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General => Feature requests & roadmap => Topic started by: yoda2nd on December 10, 2007, 06:34:43 am

Title: System Too Complex
Post by: yoda2nd on December 10, 2007, 06:34:43 am
I originally looked at LinuxMCE because I needed a media center that was cheap, reliable and not M$.  However after my horrendous installation experience, I am only left with the option to use a windows based media center app.  I thought I should provide some feedback, in the hopes that maybe something can be changed in the future.

1.  The User Manual is horribly generalized, and provides no detailed information on may of the features.  This left me to pretty much experiment with trial and error to get things to work.

2.  The system is too damn complicated.  If you are just trying to setup a standalone media center on a network, your in for a heck of a time trying to get it to work.  Perhaps during the installation process it might be a good idea to allow users to configure the media center as a purely standalone machine running on a network.  Both the DHCP Server and the Firewall would not be needed in this case.

3.  If I do not have any Lighting, Climent Control, VoIP or Security System why does it appear on the home menu?

4.  I am not sure why but I could only get MythTV and Firefox to work about 50% of the time on my first install and not at all on my second install.  Very difficult to get the system to work when you can not get to the administration interface.

I hope that some of these suggestions help, and in the future I can come back to LinuxMCE.
Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: nevware on December 10, 2007, 12:34:22 pm
I agree that LinuxMCE is complex - but for your purposes, it's simply not the right solution. If all you want is a media center, look at Mythbuntu or similar - LinuxMCE only comes into its own when your circumstances match the intended use, with the home automation and multiple extenders.

As for the documentation - it's open source. Help document the trial and error you went through so others have a better experience.
Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: Zaerc on December 10, 2007, 01:38:26 pm
Most of these issues have been discussed many times over now, so why don't you have a look around before stirring all that up again.  To make a long story short and like nevware said, either feel free to help out or alternatively you'll probably be better of using something else because all the features that make lmce way superior are not going to be taken out simply because individuals like you don't need them.
Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: rrambo on December 10, 2007, 03:24:43 pm
The system is only as complex as you make it to be... I am not a linux noob, however I basically was looking for the same thing that you were...  a linux based media center..  nothing to do with microsoft...  I started out about 2 years ago with myth..  more precisely knoppmyth...  it worked for my purposes at the time, it allowed me to play media that I had stored on an external usb drive...  it was kinda ugly..  nothing really elegant about it, but it worked for my purposes..

Since then, my needs and wants for a home media center have grown...  my movie collection has grown tremendously, I have a fairly elaborate home network, a central nas for storing my movies, pictures and audio...  and a fairly nice setup with regards to a flat screen and a/v receiver....  from knoppmyth I went to geexbox..  then to mythbuntu...  again, it worked, but I wasn't happy with it...  next I went to xbmc for linux...  this was as close as I got to the type of UI that I wanted, but if you know anything about the xbmc port for linux, you know it's still very early and there is a lot to be done with it....

So after reading about lmce and watching the video, I knew that was what I was looking for...  right now I'm not concerned with the home automation aspect, but after seeing what the system can do, I'm fairly confident I will be adding some of these features in the future...

I've had my problems with lmce installation..  but mostly out of my stubbornness with regards to trying to NOT follow instructions...  NOT letting lmce be my dhcp server, NOT letting it be my firewall, NOT letting lmce install the way it was designed to....  well, after realizing that lmce works awesome the way it was designed...  changing my home network and letting lmce be the core of the network...  it works...  it works really well....  there are still some kinks...  I THINK most of these will be worked out with 7.10...  some of the kinks are related to my hardware choices....  some are due to my media types....

LMCE can be complex..  but it can also be simple...  just depends on how you approach it...  I will tell you there is nothing else out there like it.... m$ crap doesn't even come close to what lmce can do...  the first time I got UI2 working on my hybrid machine...  had a movie playing from it on my flat screen, then netbooted a MD and played a DVD that was across the house in the hybrid...  I knew I had found what I was looking for...  I have high expectations of 7.10 (sorry Zaerc, hope I don't get dissapointed)..  my only issues now are getting my remote control working and getting some media files recognized...  the latter will definitely be fixed with 7.10..  I'm having issues with my graphics card... transparency is not working on my geforce 6150, so I'm having to use the medium UI...  even if this doesn't get worked out with 7.10, I can definitely live without transparency...

LMCE is far ahead of anything out there...
Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: totallymaxed on December 16, 2007, 03:52:59 pm
The system is only as complex as you make it to be... I am not a linux noob, however I basically was looking for the same thing that you were...  a linux based media center..  nothing to do with microsoft...  I started out about 2 years ago with myth..  more precisely knoppmyth...  it worked for my purposes at the time, it allowed me to play media that I had stored on an external usb drive...  it was kinda ugly..  nothing really elegant about it, but it worked for my purposes..

