LinuxMCE Forums

General => Feature requests & roadmap => Topic started by: Morganic on November 23, 2008, 03:02:23 pm

Title: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: Morganic on November 23, 2008, 03:02:23 pm
Hey Guys

First I would like to introduce myself. I am a founder of Cedia Award Winning UK Custom Installation Company www.finitesolutions.co.uk. I have designed and installed with systems with AMX, Crestron, Lutron, Linn, B&W, Imerge and Kaleidescape.

Just over a year ago I moved out to Hyderabad to personally setup a software & web development company. I have been following the progress of LinuxMCE over last 6 months and I think what the community has created is absolutely tremendous. I would like to take my hat off to you guys for all the innovation and hard graft.

I am not a programmer, but I do have a very good relationship with technology, and now have my own programming resources. I am also apart of the local Hyderabad open source community www.twincling.org, which I recently posted about LinuxMCE.

There are many limitation of LinuxMCE that need addressing so it will be embraced by the custom installation industry. The GUI is one of these, and I personally think this is a more important area to focus on, rather than the home automation side of things and getting it to do everything with everything. M$ Vista will win hands down on this, and is currently well worth the financial investment, despite the limited functionality, media compatibility and overall reliability. The mass majority of users just want to watch films and listen to music, as easy as possible.

I know that we all have different opinions on what is more important and should come first, and that is all part of the beauty of opensource, creating a parallel code which all works together.

I am not here to whine about LinuxMCE, but am here to offer my professional opinion, rally support from my local open source community and utilize my spare resources when available.

The areas that I am interested in tackling are as follows.

    * GUI (with the options of removing redundant menus)
    * "Now Playing" and play list editing
    * Bluray ripping and playback


Please advise me whether these are worth pursuing, are there still fundamentals that need addressing first and who are the key guys to talk to.

Thanks

Morgan
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: posde on November 23, 2008, 03:45:50 pm
You might want to look in the dev forum for tschak's screencasts regarding HA Designer, to get an idea, on how to go about creating a new skin for LinuxMCE.

Play with, use it, abuse it, and after a couple of month, you will know what needs to be done.

Have fun.

rgds
Oliver
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: Morganic on November 23, 2008, 06:13:00 pm
Found it!

http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Developers_Guide#9.3.1_HADesigner (http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Developers_Guide#9.3.1_HADesigner)

Nice one.

Is this XBMC worth looking into? I don't want to start some big argument, like in the previous GUI post. A few pros and cons would be great, to help me make decision of to research deeper or not.
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: posde on November 23, 2008, 07:19:17 pm
Depends on what you need. There are lots of projects providing pure media center functionality.

Whole house solutions are not so widely spread. Invest some time, think about what you really want, and you will make sound decision.

rgds
Oliver
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: hari on November 23, 2008, 07:46:56 pm
we have some unique features (like e.g. follow me).

br, Hari
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: colinjones on November 23, 2008, 08:36:43 pm
Morganic

In short, you will find that the primary issue in getting LMCE to have a more slick interface (like VMC or some of the other OSS media centres) is thoroughly outlined in many posts from the devs, particularly TSCHAK909.

As with everything, there are swings and roundabouts - with LMCE part of the focus of the GUI is to be as device-agnostic as possible so that once you have designed a new skin, it can be applied to everything from the On Screen Orbiter, to web pads, mobile phones, VoIP deskphones, PCs, etc. The system handles the rescaling and reorganising of the screen. To an extent, this is always going to limit just how much of the eye-candy hardware acceleration functionality you can access as the "design" needs to be applicable to more than just PC hardware with accelerated graphics.

There are people right now looking at more visually attractive skins over the current engine, but this will not take it to the level of full eye candy! There have been discussions in the past about how to get to the next level of UI engine, but resolving the swing/roundabout thing seems to be the major blockage.
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: Morganic on November 24, 2008, 03:20:08 am
I appreciate the difficulty of one size fits all, I we would have always custom designed each different lay out for our clients.

If we were to limit the hardware and give clear guideline of what could be usedwhich would mostly cover the needs of the masses (to be discussed within the community), create a fixed range like what fiire has done, but also think about orbiters. Most people including the custom install guys will be happy to buy what hardware is recommended, even if this is limited.

