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General => Users => Topic started by: sonicwind on March 11, 2010, 08:34:09 am

Title: I need orbiter advice
Post by: sonicwind on March 11, 2010, 08:34:09 am
hey folks. I am evaluating LinuxMCE for my own use, and possibly as a side business to set up systems for people who are even more Linux naive than I. So I've got a lot of stuff working and am trying to learn and use gradually from there. At the moment I have used the Media Center OnScreen Orbiter and the Web Orbiter and I just tried out the iOrbiter on my iPhone. In terms of playing media, like movies and music, only the Web Orbiter is usable. The other 2 orbiters only have Play. (Am I wrong?) There's no Stop or Pause or anything else. I guess the only thing I'm really missing from the web orbiter in functionality that I expect is the ability to drag some kind of bar to get to a certain spot in a song or a movie. So my question is, to really get a feel for the best of LinuxMCE what orbiter setup should I try? One of those WindowsCE based ones? Thanks for your input.
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: tschak909 on March 11, 2010, 09:45:12 am
*deep-breath*

(1) you need a license from Pluto to sell LinuxMCE commercially.

(2) You need to spend a LOT more time with the system before even THINKING about selling it commercially, there are so many moving parts.

(3) the LinuxMCE community IS _NOT_ the place to send your users when something goes wrong.

(4) the LinuxMCE community is _NOT_ the place to ask questions so you can relay to fix to your paying customers. Customers are paying you to know PRECISELY what to do, SO LEARN IT.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

I will not be this nice to you about it, again.

-Thom
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: bongowongo on March 11, 2010, 10:38:43 am
Thom, just to be curious

How easily can a license of Pluto be obtained? Is it just a formality, or does it costs a lot of effert/money?
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: totallymaxed on March 11, 2010, 05:35:38 pm
Thom, just to be curious

How easily can a license of Pluto be obtained? Is it just a formality, or does it costs a lot of effert/money?

In fact Pluto no longer exists as a company. So currently there is no way to obtain a commercial license for LinuxMCE. My company builds & markets a product line which is a range of pre-built Core's that have our LinuxMCE based Cascade software pre-installed. We do not have a software only solution currently however.

All the best


Andrew
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: sonicwind on March 11, 2010, 07:39:07 pm
*deep-breath*
...
I will not be this nice to you about it, again.

-Thom

Wow. It's hard to respond to this. I mean I agree with all your points but your attitude toward me is uncalled for. The last thing I want to do is get on the bad side of anyone on this forum or involved with LMCE. Right there in my first sentence I said I was trying out LMCE for my own use, the idea of setting up systems for other people is just a side thought after I get to know the system, precisely what you are requesting. I'm just a developer who decided to experiment with home automation and naturally I came across LMCE and chose it for my first software product to try because of all of its great features and reputation. It only occurred to me after reading up on it that it might be something I could make money on installing, configuring and maintaining in the future for people who aren't knowledgeable enough or willing to do such on their own.

I totally understand you not wanting somebody leeching off the product and disrupting this forum by sending unsavvy customers here for support. That wouldn't be a very good business move either. Possibly  someone else has already done this and that is the source of your attitude?

Really the only thing I am asking is what is the best Orbiter setup (software + hardware) to get the best experience out of LMCE for my own use. So again, I've done nothing wrong, nor have I stated I planned to do anything that would merit such a rude response.

So I'm still interested in replies regarding an Orbiter setup.

I'd also be interested on working on a new web based orbiter targeted for the newish full screen candy bar touch phones that are so popular these days. I just installed iObiter last night, and it is really cool so far, but it needs some more features. I'm not sure if someone is still working on that project. It seems like there would be more bang for effort to create a single Orbiter that would work on a wide range of the phones through a web interface and take advantage of the javascript, html rendering and AJAX these devices support vs building individual native applications for each device. But I also want to extend the Insteon support so if someone else is already working towards updated orbiters I wouldn't want to duplicate effort. I'm also happy to test new features and report on defects and such. I am still pretty early in just learning and setting up my system. I want to at least get my Insteon lights setup and finish configuring my HDHomerun and MythTV support before I start learning about development, but I don't expect that to take too long.

So I hope this clears up where I am coming from and how I can contribute. I am open to feedback if my approach and communication on this forum is outside of the accepted mode, but I don't want to be yelled at and attacked for absolutely nothing. I guarantee you that if I did end up using LMCE as part of a service, both the forum and the project would benefit from my involvement by way of knowledge and software contribution, and of course I would not send customers here for support. If it's just too much trouble or not possible to obtain a license for LMCE, no big deal, it isn't what I set out to do in the first place.
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: tschak909 on March 11, 2010, 08:08:38 pm
Please understand, we have to field this question constantly, and have had to deal with the fallout of people building LinuxMCE systems, and sending people to us to handle support.