Since then, my needs and wants for a home media center have grown...  my movie collection has grown tremendously, I have a fairly elaborate home network, a central nas for storing my movies, pictures and audio...  and a fairly nice setup with regards to a flat screen and a/v receiver....  from knoppmyth I went to geexbox..  then to mythbuntu...  again, it worked, but I wasn't happy with it...  next I went to xbmc for linux...  this was as close as I got to the type of UI that I wanted, but if you know anything about the xbmc port for linux, you know it's still very early and there is a lot to be done with it....

So after reading about lmce and watching the video, I knew that was what I was looking for...  right now I'm not concerned with the home automation aspect, but after seeing what the system can do, I'm fairly confident I will be adding some of these features in the future...

I've had my problems with lmce installation..  but mostly out of my stubbornness with regards to trying to NOT follow instructions...  NOT letting lmce be my dhcp server, NOT letting it be my firewall, NOT letting lmce install the way it was designed to....  well, after realizing that lmce works awesome the way it was designed...  changing my home network and letting lmce be the core of the network...  it works...  it works really well....  there are still some kinks...  I THINK most of these will be worked out with 7.10...  some of the kinks are related to my hardware choices....  some are due to my media types....

LMCE can be complex..  but it can also be simple...  just depends on how you approach it...  I will tell you there is nothing else out there like it.... m$ crap doesn't even come close to what lmce can do...  the first time I got UI2 working on my hybrid machine...  had a movie playing from it on my flat screen, then netbooted a MD and played a DVD that was across the house in the hybrid...  I knew I had found what I was looking for...  I have high expectations of 7.10 (sorry Zaerc, hope I don't get dissapointed)..  my only issues now are getting my remote control working and getting some media files recognized...  the latter will definitely be fixed with 7.10..  I'm having issues with my graphics card... transparency is not working on my geforce 6150, so I'm having to use the medium UI...  even if this doesn't get worked out with 7.10, I can definitely live without transparency...

LMCE is far ahead of anything out there...

Just add some real world feedback on specifically the claim that LinuxMCE is complex/difficult to install;

As a commercial concern we would not be building a business around LinuxMCE if this were true... not unless our business was selling expensive support to unknowing customers (which it is not). We do at least 10-15 installs of lmce-0704 a week and the basic Core install takes about 20 mins... and an MD takes about 10 mins from scratch. This is with known hardware of course... but if you review the reasons most people have problems its because they have chosen to use non-tested hardware in some respect. Now sometimes that is part of the enjoyment of LinuxMCE... the skill, effort and eventual success in making a new hardware config work.

However with stable know hardware I can honestly say that getting LinuxMCE installed and working is far far easier than Windows XP... let alone Vista ;-)
Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: Matthew on December 16, 2007, 05:27:50 pm
As a commercial concern we would not be building a business around LinuxMCE if this were true... not unless our business was selling expensive support to unknowing customers (which it is not). We do at least 10-15 installs of lmce-0704 a week

Do you know of anyone in that business servicing the NYC area?
Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: totallymaxed on December 16, 2007, 05:36:03 pm
As a commercial concern we would not be building a business around LinuxMCE if this were true... not unless our business was selling expensive support to unknowing customers (which it is not). We do at least 10-15 installs of lmce-0704 a week

Do you know of anyone in that business servicing the NYC area?

Nope... sorry... maybe thats an opportunity for someone though ;-)
Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: tschak909 on December 16, 2007, 06:30:00 pm
I'm offering my services for the Boston/Cambridge area, and am currently trying to get a full information site designed for the 80-100K/annum demographic.

-Thom
Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: Matthew on December 16, 2007, 10:04:48 pm
I'm offering my services for the Boston/Cambridge area, and am currently trying to get a full information site designed for the 80-100K/annum demographic.

This is starting to sound like a wiki article about service providers, with threads promoting it appropriately in the "Compatible Products & Services" (http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?board=348.0) forum or something.
Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: blackoper on December 17, 2007, 02:20:46 pm
heh.. fun stuff after I get my house up and running I may look at doing something like you guys... got to have a show place first though. My family owns a custom cabinet company and also makes high end pool tables among other things so it's more of just branching out...
Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: ddamron on December 18, 2007, 02:58:16 am
Heh, I come from the other end... I'm an IT guy.. and with all I'm learning about linuxmce, I'm thinking of branching out too... hehe
Anyone want a smarthome system in Canada?  Lemme know!

Dan
Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: tkmedia on December 18, 2007, 05:21:42 am
I am in the Hartford CT area let me know if someone needs help here.
Building some prototypes and cant wait to try them with 07010


Tim
Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: ddamron on December 30, 2007, 07:27:39 am
I really don't think the system is too complex... considering what you can do with it...

I'd like to see a bit more in some areas..