Could we then develop individually GUI's for each of those fixed hardware devices. Then add to the menu where you choose the graphic your system supports.


Then the community can still use with random products and configurations, and the general masses can get a GUI they are proud to have on their new TV or Projector.

Cheers.
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: tschak909 on November 24, 2008, 03:33:46 am
I think you're wanting to dictate what you want to help with, before you even understand what you're helping with. This is a fatal mistake.

I highly recommend watching my screencasts, and spending some serious time with the system, then we can have a more intelligent discussion on what can be done.

Basically, Orbiter is what we have. It has tons of years of work put into it. If you want to extend it, cool, the design is very flexible to allow different rendering engines for targets. This, coupled with designobj variations may be just what is needed.

With this said, we are always open to patches to extend Designer, or Orbiter.

Please understand, the system is designed this way, for a reason. If you want more, then get down in the dirt with us and make it better.

-Thom
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: Morganic on November 24, 2008, 04:06:09 am
Thanks for the feedback Thom.

I will see what resources there are within the Hyderabad community who are wanting to get involved, and who can assist me in understanding what is really involved on a programming level.
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: chipppy on November 24, 2008, 12:49:49 pm
Morgan
Raeding throguhn this I get the feeling that you missed the whole free choice idea.  LinuxMCE is about free choice.  There is some restrictions but they have been kept to a minimum.  LMCE dosent support it all but with some work on someones part it can be made to run what ever you want.

An example is the fact that I live in Australia.  There is not a lot of support for the Home Automation system that are installed in Australia (eg C-Bus from Clipsal or the HPM equilevant)  I have C-Bus in my house and I will need to learn and build the coding to support the C-Bus system.

I like the ideas you presented from a professional point of view but this is not about making money it is about free choice.  If VMCE does it better then it is up to the community to chose to match VMCE or not.
The greater Linux community is trying to free everyone of the shackles of the corperate world and reintraduce the concept of free choice.  (I say that while being at work shackled to a corperate job)

I also agree with your comment that this community has done something amazing in creating LMCE.

Please join and contrubute to this community and encorage other to join and contrubute.

Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: Morganic on November 24, 2008, 07:04:57 pm
Hey Chipppy

I am all down with the free choice aspect and I do think it is important that LinuxMCE is as cross compatible as possible. In my brief proposal I said to keep the current GUI options, but also to add standardized GUI's that the majority of people really want. I am not proposing to limit the communities options, just to forward the software so it is suitable for the consumer.

I believe open source is also about providing free choice for the consumer, not just the programmers. I want to promote and forward LinuxMCE allowing 3 things.

1. Improve media accessibility, automation, communication and security for those who can not afford it.

2. Allow those who can afford it, to distribute their budget towards improving the quality of their system and ultimately enhancing the experience of listening to music and watching movies.

3. Giving those who feel it necessary to pirate software, a chance to make the right choice.

These 3 things I am committed to. As I said before I will take the advice given, I will gather my resources and research LinuxMCE further, so I will be able to assist you all reaching its potential.

Cheers
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: hari on November 24, 2008, 07:30:21 pm
3. Giving those who feel it necessary to pirate software, a chance to make the right choice.
could you further explain that point?

best regards,
Hari
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: Morganic on November 25, 2008, 03:48:50 am
we are now living in a culture where it is socially acceptable to pirate software, but is wrong no matter how you look at it. Those companies have invested time, money and effort into a proprietary business model. Technology would not be where it is today if was not for proprietary software.

If today's culture is to reconise they they are stealing, they may consider making a better choice and going for open source software. Once they realise it doesn't quite look, or do everything the way they want, while excepting they can not afford to buy the proprietary software, they are more likely to contribute to that software.

I find that India has a very honest culture, compared to the other nations I have visited. No one really considers piracy to be a real crime here, as no one can justify to pay the retail price, when so free and easy to download. Imagine if they did consider it to be a crime like stealing from a shop, imagine if for every copy of priated windows they were using ubuntu.

You may be saying, "micro$oft can afford to not receive that revenue stream", I couldn't give a fuck about micro$oft's revenue, but I do care about getting a programming oriented country like India behind open source. The world would surely be a better place!

Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: Zaerc on November 25, 2008, 04:10:18 am
Infringing on intellectual property and theft are two completely different things, please try to keep that in mind. 
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: Morganic on November 25, 2008, 06:09:01 am
OK, so one is naughty and the other is bad, but neither are as ethical as open source, which is my point.
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: Zaerc on November 25, 2008, 04:06:29 pm
OK, so one is naughty and the other is bad, but neither are as ethical as open source, which is my point.
It is not about the difference between being naughty or bad but it's like bluntly saying apples are oranges. 

Apart from that one could argue that intelectual property isn't ethical at all to begin with.
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: krys on November 25, 2008, 04:54:33 pm
I am sure there are plenty that would make that argument, till its their idea that is stolen.
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: Zaerc on November 25, 2008, 06:00:30 pm
I am sure there are plenty that would make that argument, till its their idea that is stolen.

And here we have yet another person who does not understand the concept of theft, just keep calling apples oranges...
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: tschak909 on November 25, 2008, 06:01:56 pm
Ideas are just concepts.

They mean nothing unless you do something with them.

Myself, I have dedicated my life to sharing everything I think up with others. I can't morally do otherwise.

-Thom
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: krys on November 25, 2008, 06:55:25 pm
I am sure there are plenty that would make that argument, till its their idea that is stolen.

And here we have yet another person who does not understand the concept of theft, just keep calling apples oranges...

I fully understand the concept of theft.

In criminal law, theft is the taking of another person's property without that person's freely-given consent.

Now you might disagree that an idea can be viewed as someone's property, and that can be argued. However, I work at a design and engineering firm (as an IT guy) where we compete for business with other firms. If there were no laws against stealing intellectual property, what would keep me from looking at the design and engineering concepts and handing them to our competitors? These are just ideas, but they will eventually lead to contracts and jobs and money. The same principle can be applied to any field. As far as Thom's statement of freely sharing his ideas with others that would be covered under the "freely-given consent" i.e. open source software.

Now maybe you are saying that its not theft because you are not leaving the person without their original idea (if i gave the idea to my company's competitor, my company would still have the idea also), but this part of theft is called appropriation, or asserting ownership over what is not rightfully yours.

All in all it doesn't really matter I was just implying that if I came up with a brilliant idea to make a pile of money and someone "took" my idea without my consent, called it their own, packaged and sold it leaving me with no profits of my own, it might change my outlook on the subject. 
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: tschak909 on November 25, 2008, 06:57:36 pm
guys, PLEASE. This conversation _IS NOT_ productive. It is ground entirely in subjectivism and has _NO_ bearing on this thread.

_STOP_ or I will get nasty.

-Thom
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: hari on November 25, 2008, 06:59:04 pm
I am sure there are plenty that would make that argument, till its their idea that is stolen.
you cannot steal ideas. If you ask me, backing off information is the real crime to society.

best regards,
Hari
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: krys on November 25, 2008, 07:02:47 pm
guys, PLEASE. This conversation _IS NOT_ productive. It is ground entirely in subjectivism and has _NO_ bearing on this thread.

_STOP_ or I will get nasty.

-Thom


Well I respectfully disagree, but am stepping away from this argument at Thom's request.
Happy Holidays!
-Krys
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: hari on November 25, 2008, 07:06:06 pm
Now you might disagree that an idea can be viewed as someone's property, and that can be argued. However, I work at a design and engineering firm (as an IT guy) where we compete for business with other firms. If there were no laws against stealing intellectual property, what would keep me from looking at the design and engineering concepts and handing them to our competitors? These are just ideas, but they will eventually lead to contracts and jobs and money.
crap. That is only part of the equation. You also have to implement those concepts reliably and support them long term. That gives you contracts and trust and seperates you from the competition. And IT business is not rocket science.

