LinuxMCE Forums

General => Users => Topic started by: golgoj4 on November 09, 2012, 04:59:49 am

Title: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: golgoj4 on November 09, 2012, 04:59:49 am
Hey, whats up everyone. Its your fave slightly off kilter dev langstonius. Im posting this topic not to complain or yell. Don't worry, i'm not gonna, _do_ what everyone thinks im gonna _do_ , i'm not gonna flip out...

But seriously, the point of this thread it to get some honest opinions about how you use LinuxMCE, what you wish it did, where you see it going.  Me, well, as you can see i've doubled down on LinuxMCE. As I like to say, its a star-ship os, waiting for the star-ship. But what about you? Because, in a weird way, I do work for you. No I dont want money, but as a dev, we kinda take on the responsibility of making stuff work (albeit sometimes very badly). But the reason I ask these questions is because I want to make LinuxMCE better. Period. The best it can possibly be. But we are in a unique situation. Every persons home is their castle. And LinuxMCE is the life in that castle. And we all have very different castles. So, shaky metaphor aside, I need perspective from the people I 'work' for. So lets talk. And please, if there is something you dont like, just be respectful about discussing it.

that being said,
whats the good word?

-Langston
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: bongowongo on November 09, 2012, 11:45:47 am
Hi golgoj4,

Haven't been active lately in the community and didn't get all the latest updates of your and others work. But what I always missed from Linuxmce is overview for the user.
You really have to dig in for simple stuff. I think the linuxmce admin site needs a big overhaul.
e.g. how can we easily update the Core? And will the MD's be automated accordingly? And how do I check if I have the latest version through the admin?
 
This is just what comes to mind now. I do not feel in control of my linuxmce box, due lack of knowledge of linux, due to being an impatient user, due to being a stupid user.
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: murcel on November 09, 2012, 12:16:38 pm
golgoj4,

similiar to bongowongo, i would sugest to make things easy.
When i was starting with lmce some years ago, i was astonished, on how easy things are.
As a user, who had never had any expierence with lmce - expect isntalling an distitribution for testing and troughing away again.
Installation went quite easy and the AV Wizard guided me, same did - what was her name? Liza?
anyhow, but then .... the problems begun....with some ugly hardware....

I had to edit here a file and change a config file there and reboot and put in a fix.

I understand, that there is a massive amount of hardwarepieces, if e.g. we just take mainboards, so many vendors, chipsets and combination of hardware, and having a compatibility list, does not make sense - becuase the product life cycle is very short in the retail.

what i am trying to say is, that there must be a way, to give a kind of gurantee that s.th. is working oob - than supporting more and more hardware pieces.
Break things down...what is working and what is working with problems.

Can mean, that some advanced functions should be deactivated, as long as , it is not needed by user.
I find the way of dianemo quite smart...."everything" is integrated, but not activated by default.

Giving an example, is that my Allnet PoE Switch is always recognised as an D-Link IP Camera. For me, as i know the background, its not a problem, but the Enduser - he who uses the system daily, its so confusing.

in theory, everything is so easy with lmce - and was developed with this in the "back head" - like lmce says "be patient" - but i believe we're drifting more and more away from this point. For example - Zwave should be easy to install - but in fact it is not. User has to crawl through forum, wikis, take a look at log files and so on. Who wants to do this?

What i am trying to say is, we should spent more time in making the system more friendly from a top-down perspective. Having a system with music, video and tv up and running in 1 hour - stable.

Lmce is THE home automation system, but to be successful, we need to make it more friendly. I do not mean, that it has to be "super" easy to isntall, but i believe that even sometimes an installer - who has IT background - can be frustrated if things are working the one day and the other day not.

like bongowongo says, i do not see exactly, whats going on. So, to find a reason i have to dig really deep, and i believe that most system integrators do that one time, but not a second time.

Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: posde on November 09, 2012, 02:53:51 pm
I want LinuxMCE to run my house by controlling electrical equipment in the house. I want LinuxMCE to store all my media and provide me a pleasing media playback environment. I want LinuxMCE to show me pics of people coming to my front door no matter where I am. And I want LinuxMCE to be controllable to whatever device I happen to have. I am still not sure about telecom.
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: davegravy on November 09, 2012, 03:27:27 pm
Whoa, space sci-fi metaphor and medieval castle metaphor in one paragraph!

1) A UI that's sexy and snappy. Snappy in and of itself and also network communications that are efficient so as to not cause the UI to lag.
2) NFC-based control events for orbiter, and/or integration between Tasker (android app) and LMCE
3) Don't have a vid camera yet, but I'm slightly discouraged from getting one due to LMCE only supporting single-frame (jpg) communication. If we had encoding and streaming capability, and once our mobile data networks are up to par (speed and reasonable data caps), this would be a deal-maker.
4) An improved advanced scenarios editor, allowing more versatile automation programming. See here: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php/topic,12456.0.html
5) Support for NVidia GT4xx cards
6) Support for encrypted Zwave comm.

