of bugs compound on each other.  Fix one issue, introduce 
another, etc.  There were several issues in exo with opening specific 
links -- those were fixed, leading to others.  There is not much of a 
testing framework.  We have a build bot that makes sure it continues to 
build.  As a basic use case, magnet links may be considered basic, or 
maybe not. I've actually never used one.  There's no doubt that lots of 
people do and are adversely affected by this bug, but certainly not all 

> I think it speaks really badly to the maturity of the project the fact
> like basic functionality, like opening URLs, doesn't work correctly
> most of the time.

This is probably true.  We need additional contributions, or possibly 
even to rework exo's link handling to:
1. Work with all URIs.
2. Work with all programs which seem to handle URIs differently.
 - Calibre for example provides workarounds, which have to be worked 
 - Every file manager handles URIs differently and in unexpected ways.
3. Handle all sorts of special characters which can be in URLs or 

> Lack of resources is not an excuse, because as I've said; I've
> provided the fixes.

We appreciate the patches.  I think there have been a total of 3 people 
maintaining this application in the past 4 years.  Things get lost in 
bug mail for me, and I don't get a chance to review patches or bug 
reports frequently.  I can't speak for others, but it's likely similar 
(lack of resources).

> And it's also not a matter of review expertise, because any programmer
> with a pair of eyes would see that my patch is correct and simple[1],
> while the commit that caused the problem is not[2].

Certainly not a lack of expertise, just resources.

> Can you just fix this stupid bug?
> https://bugzilla.xfce.org/show_bug.cgi?id=11942

Checking it out.

> Cheers.
> [1] http://bug-attachment.xfce.org/attachment.cgi?id=6394
> [2] 
> http://git.xfce.org/xfce/exo/commit/?id=a2ac10b6b5c3378a46812a64f1afbbb22c38a8f9
> --
> Felipe Contreras
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> Xfce4-dev at xfce.org
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