As for Orbiters,

We support any windows based device, with the Win32 orbiter,
The WinCE orbiters will run on any ARM based device that runs WinCE 4.x or PocketPC 2003.
I built an image that runs on WebDT 366 tablets with 512MB of flash.
There is an orbiter for Cisco 7970 phones,
and a web based orbiter for other devices.

If you have a Symbian or Windows Smartphone device, you can use the mobile orbiters.

With the next development cycle, I will be doing a complete rewrite of the Orbiter architecture, part of the effect of this rewrite is to support much newer devices (I am targeting MeeGo, initially, with other targets to follow.)

-Thom
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: davidsmoot on March 11, 2010, 09:57:22 pm
Coolness... if you are supporting MeeGo I have an N900 and I would love to help.
David
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: tschak909 on March 11, 2010, 10:02:43 pm
After the 0810 release, expect a statement written by me on the forums here as to development of the new orbiter, and a shift of overall platform to MeeGo.

-Thom
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: davidsmoot on March 11, 2010, 10:45:39 pm
Wow. Are you saying that the orbiter platform will shift to MeeGo or are you saying the core system will shift to MeeGo?
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: tschak909 on March 11, 2010, 11:32:47 pm
I want to move the entire stack and juxtapose it atop MeeGo. It is a move that will be a win for everybody.

-Thom
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: davidsmoot on March 12, 2010, 04:19:46 am
I gotta admit from what little I know about LMCE that sounds like a good idea.  Off the bat you get cross architecture support for ARM and X86 which will allow for some innovative set top boxes.

David
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: davegravy on March 12, 2010, 05:15:40 am
Pardon my ignorance, but didn't we* just spend a whole bunch of time working so that linuxmce can be more easily kept up to date with future ubuntu releases?

Was this all wasted if we're just going to jump to a different platform soon? Am I missing something?

*by we, I mean the devs - I can't claim to have contributed much.

Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: tschak909 on March 12, 2010, 08:17:43 am
I don't want to hijack this thread,

but basically, we have hit huge walls with the system as it stands right now in terms of:

(1) User Experience. Orbiter's UI is a dead end in terms of functionality, targetability to more capable platforms, and ease of UI design. Replace with a Clutter based Orbiter.
(2) providing a standardized hardware reference platform that can easily be communicated to community enthusiast users and commercial vendors alike. Provide a reference platform based on Atom, ARM, and ION to start.
(3) we still have blocks of code that are bound to license by a company that for all intents and purposes no longer exists. Replace these with GPL'd code conforming to the same API.
(4) Making it so interested community members can make orbiters for new and up and coming devices easily. Fix or replace sqlCVS
(5) TRYING TO USE AND PUSH AS MUCH UPSTREAM CODE AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN GENERAL DEVELOPER GOOD SPIRITS AND SANITY.  Provide a standardized base that is supported by a much larger community than ours, with a focus on building low power and specialized consumer devices. This is MeeGo.

and many other points which have been boiling up over the last two years...
 
This in and of itself dictates that we move to a platform that makes most of this possible for the target devices we wish to push, which are the hordes of consumer devices coming out NOW and in the immediate future. This means moving to MeeGo, a standardized platform DESIGNED for this purpose, and furthermore, one that is backed by the Linux Foundation! WIN WIN for everyone!

THIS WILL HAPPEN ITERATIVELY.

and

THIS WILL MEAN that we will look up one day, and see that LinuxMCE is something very different, and yet, much the same.

To directly answer your question, no, this was all important research, but davegravy, please please PLEASE understand, TECHNOLOGY DOES NOT EXIST IN A VACUUM. _THINGS CHANGE_ and when there are huge earth shaking announcements such as the MERGING OF THE TWO BIGGEST EMBEDDED JUGGERNAUT PLATFORMS IN THE LINUX WORLD TO PROVIDE A SUPERPLATFORM THAT WOULD SOLVE THE ISSUES MENTIONED ABOVE...yes...we need to change direction.

come on man, THINK IT THROUGH. This is the right thing to do.

I know this might piss a bunch of people off, please trust me here, this makes sense if you think it completely through. If you want to talk about this, let's push this to another thread, but I will not be doing any work on this until AFTER the soon 0810 release.

-Thom
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: trentend on March 13, 2010, 07:33:13 pm
This is the first I have heard of it, but I have to say it makes enormous sense.

I'd still like to see the current stable targetted at an LTS version of Ubuntu while the transition is made though.  I cab't imagine it will happen overnight.  The support period for 8.10 ends this April.
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: totallymaxed on March 29, 2010, 03:23:29 pm
This is the first I have heard of it, but I have to say it makes enormous sense.

I'd still like to see the current stable targetted at an LTS version of Ubuntu while the transition is made though.  I cab't imagine it will happen overnight.  The support period for 8.10 ends this April.