That's a lot to ask, but keep in mind it's mostly icing on the cake type stuff.
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: posde on November 09, 2012, 03:35:18 pm
Oh, one note: *My* LinuxMCE system is already working with most of the stuff that I want. But, one thing is for sure: You can not create a home automation system that will be up and running in an hour and be complete. You can have a system up and running that allows you to START setting things up. Thanks for L3mce's work with DVD installer that already is here. What's missing, is better (ab)use of Sarah, i.e. more menu driven setup routines.
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: maverick0815 on November 09, 2012, 03:55:21 pm
Of course we all want a stable, working system and we are getting there, but I do miss a few things too:
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: l3mce on November 09, 2012, 05:12:48 pm
LinuxMCE is a part of my life.

I learn from it every day. It shapes the way I think. I am addicted to it more than anything else really... I don't really care if it runs my house. I don't care one bit about the benefits of the system itself. I just want it to work, work reliably, on as much hardware as it can reasonably be made to work on. That is really it. It is always there, it always needs work, it is the nastiest hydra I have ever seen... and I still don't know if I have done more harm or good to it... but I know it will be closer to the goal I just stated when I am done or I will die trying.


I don't really have any personal aspirations born of LinuxMCE.

I just want it to exist, with the stability we attribute to household appliances.

I wan't George W. Bush to be able to install and operate it... and I want Steven Hawking to say "that's brilliant" in his robot voice when looking at the architecture.
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: maverick0815 on November 09, 2012, 05:43:22 pm
George W. Bush...are you serious? I thought you were crazy, but not mad! :-D
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: polly on November 09, 2012, 07:53:49 pm
Hey...

there is still a lot of things to learn and explore for me ... and i'm still a LinuxMCE trainee i guess ;-)
I like the way it works and the features it offers. To me, the install process has never been as easy as today .... great job!

What it does for me:
- LiveTV
- play audio & video
- watch pictures
- door camera (EasyN IP Camera)
- Airprint
- Airplay
- recording TV shows
- Radio

What i want to have or improve:
- a stable running system.
- a rock solid GUI for qOrbiter. My Mom should be able to understand and play with it in minutes.... Don't care about George W.
- I want MythTV to work rock solid! For me the most annoying thing. Radomly throwing errors like "irrecoverable recorder error", "Frame buffering something failed" or quit unexpected while switch between channels.
- Improve the lmce-admin. Currently i had no time to dig in deeper how lmce-admin is done, but i guess it needs to be completely rewritten to get a better user experience.   :-\
- my flatmate to be a more helpful in reporting issues.  ;D
- VPN

I saw so many improvements for me over the past year. I'm really looking forward to the next year(s) ...

cheers,
ochorocho - almost addicted
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: posde on November 09, 2012, 08:19:21 pm
A quick note on web admin (and I do not want to start a discussion about it. If you want, open another thread): The notion to re-write web admin comes up every now and then. What people fail to realize is, how GREAT web admins architecture is. The problem are missing wizard pages, better organized wizard pages.
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: PlatypusPedersen on November 10, 2012, 12:35:54 am
The biggest enhancements I am waiting for before I roll LMCE out at my pad, is to have the stability and a UI so smooth and easy to use that even my technophobic grandmother and technologically challenged father can use the system without needing guidance.

Needless to say, qOrbiter is a huge step in the right direction for that, so a big thanks for that amazing work. :)
On my end, I am still struggling with adding device templates for our IR remotes, but I got some advice on IRC not long ago that I will try the next time around.
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: dextaslab on November 10, 2012, 02:35:34 pm
For Christmas this year (or next) I want Linuxmce to give me:
1. One Android app on my phone that allows me to use everything that Linuxmce has to offer securely and remotely (latency permitting). Eg; view security footage, Make a SIP call, view files, etc.. Possibly like a background service?
2. I would also like to have a complete live backup option; 1 that backups up root, data/media, and the database to a baremetal recovery without having to turn it off and have down time while it pushes data over the network/external drive.
3. qOrbiters on MD's please.

Cheers
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: maverick0815 on November 10, 2012, 10:18:03 pm
oh, I forgot to mention one more thing:

integration of google contacts would be very neat.
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: _if_ on November 11, 2012, 01:12:34 am
OK what do I use LMCE for:
I'm right now building my house and therefor I will use the lmce system I'm building up now. Also I'm using one MD right now in my flat for live tv and movies kind of productively.
I'll use Live TV, audio, video, internetradio, X10 for lights,blinds and IR sensors for security triggering, IP cameras at door and garden, 1wire for temperature sensors (does not work anymore for me right now...), 2-3 audio zones using squeezeslaves(having trouble with my usb soundcards), tablets for orbiter and some other homeautomation things. Also I'm serving internet and telecom to my parents, sisters and brothers houses (may be extended to more lmce functionalizies later).
All that packed into a 19" Intel server with TBS quad TV cards, loads of RAID diskspace,  interfaces and a touchscreen which is wired down to the core - so all kind of a bigger installation.

