Hacking on Pitivi

To develop Pitivi on Linux you need to set up a development environment, as described below. For other platforms, get in touch with us.

By setting up a development environment, you create a flatpak sandbox containing all the Pitivi dependencies. The sandbox is then used to run Pitivi and the unittests, without messing your system.

Start by installing both flatpak and flatpak-builder on your system.

Create a development environment folder and get the Pitivi source code into it:

$ mkdir pitivi-dev
$ cd pitivi-dev
$ git clone https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/pitivi.git

Whenever you want to hack on Pitivi, start a new terminal and enter the development environment:

$ cd pitivi-dev/pitivi && source bin/pitivi-env
-> Setting up the prefix for the sandbox...
Using Pitivi prefix in /.../pitivi-dev/pitivi-prefix
[prefix being built, if not already...]
Running in sandbox: echo Prefix ready
Prefix ready

When creating the sandbox from scratch it can take up to a few hours, depending on your internet connection speed and the CPU. Note the prompt changes:

(ptv-flatpak) $

By entering the development environment, you get:

  • a Flatpak sandbox with dependencies and some development tools, in pitivi-dev/pitivi-prefix
  • the Meson build directory, in pitivi-dev/pitivi/mesonbuild
  • some aliases for the build tools, such as ninja, so they are executed in the sandbox.

Now that you are in the development environment, try running the unittests:

(ptv-flatpak) $ ptvtests
Running in sandbox: gst-validate-launcher .../pitivi/tests/ptv_testsuite.py

Hack away, and check the effect of your changes by simply running:

(ptv-flatpak) $ pitivi

Updating the development environment

To update the dependencies installed in the sandbox, run:

(ptv-flatpak) $ ptvenv --update

That will actually recreate the sandbox prefix, updating all dependencies from their git repos and tarballs as defined in the flatpak manifest.

How we use the sandbox

The sandbox we set up has access to the host file system. This allows running the Python modules in pitivi-dev/pitivi/pitivi/... on top of the GNOME + Pitivi dependencies system installed in the sandbox. Without this trick, you'd have to build and install every time when you change a .py file, to be able to test how it works, which would be annoying because it takes a non-negligible amount of time.

We don't actually run Pitivi 100% uninstalled. Besides the .py files there are other parts which need to be built when changed or even installed before using them:

  • Select parts of Pitivi are written in C, such as the audio envelope renderer for the audio clips. Build them with ninja -C mesonbuild/ or with our very own alias build, which is the same thing. No need to install them.

  • Similarly, bin/pitivi.py.in and pitivi/configure.py.in also need to be built with build, to regenerate the corresponding .py files.

  • The translations need to be built and installed, which can be done with binstall. See "Switching locales" below.

Hacking on Pitivi dependencies (Meson)

If you have to work on say, GStreamer Editing Services which is built using the Meson build system, first clone it into your pitivi-dev folder:

(ptv-flatpak) $ cd pitivi-dev
(ptv-flatpak) $ git clone git@gitlab.freedesktop.org:gstreamer/gst-editing-services.git

Prepare its build directory using the setup alias which runs meson. This has to be done only once:

(ptv-flatpak) $ cd pitivi-dev/gst-editing-services
(ptv-flatpak) $ setup
Using Pitivi prefix in /.../pitivi-dev/pitivi-prefix
Running in sandbox: meson mesonbuild/ --prefix=/app --libdir=lib

Build and install it in the sandbox:

(ptv-flatpak) $ cd pitivi-dev/gst-editing-services
(ptv-flatpak) $ ninja -C mesonbuild/ install
Using Pitivi prefix in /.../pitivi-dev/pitivi-prefix
Running in sandbox: ninja -C mesonbuild/ install

In the (ptv-flatpak) development environment meson and ninja are aliases which run meson and ninja in the flatpak sandbox.

NOTE: When updating the environment with ptvenv --update, it will use your local dependencies repositories it finds in the pitivi-dev folder, instead of the default remote repositories. This means you have to update them yourself. Also beware that it only takes into account committed changes.

Hacking on Pitivi dependencies (Autotools, Make, etc)

If the project you are working on is built with other tools, make sure they are run in the sandbox by using ptvenv. For example:

(ptv-flatpak) $ cd pitivi-dev/frei0r-plugins-1.4
(ptv-flatpak) $ ptvenv ./autogen.sh
Running in sandbox: ./autogen.sh
(ptv-flatpak) $ ptvenv ./configure
Running in sandbox: ./configure
(ptv-flatpak) $ ptvenv make
Running in sandbox: make

Profiling Pitivi

To profile a Pitivi run, simply set the PITIVI_PROFILING environment variable to 1, like so:

(ptv-flatpak) $ PITIVI_PROFILING=1 pitivi

A file named pitivi-runstats will be created in the current directory, a handy tool to examine it is gprof2dot.py, install it with:

$ pip install gprof2dot

Then run:

$ gprof2dot -f pstats pitivi-runstats | dot -Tsvg -o profile.svg

You can then inspect the call tree profile with your preferred image viewer:

$ xdg-open profile.svg

Switching locales

To see how Pitivi looks in a different locale, use:

(ptv-flatpak) $ LANG=fr_FR.UTF-8 pitivi

Pay attention the translations in the sandbox are not automatically updated when you git pull. You can update them by updating your sandbox (ptvenv --update) or by reinstalling Pitivi in the sandbox:

(ptv-flatpak) $ binstall
Installing /.../pitivi-dev/pitivi/mesonbuild/po/de.gmo to /app/share/locale/de/LC_MESSAGES/pitivi.mo


Development Workflow – How we do it

Using Git in Pitivi – Specifics of using Git in Pitivi

Coding Style Guide – Writing code that looks consistent

Command line tools – A list of tools useful when developing Pitivi

Hacking the UI – How to enable and use the GTK Inspector

DebuggingNo description available

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