Writing code that does nothing

My Transmageddon hacking has slowed down a little over the last few Months. But I am still working on it, fixing bugs and adding little features. However a lot of the stuff I have been doing recently is adding code to work around or detect errors. Error handling is nice in the sense its code that help my application work on computers other than my own, but it is also something which I guess people find rather uninteresting. Its like you compare the last 3 versions and from a feature standpoint they are almost identical, even though I added quite a bit of code to handle all the kind of problems people reported to me.

For instance I spent quite a few hours yesterday adding code to make sure I could handle the situation of missing audio and video parsers. Currently if you choose passthrough mode and missed the needed parser plugin the application would just hang, with a lot of ugly spew on the command line. Well thanks to changing 70 lines of code and spending hours coming up with those lines the application now handles it gracefully. Of course for someone not running into this problem the application does nothing it didn’t before.

So part of my feel that these sort of fixes are quite boring and uninteresting, but on the other hand I guess they are exactly the stuff that is the difference between an application that obviously was never meant to work on any system apart from that of the application writer and an application that most people can actually use. And when people tell me they successfully used Transmageddon it do make me more happy than when I am told they tried it and it failed horribly. I mean the point of releasing Transmageddon to the public was not to make them familiar with python error messages :)

I have a small question to the more python savvy people out there though. I have been trying to set a environment variable for Transmageddon in python, but so far it doesn’t seem to work. If I in the shell do:
export GST_DEBUG_DUMP_DOT_DIR= "/tmp"
that works fine. But if I in my python code do
os.environ["GST_DEBUG_DUMP_DOT_DIR"] = "/tmp"
os.putenv('GST_DEBUG_DUMP_DIR_DIR', '/tmp')

neither of them seem to have any effect. Anyone got a clue to what I am doing wrong?
Edit: Turns out I was setting the environment variables to late in my file, I needed to do it before import gst was called :) Thanks Edward.