Tracker: branches branches branches

Recently, there has been so much work going into Tracker master. For a while now we have been averaging between 1 and 2 branches a week being merged into master. So I thought I would highlight some of the sweet work going into Tracker at the moment:

Dropping libinotify
For some years, we have been using an imported version of libinotify in our source tree to do the things not available in GIO’s monitoring API. One of the main reasons we didn’t move to GIO’s API was that the model we were using didn’t fit the model GIO used. In Tracker, if you monitored a directory and it moved to another location, we moved the monitor to that location. With GIO, if you monitor a directory it doesn’t move, which makes sense. Thanks to Aleksander Morgado, we have now merged his drop-inotify branch into master. It is so nice to be able to remove that imported library now.

D-Bus with file descriptors
We are always trying to reduce the memory footprint of Tracker. Recently Adrien Bustany finished implementing support for DBUS_TYPE_UNIX_FD in Tracker. The nice thing about this, is that we now don’t copy masses of memory from one place to another just for pushing the data between two processes. Adrien and Philip have previously blogged about this, but more recently, Adrien finished support for this by also implementing this for the tracker-miner-fs and tracker-extract communication. Effectively the same data is transported between those as tracker-miner-fs and tracker-store, with the difference that tracker-store also receives file specific information appended to the SPARQL message (like size, modified dates, etc).

To use this you need D-Bus 1.3.1, it is nice to see these sort of performance improvements in Tracker. Great work Adrien thanks!

Direct access
Bastien reported a bug not so long ago about adding support for direct access to the databases via a library API. This week, we started a branch to get this work under way. While we do this, we are considering re-writing the libtracker-client API using Vala and improving the old API substantially.

Git branch management
Due to the high number of branches we create, I decided to do some sort of clean up. I created a script to list all the branches and relevant information about them to be able to email the mailing list and check if everyone was happy with removing old branches. I thought this might be useful to other projects. Here is the script I used:


if ! git rev-parse --git-dir > /dev/null; then
        echo "This is not a git directory"
        exit 1

if test $# -lt 1; then

git ls-remote $remote | while read LINE; do
        commit=`echo $LINE | sed 's/ .*//'`
        name=`echo $LINE | sed 's/.* //'`

        if [ -z $name ]; then

        case $name in
                shortname=`echo $name | sed 's@.*/@@'`
                if ! git log --max-count=1 --pretty=format:"Branch '$shortname' -- last commit was %ar by %an (%h)" $commit 2>/dev/null; then
                        echo "Your checkout doesn't contain commit `echo $commit | sed 's/^\(.......\).*/\1/'` for branch $shortname"
                        exit 1

This produces output like:

Branch 'album-art-to-libtracker-extract' -- last commit was 3 months ago by Martyn Russell (d1f1384)
Branch 'albumart-quill' -- last commit was 8 months ago by Philip Van Hoof (a397a0f)
Branch 'anonymous-file-nodes' -- last commit was 5 months ago by Carlos Garnacho (60658be)
Branch 'async-queries' -- last commit was 2 months ago by Carlos Garnacho (88358dd)
Branch 'async-queries-due' -- last commit was 10 weeks ago by Jürg Billeter (52634ce)

Thanks to Sven Herzberg for some of the improvements to the original script. Most importantly, the use of git ls-remote. This makes sure that local branches are not used which may have been removed in the origin repository.

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  1. Herzi says:

    BTW, the script is available online and editable at: