Feature request: debugging fields

Hey Shotstack team, can’t wait to showcase what I’m building! Thanks for a great service.

A small feature request that would be super helpful: If there is a key in the json that you don’t recognize, is it possible to ignore it rather than cause a render error? Sometimes I add indexing information and other data to my pipeline, which I then need to strip out of the output. For debugging though, its really handy to be able to human-read that information otherwise complex videos can get really daunting.

Excited to see what you’re building! Show us!

I get where you’re coming from in terms of the JSON. Our API supports the JSON standard which doesn’t contain the ability to add comments (such as JSONC).

The problem you are trying to solve for is the debugging of your JSON? Can you give an example of how you’re using comments inside of your JSON?

Oh nothing outside of regular json - just adding some key-value pairs that are useful for me.
For example, sometimes I need to reference an index from another array, so I may have:

'index': 3

in one of the clips. Shotstack doesn’t like keys it doesnt recognize, but again if it could just ignore keys that don’t match it would be really useful!

Adding @Jeff.S to this conversation to get his thoughts.

One feature we have considered and had feedback on is allowing users to name tracks and clips. This would be useful in the frontend timeline editor when trying to organise things. This would likely be a ‘name’ parameter (or ‘ref’ or ‘id’ or similar). Maybe this would help.

The strict validation is however a critical feature that we can’t compromise on. It provides valuable feedback to users when they make mistakes, stops bugs and errors from occurring downstream, and also acts as a layer of security before allowing input to enter our systems.

Allowing any user defined parameter could also have unpredictable results. Imagine a scenario where a user defined parameter conflicts with a future parameter that we add. For example if you use ‘index’ for debugging, but next week we add our own parameter ‘index’ that alters the way elements are positioned or sorted. That could affect your renders in a way you didn’t expect.

Makes sense! I think the ‘name’ parameter is a great idea.