Quote
All in all it doesn't really matter I was just implying that if I came up with a brilliant idea to make a pile of money and someone "took" my idea without my consent, called it their own, packaged and sold it leaving me with no profits of my own, it might change my outlook on the subject. 
Maybe your idea was brilliant, but you acted in a stupid way. There are no laws to protect people from stupidity.
Having a good idea is one thing. Making a successful product and earning money is the part where it becomes tricky.

br, Hari
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: krys on November 25, 2008, 07:08:22 pm
I am sure there are plenty that would make that argument, till its their idea that is stolen.
you cannot steal ideas. If you ask me, backing off information is the real crime to society.

best regards,
Hari

I do agree that holding information to keep it from the public should be considered a crime... such as an oil company (cant remember which one) patenting a battery technology and not making it just so that it cant hit the market. if that is what you mean by backing off information.
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: hari on November 25, 2008, 07:11:00 pm
we are now living in a culture where it is socially acceptable to pirate software, ...

not exactly. E.g. I've not seen a company using pirated software deliberately for years here.

br, Hari
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: Zaerc on November 25, 2008, 07:47:22 pm
...
All in all it doesn't really matter I was just implying that if I came up with a brilliant idea to make a pile of money and someone "took" my idea without my consent, called it their own, packaged and sold it leaving me with no profits of my own, it might change my outlook on the subject. 

And that is still not theft, proving my point that you do not even grasp the concept. 
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: krys on November 25, 2008, 08:04:52 pm
I am not sure why you keep insulting my intelligence by saying that I don't grasp the concept... I do. My point is that if something like this happened to me I would reconsider how I felt about the subject, not because something has logically changed... just because I would want the millions of dollars. Hence why I said it would change my outlook, not the definition of theft, or your belief of what constitutes theft.

sorry for keeping this argument alive I just don't like to be wrongfully insulted.
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: colinjones on November 25, 2008, 08:18:26 pm
Guys - quit it!!!!! Who cares, this is the Features request forum. Stay on topic and listen to Thom, or don't post  :)

Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: Zaerc on November 25, 2008, 08:39:23 pm
I am not sure why you keep insulting my intelligence by saying that I don't grasp the concept... I do. My point is that if something like this happened to me I would reconsider how I felt about the subject, not because something has logically changed... just because I would want the millions of dollars. Hence why I said it would change my outlook, not the definition of theft, or your belief of what constitutes theft.

sorry for keeping this argument alive I just don't like to be wrongfully insulted.

Just because you are missing out on those fictious millions of dollars does not mean there is theft.  Yet you keep going on about stealing, while neither copying nor using sombody else's idea without permission constitutes theft.  That makes it pretty obvious that you have trouble grasping the concept of theft, and if you find that insulting then quit calling people thieves wrongly.
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: krys on November 25, 2008, 09:01:12 pm
 :)
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: chipppy on November 26, 2008, 11:17:08 am
Yoou have a very good point about the theft-v-open source option.  I now better understand your thought process and agree.  Thanks for sharing it.
Title: Re: GUI, Now Playing & Bluray - Help from Hyderabad
Post by: totallymaxed on November 28, 2008, 03:57:51 pm
we are now living in a culture where it is socially acceptable to pirate software, but is wrong no matter how you look at it. Those companies have invested time, money and effort into a proprietary business model. Technology would not be where it is today if was not for proprietary software.

If today's culture is to reconise they they are stealing, they may consider making a better choice and going for open source software. Once they realise it doesn't quite look, or do everything the way they want, while excepting they can not afford to buy the proprietary software, they are more likely to contribute to that software.

I find that India has a very honest culture, compared to the other nations I have visited. No one really considers piracy to be a real crime here, as no one can justify to pay the retail price, when so free and easy to download. Imagine if they did consider it to be a crime like stealing from a shop, imagine if for every copy of priated windows they were using ubuntu.

You may be saying, "micro$oft can afford to not receive that revenue stream", I couldn't give a fuck about micro$oft's revenue, but I do care about getting a programming oriented country like India behind open source. The world would surely be a better place!




Look I think you are missing the point here... LMCE is open source software that you can freely download and install... the source code is provided too. You can't steal it... ;-).

As long as you make any improvements and changes you make to the source code available back to the community then you are a 'good citizen'.

Now if you feel that LMCE, as it is today, is not quire what you need in some way then we provide you with all the source code and access to a very well informed community of software developers/designers/users who can help you understand how to make the changes you feel are needed. As long as you are open and provide those back to the community everyone will be very pleased to have you and your colleagues join us here.

So I think the messages is dont tell us what is wrong... do some research (as Thom suggested) ... get some advice/help from the community... and then go and make the changes you need yourself (and along the way you may well find that other here will also lend a hand if they agree with you).

All the best

Andrew