We’ve made a long-awaited tweak to the Set node in the recently released Gaffer 0.56.0.0. The confusing Paths plug .vs. PathFilter debate is finally over.
TL;DR: Just use a PathFilter – Paths is no more.
A long time ago (2014), in a Gaffer far far away (0.0.94.0), The Set node just had the Paths plug to specify its members. This wasn’t great as you had to know the explicit paths of each location you wanted to include. Several years passed (2016, 0.26.0.0), and we added the Filter plug so that you could start using wildcards and other tricks to define the set’s membership. Filters were a lot slower than they are now, so we kept the Paths plug for simple situations where performance mattered (and inadvertently, to create confusion amongst new users).
Time for a change
Since then, we’ve made PathFilters much faster. To the point where the performance gains from the fixed path list isn’t worth the confusion having both the Path and Filter plug creates. Let alone the potential error cases caused by the fact that the Path plug doesn’t validate its paths exist (unlike the filter).
As such, we’ve removed the Paths plug from Sets in 0.56.0.0. Fear not, if you were using it in your script, it will re-appear and everything will continue to work as it did.