Really, I'm fed up.
Am I really the only one man enough to do any serious additions to the system?
I am not sure I understand the attitude. Where is the task list and current bug tracker for the stable 07xx and 08xx development code?
For perspective, I'm new and I do write code. I do not yet have linuxmce installed (other than a sandbox install to tinker with) as I've just bought a new house and I'm still in the planning stages and deciding whether it fits my needs. As an outsider, one of the problems with LinuxMCE is making sense of all the information stored in the wiki/forums. At some level, people just want to be told what to buy and how to get started. Wikis are the worst sort of documentation in this sense as they don't always lead you, step by step through the process. I've sorted out the requirements, but I can imagine those with less knowledge struggling.
Also consider that the barrier to entry with LinuxMCE is very high. Just to install it you need familiarity with hardware (because it changes so fast and few current recommendations are given), networking (both wired/wifi), and linux. Just looking at the volume of code in the development release suggests that bloat is a bit of a problem. I've read people requesting the addition of a full-blown CMS into the mix and I cringe at the thought.
Finally, I am a firm believer in playing to one's strengths. Thom, you seem like a helpful, honest and good guy, but the outbursts of exasperation
and frustration with the lack of progress/development probably won't help you attract new talent. Worse, they suggest you are ready to throw in the towel. You need a roadmap of features that is regularly updated (the link in the forums seems broken). You need to begin deligating a few tasks to those with the skills and time to accomplish them (recognizing that resources are slim at the moment). Provide help when needed, but learn to be a little hands off. From you, people need to feel your enthusiasm, understand your vision and see where the project is actually going. Especially now that orbiters are powerful enough to both play media themselves AND control the system. I understand the desire to have backwards compatibility with IP phones, laptops and nokia trinkets, but orbiters/wifi devices are pretty much throw-away devices for most tech guys I know. Android or iPad-type devices are the new reality and LinuxMCE seems behind the curve.
To attract new people to the project, you need some good PR. Task #1 in this regard is to get a few high-quality HD videos posted on youtube that specifically highlight the features and how cool it all is. These for 0710
are a good start but the quality isn't really high enough. This is definitely something that a few enthusiastic 'Users' could do and it would be a great help IMHO. Even if they importing your previous youtube efforts into iMovie, running image stabilization on them, and compiling a feature list would help. I realize that camera work is not your main interest, but it makes a difference (see below) in how the project is perceived. Getting some good written press would also help and users could draft a few articles for some of the major tech-blogs.
Task #2 is to get some outside advice (with some input from current users) regarding the current UI. I can appreciate the effort that went into it but the Apple-inspired trend is towards simple interfaces with smooth, anti-aliased fonts, gradients, transparency, etc. You need a better way of unifying information that is frequently used from that which is not on each media director/orbitor. Compare the aesthetics (both of the product UI and the video itself) of a few Moovida
, Apple TV
, and linuxmce
videos. I realize that linuxMCE does considerably more than the competition, but it really doesn't show the same level of polish and it looks intimidating. Unfortunately, it is sometimes polish which initially draws people to a platform.