The error log takes so long to generate is another issue.
It is not another issue, it is the issue at hand.
We have been doing this - knowingly - for a long time. It has just never occured to anyone that stating a file and logging the fact that it doesn't exist could lead to a 20% increase in loading times.
Whether or not it's an error path is irrelevant, the only thing that matters is that it would seem, quite clearly, from these numbers, that there is a lot of optimization potential here, and I do not see why Blizzard would ignore it.
I disagree, "we have been doing this for a long time" doesn't mean it is the right thing to do.
Even if it doesn't lead to 20% increase in loading time, if the approach generates lots of error, and we can avoid it, I don't see why we shouldn't.
They're two completely different issues:
1. WoW cliet shouldn't take so long to generate an error log.
2. An addon shouldn't generate any error.
If we can't do anything to prevent this, then there's not much to discuss. But we *can* do something, so why not try to solve *both* problems?
Tell Blizzard to fix (1), *and* we should try to fix (2) on dis-embedded zip packages.
If I remember correctly, files that are referenced in TOCs and do not exist would not be loaded if created during a WoW session with a reloadUI following - the file has to exist ; even an empty file does just fine.
So it doesn't seem like they're tracking anything.
Whatever Blizzard is doing, it's clearly not good enough and needs to be optimized rather than wowace.com changing the entire files repository, as it appears to me from the information at hand.
I agree someone should relay this information to Blizzard.
But if following a standard embed library declaration has no disadvantage (may be? I dunno), then since the files.wowace.com already has to use some scripts to create a special support for dis-embedded version of the library, I don't think it's "a big changes to the entire files repository". It is just a change to the scripts for dis-embedded zips. For the addons side, if the author decided not to follow a standard (or he was just lazy), then everything still works.
Even if Blizzard fixed this problem later, at the least this approach shuts up FrameXML.log.
Thanks for the responses and the testing. Looks like there may be alot to gain from a convention similar to this.
1. All Ace2 addons on SVN should have a file called embeds.xml defining all embedded libraries.
2. The non-embedded version of the zip from files.wowace.com should automatically comment out the embeds.xml.
I dunno if (2) is possible or not?
Also, I think it's better for more people to test the effect of removing out invalid TOC references first, before actually asking all authors to make a change and modifying the SVN zipping script. Since I might have missed something on the test.