Now, what can be made more userfriendly:
like posde said, it would be a big benefit if we could make the Installer wizard more useful.
Right now, I personally use it for adding users and rooms, and for selecting VDR or mythtv - nearly all other steps are useless atm (to me).
So, if you add hardware and the installer wizard would guide you through the installation -> this would be userfriendly.

Also the design of that wizard is kind of outdated, a more modern design would be cool (i hate the blue background).
Some months ago I started building up a 3D model of a humans head being animated which could some day MAYBE replace Sarah in a more modern way. But right now I'm missing the time to work on that but I will keep on...

Other than that, wouldn't it be helpful if a wiki (or whatever) can be put together containing hardware which is really (I mean REALLY) plug and play?

ok, this was my point of view. I just love the flexibility and the whole concept of lmce and want to thank all devs for their great work and am looking forward to lmce's future!

greetz
IF
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: l3mce on November 11, 2012, 01:32:10 am
I could probably add a quickstart option, once we get out of beta, on the DVD installer that would allow you to enter A user and A room the core is in, and as many or few other details as needed to bypass Setup Wizard for those just sick to death of it...
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: SBCC on November 11, 2012, 03:01:39 am
I'll 2nd that
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: slampt on November 11, 2012, 04:22:10 am
How about a way to import a backup pre-wizard?
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: huh on November 11, 2012, 04:25:51 am
And automatically adding a Web orbiter...  Usually one if the first things I do once the system is installed.
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: avajon on November 11, 2012, 08:42:25 pm
hi,

i miss following things:

-) sort video list with "last entry", so we can see what's newly recorded on the system.
-) ability to forward +30 sec (or configurable in web-admin) with one key (i.e. arrow right) in the video player.

Right now, the most used feature is mythtv for recording and also watch recordings, because there we can see what have been recorded last day and also forward the +30 sec with the arrow key on the wii remote.

br
markus

Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: posde on November 11, 2012, 09:18:21 pm
-) ability to forward +30 sec (or configurable in web-admin) with one key (i.e. arrow right) in the video player.

works when VDR is used as the PVR :P
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: avajon on November 12, 2012, 04:34:10 pm
works when VDR is used as the PVR :P

really? I thought recordings made by vdr are also in the "normal" video list which were used by the xine player as with the mythtv recordings... didn't know that. :)
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: kyfalcon on November 13, 2012, 03:08:58 pm
I'm sorry to say I left LinuxMCE a few months back for 1 reason, LiveTV support is just horrendous. I need something that works when it comes to LiveTV and it isn't LinuxMCE. If the wife isn't happy, then I am not allowed to play with my toys.

I miss so much about LinuxMCE and hope someday to put it back on my system. I don't mind having to get my hands dirty and figuring something out, but with a 1 year old and a 2 year old I don't have time to do more than wipe my butt in the morning. I have chatted to a few others on xbmc forum that have left for the same reason. LinuxMCE does so much more than xbmc (gui not included) but the one thing it has implemented that I need is rock solid livetv/pvr functionality.

Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: polly on November 13, 2012, 03:25:22 pm
Hey ...

I'm sorry to say I left LinuxMCE a few months back for 1 reason, LiveTV support is just horrendous. I need something that works when it comes to LiveTV and it isn't LinuxMCE. If the wife isn't happy, then I am not allowed to play with my toys.

i agree .....
I can provide a detailed report about MythTV on LMCE, if anyone nows how to implement or just make it work rock solid i'm glad to help.

As mentioned in a ealier post: I want MythTV to work rock solid! For me the most annoying thing. Radomly throwing errors like "irrecoverable recorder error", "Frame buffering something failed" or quit unexpected while switch between channels.

imho, i think LMCE Media stuff should work ootb. I dont talk about configuration, thats another story ;-)

Cheers,
ochorocho
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: l3mce on November 13, 2012, 05:13:14 pm
I'm sorry to say I left LinuxMCE a few months back for 1 reason, LiveTV support is just horrendous. I need something that works when it comes to LiveTV and it isn't LinuxMCE. If the wife isn't happy, then I am not allowed to play with my toys.