 :o

Dan
Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: dukat on January 14, 2008, 01:51:23 pm
I agree that LinuxMCE is complex - but for your purposes, it's simply not the right solution. If all you want is a media center, look at Mythbuntu or similar - LinuxMCE only comes into its own when your circumstances match the intended use, with the home automation and multiple extenders.

As for the documentation - it's open source. Help document the trial and error you went through so others have a better experience.


I think there's still a valid point. First, LMCE is called Linux Media Center Edition, and not Linux Home Automation and Entertainment System. So, no wonder people get attracted to it and then they discover these advanced features commonly not known in Multimedia Systems.

I personally like LMCE, but I'd also would like to have an option to turn off all the things in the UI that I don't need right now,  but I might use in the future. So the question is still: Why are there elements in the UI that aren't configured yet?

Kind regards
/Sven
Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: tschak909 on January 14, 2008, 02:14:57 pm
simple answer? because Orbiter does not have allowances for turning on and off design objects on a screen.

There are plans for a complete rewrite of Orbiter, however.

-Thom
Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: Matthew on January 14, 2008, 03:47:30 pm
simple answer? because Orbiter does not have allowances for turning on and off design objects on a screen.

There are plans for a complete rewrite of Orbiter, however.

I hope those plans include style sheets and/or skins so the outermost presentation layer can be most easily restyled (including removing GUI widgets).

Are those plans documented in public anywhere other than the developers mailing list?
Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: colinjones on January 14, 2008, 08:57:55 pm
They have been discussed at various times in the forums, but it seems to have gone cold recently - I guess with 0710 coming. From what I gleaned from those discussions, though, it sounds like a huge task because of what the orbiters have to be able to do with things like regens and so on. The discussion moved towards a complete re-write, so that all those things like skins you mention, dynamic content, and as importantly (to me!) the cooler graphical effects.... yes we have alpha blended (sometimes!) but really the rest of the interface is completely static, no transitions, fades, wipes, etc, most of which, ironically, are simpler graphically than alpha blending!
Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: Matthew on January 14, 2008, 09:30:41 pm
They have been discussed at various times in the forums, but it seems to have gone cold recently - I guess with 0710 coming. From what I gleaned from those discussions, though, it sounds like a huge task because of what the orbiters have to be able to do with things like regens and so on. The discussion moved towards a complete re-write, so that all those things like skins you mention, dynamic content, and as importantly (to me!) the cooler graphical effects.... yes we have alpha blended (sometimes!) but really the rest of the interface is completely static, no transitions, fades, wipes, etc, most of which, ironically, are simpler graphically than alpha blending!

I'm just catching up with the UI revision discussion (http://www.charonmedia.org/pipermail/lmce-dev/2008-January/000231.html) (re)started last week in the developers maillist. And with the UI3 proposal (http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/UI3) started last week in the wiki. There's really so much discussion and development going on in different niche media available to this community that it's ironic how integrated is the final product.

I think the maillist posts should all be automatically posted to a searchable forum, and subscribe the maillist to notifications of posts in that forum. And the mantis wiki link should point to a "bugs/issues" category in the single, unified wiki. And I think LMCE itself should have a link to a single portal page for all that.
Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: colinjones on January 14, 2008, 09:54:48 pm
Love the mock ups and wiki article... very exciting :)
Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: tkmedia on January 14, 2008, 11:38:25 pm
Did anyone consider http://www.rebol.com/ (http://www.rebol.com/) from Mr Amiga Himself http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Sassenrath (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Sassenrath)

Very light weight internet / Multimedia based.  :o


Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: Matthew on January 15, 2008, 12:06:47 am
Did anyone consider http://www.rebol.com/ (http://www.rebol.com/) from Mr Amiga Himself http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Sassenrath (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Sassenrath)

Very light weight internet / Multimedia based.  :o

Consider it for what, a model for LMCE GUI redesign? I like how LMCE is data-centric, swinging suites of apps into play to support a given use case of consuming data. That's the simplest paradigm, especially for networked (and multiprocessed) multimedia convergence. I'd like to never see "an app" again, just presentations of my data along with unified presentation of control widgets that could represent several simultaneous, but separate (even distributed) processes to manage it. Make the apps go away, and the "computer" itself goes away more, becoming more of a means to an end, and leaving people dealing with just the content (that itself is usually just standing in for another person) that is the point of their using the computer at all.
Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: tkmedia on January 15, 2008, 01:10:32 am
UI mainly - reply to UI3 thoughts.

I only mention it because he has been doing high end graphics for decades on hardware less powerfull than todays calcualtors.
Title: Re: System Too Complex
Post by: colinjones on January 15, 2008, 01:20:05 am
I don't know.. I think the blitter - copper was pretty state of the art for its time, even now it probably does quite a bit better than the average calculator :)