Thom recently visited us here in the UK recently and while we of course wear a 'commercial hat' we are also deeply involved in the community here too. So both from a community and commercial perspective we think moving all the code so that it is licensed under the GPL makes sense for all. We 100% agree with this direction. We also agree that replacing or possibly fixing sqlCVS is essential and we also like very much the idea of re-engineering the Orbiter so that it can be made much more portable and re-target-able (and clutter looks to be a good candidate for that...but not necessarily for every device). We're interested in making it possible to create Orbiters in pretty much any 'client side' programming language... ie the look-and-feel of the Orbiter needs to be decoupled so that on some devices the Orbiter could even be ascii only even (just an extreme example...not necessarily one any of us would in fact want!). The objective would be to make Orbiters simple and easy to implement in whatever programming tools you decide to use

Lastly we as a company are targeting Ubuntu 10.04 LTS for our next Dianemo/Cascade version and we have some work under way already on that - we have the dcerouter and some sample plugins compiling & working now. So this is still early days of course but its where we intend to go. When we have the new builder and more components building we will make this available for anyone who would like to try it out.

All the best


Andrew
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: dh on March 29, 2010, 06:29:11 pm
Is the Convergent stuff linked back into the main LMCE tree?  Just curious.

D
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: totallymaxed on March 29, 2010, 07:16:18 pm
Is the Convergent stuff linked back into the main LinuxMCE tree?  Just curious.

D

Our current Cascade & Dianemo builds are 0710 based. We backport most if not all the 0810 changes (and have done for some considerable time) to our builds. We also commit our changes/fixes to the public svn too. In some cases where we may have taken a different approach to implementing something then our changes may not be in the 0810 builds because it cuts across design decisions that the Devs have already taken. Similarly we have some code in our builds that supports features that our custom installers need and in general these often disable things like PnP etc so these are not in the public svn either.

Our Ubuntu 10.04 work mentioned in the earlier post is not in the svn at all yet as it will be based on a new builder and other changes we are making. We will make this available when we have it at a point where we think it is more complete. Whether this is in the public svn or in an svn that we host is yet to be decided. But we are committed to making this code freely available to anyone that wants it as soon as is practical.

Hope the above helps clarify things...if not post more questions in this thread.

All the best

Andrew
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: schaferj on March 30, 2010, 04:58:13 am
Wow,
This is the most exciting lmce news in a while - with immediate implications for GSoC.
joseph
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: trentend on March 30, 2010, 04:17:57 pm
Andrew,

Thank you for that.  As you say it makes sense.

As regards your work on 10.04, I'm unfamiliar with the scope of that.  Clearly the input of your company provides a massive amount to the Linuxmce community.  While respecting your commercial interests it is very useful to the project as a whole the work that you contribute back.  There are those of us, like me, who are neither developers nor potential customers.  I know I'm hell bent on getting things to work for myself. Nevertheless, I'd be happy to contribute testing and feedback if that might be of any use to you.

I have concerns about the long term viability without substantial contributors and consequently I see the input of you and your organisation to be very important.

I do think a 10.4 version would be a very good idea.  On the other hand I know that with limited developer contributions the direction of the project is determined by the knowledge and judgment of a small number of people. To prosper Linuxmce needs to be as open as possible, the documentation (for users and developers needs a lot more contributors, and the project needs sufficient momentum to provide version development within reasonable timeframes.

Currently I'm cutting up lexan and making holes in order to build a custom case for my centrally mounted motherboards (A Tyan atom for the core and three ASUS atom ions as MD's). Over the next month or so I will be in more of a position to contribute.  From a base of absolutely no knowledge unfortunately.
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: posde on March 31, 2010, 02:44:23 pm
[..] _THINGS CHANGE_ and when there are huge earth shaking announcements such as the MERGING OF THE TWO BIGGEST EMBEDDED JUGGERNAUT PLATFORMS IN THE LINUX WORLD [..]

... which both never really made it...
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: totallymaxed on March 31, 2010, 09:41:05 pm
[..] _THINGS CHANGE_ and when there are huge earth shaking announcements such as the MERGING OF THE TWO BIGGEST EMBEDDED JUGGERNAUT PLATFORMS IN THE LINUX WORLD [..]

... which both never really made it...

Well I know Thom is really excited about Meego and to some extent i can see where he is coming from. However we still believe that the Ubuntu platform is worth investing in and this is really where we are going to put most of our effort.

Andrew
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: tschak909 on March 31, 2010, 11:42:27 pm
Am I just going to have to go this alone to prove the point?

-Thom
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: posde on April 01, 2010, 08:07:53 am
"you never walk alone..."
Title: Re: I need orbiter advice
Post by: totallymaxed on April 01, 2010, 09:38:09 am
"you never walk alone..."

...as they say up in Liverpool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8zcq60hsJU (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8zcq60hsJU) ;-)


Andrew