I miss so much about LinuxMCE and hope someday to put it back on my system. I don't mind having to get my hands dirty and figuring something out, but with a 1 year old and a 2 year old I don't have time to do more than wipe my butt in the morning. I have chatted to a few others on xbmc forum that have left for the same reason. LinuxMCE does so much more than xbmc (gui not included) but the one thing it has implemented that I need is rock solid livetv/pvr functionality.



Can you reference what you have found that just works?

What problem did you have? MythTV is MythTV...
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: golgoj4 on November 14, 2012, 02:13:03 am
Hey ...

i agree .....
I can provide a detailed report about MythTV on LMCE, if anyone nows how to implement or just make it work rock solid i'm glad to help.

As mentioned in a ealier post: I want MythTV to work rock solid! For me the most annoying thing. Radomly throwing errors like "irrecoverable recorder error", "Frame buffering something failed" or quit unexpected while switch between channels.

imho, i think LMCE Media stuff should work ootb. I dont talk about configuration, thats another story ;-)

Cheers,
ochorocho

sad face. all i can say. bums me out to hear that we are basically suffering because of software we dont maintain. awesome :|
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: mkbrown69 on November 14, 2012, 04:02:07 am
sad face. all i can say. bums me out to hear that we are basically suffering because of software we dont maintain. awesome :|

The problem with MythTV in LMCE is that it's 0.23, and that version had known stability issues.  When I had upgraded my (non-LMCE) MythTV, it was considerably more stable on 0.24 and 0.25 than it ever was on 0.23.  If we could upgrade the LMCE MythTV parts to support 0.25-fixes, that would likely address some people's stability issues.  0.26 introduces UTC time in the database, so the Level of effort there might be a bit higher at this point in time.  Besides, it's never a good idea to upgrade to a point zero release on any software... Let it get to 0.26.2 before considering it for inclusion when stability is key.

My $0.02 worth before HST.

HTH!

/Mike
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: jamo on November 14, 2012, 08:38:18 am
What grabbed me most once I sort of got to grips with LMCE was the scalability of the system. When we did some big alterations on the house I did some basic planning of my ideal system but knew I couldn't justify (or source) the funds to go the whole hog but all I had to do at building time was put in the conduits for the network jacks! Brilliant. In this part of the world we still build houses mostly with brick walls so putting in wiring afterwards is expensive and messy but if you plan right when building you just stick in the conduits and blank points at almost no extra cost.

Then I have pulled in the cables later as I've expanded my system... media director by media director.

To me this is a real winner that can suit the average guy who doesn't have the cash or can't at this stage see the benefit of full home automation and media. All he has to do at build time is "future proof" his building a bit with the infrastructure at very little extra cost and then all the rest can be added as required.

The fact that it all runs off an IP network is also wizardry as far as I'm concerned. No need to pull in 2'' video or audio cables and have a massive amplifier driving high-end speakers- it makes so much sense to have the processing and decoding done at the client end and then only send compressed audio/video over the network.

So the flexibility and architecture is a winner.

For Christmas (and note I'm willing to tackle all these projects on my own when I can), I'd like-

* Synchronised audio at media directors (same song, at same point, multiple places). So synchronised multiroom audio without using squeezeslaves. I know opinion is divided on the subject - I say it is possible, everyone else says it isn't ;-)
* streaming video from security cameras. my single IP camera works like a charm but I gather it's sending static images fast enough for me not to know the difference. Fine for now but as I add cameras it could be problematic.
* Slicker and sexier UI
* Knowledge of what works and what doesn't....

The last two have been mentioned by others and I think they are, to some degree, a product of a community project like this. Understandably, the limited dev time is focussed on getting devices (new and existing) up and running. Much more sensible than someone spending hours trying to tweak the look and feel or document / categorise /maintain the wiki or working out that one strange bug that is so easily worked around.

All in all, though, I love it and thanks to everyone involved. Keep it up guys.
Title: Re: LinuxMCE community, lets talk.
Post by: kyfalcon on November 14, 2012, 02:49:45 pm
sad face. all i can say. bums me out to hear that we are basically suffering because of software we dont maintain. awesome :|

As MkBrown mentioned it is the fact that LinuxMCE is bundled with support for mythTV 23. I have a ceton capture card which allows me to grab all my cable directly from an m-cable card, no need to pay the cable company for any extra hardware. This works flawlessly with mythTV 26, and now with xbmc using libcmyth. The nice thing about the xbmc implementation is that xbmc handles all of the client part and lets mythTV handle serving the information / feed.

Again, I love everything about LinuxMCE and think it is much better at pretty much everything but LiveTV. The problem is the wife only cares about liveTV, and it is an area that needs to just work.

I want to thank all the developers, especially Thom for working on this system and with me on it, I hope someday to be able to contribute more time to the programming effort (2 very small children and a new job keep me from that) and hope that this issue is resolved soon so that I can go back to the system I really want running my house.

Kevin