Author Topic: Guys, seriously, are there no coders in here?  (Read 2275 times)

tschak909

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Guys, seriously, are there no coders in here?
« on: May 23, 2010, 03:33:37 am »
Really, I'm fed up.

Am I really the only one man enough to do any serious additions to the system?

-Thom

PeteK

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Re: Guys, seriously, are there no coders in here?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2010, 03:52:18 am »
Hey man, it sure does seem that the burden of the work is falling on only a couple of people.  I think we've all talked about the reasons, but the truth is for a lot of reasons that this is a pretty difficult project to work on, which is why it's hard to contribute to for a lot of casual coders or weekend OSS developers. I know you've seen this, and have put in a lot of effort not just in dev work, but on the IRC channel, here in the forums, on youtube, etc.  I think it's helping, albeit slower than I'm sure all of us would like.  I wish I could offer better advice than just keep your sanity and hold on, but I think this is a normal growing pain for a what's still a relatively immature product for its size and complexity.




hari

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Re: Guys, seriously, are there no coders in here?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2010, 01:17:40 pm »
serious additions? Somehow I had the impression that we are in beta freeze and try to get 0810 stable..

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Afkpuz

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Re: Guys, seriously, are there no coders in here?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2010, 09:43:02 pm »
We all apreciate your hard work guys, but if you want others to help, we need someone to tell us what to do.  I suggest some form of delegation.  And being specific really helps.

I.E.  A persistent thread with the major issues that need work.  Have each issue link to their own thread and ask people to volunteer to fix a problem they are capable of.  Keep them accountable, choose a team leader for each, have a measurable end goal, and equip those leaders to make decisions congruent with the main devs vision.    Keep em accountable with deadlines or roadmaps and see where that takes you. 

Otherwise, people will only tinker with what they are interested in and the burden will get carried by only a few people, which could easily discourage those few.  This is the dilemma with all open source software.  I may not be able to code, but I think I could lead a team.  But I would need a bit of training, such as how to integrate changes into the master code, how to test without reinstalling a billion time, etc.  If someone would sit down with me and explain those things, I'd be much more likely to help lead a team than to just jump in.

grawil

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Re: Guys, seriously, are there no coders in here?
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2010, 05:27:09 pm »
Really, I'm fed up.

Am I really the only one man enough to do any serious additions to the system?

-Thom

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, Enna, Elisa, xmbc, 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.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2010, 05:29:04 pm by grawil »

tschak909

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Re: Guys, seriously, are there no coders in here?
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2010, 05:30:08 pm »
hmm. another person with all talk, no action.

TRAC is here: http://svn.linuxmce.org/ ... love that you looked...

work with us, then I'll listen to what you have to say.

Did it occur to you that maybe I know these things?

WE LACK MANPOWER. PERIOD.

If you actually followed threads, or talked with us on the IRC server, you'd know that I am doing all these things. I am SICK of managerial types who think they can lead. Get down in the dirt with us and help us actually do work.

-Thom
« Last Edit: May 26, 2010, 05:33:12 pm by tschak909 »

grawil

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Re: Guys, seriously, are there no coders in here?
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2010, 05:46:25 pm »
hmm. another person with all talk, no action.

TRAC is here: http://svn.linuxmce.org/ ... love that you looked...

work with us, then I'll listen to what you have to say.

Did it occur to you that maybe I know these things?

WE LACK MANPOWER. PERIOD.

If you actually followed threads, or talked with us on the IRC server, you'd know that I am doing all these things. I am SICK of managerial types who think they can lead. Get down in the dirt with us and help us actually do work.

-Thom

I believe this response perfectly illustrates why there are no new developers and you lack manpower.  Good luck with your project, but I think I'll look to spend my free time elswhere.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2010, 05:51:10 pm by grawil »

bongowongo

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Re: Guys, seriously, are there no coders in here?
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2010, 06:02:08 pm »
You will be missed.

los93sol

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Re: Guys, seriously, are there no coders in here?
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2010, 04:59:22 am »
grawll:  Your points are valid, but as Thom said, they are already being addressed.  Thom has attempted to delegate tasks to help people get started by posting the programming challenges which have not gotten much response from the community.  TRAC lays out the open issues, feature requests, development plan, etc. already.

I've made a few additions myself and it is frustrating that we can't even get people to test things even though the particular addition was pointed out to them in response to something they wanted to do as it provides them with exactly what they asked for.

Yes, the project is huge, but you'll find that if you are actively pursuing development, the dev channel on IRC is the best place to ask questions and discuss development.  I occasionally will post a question on the boards instead of in IRC just so others can see what's happening and to avoid hacking by myself in a corner on something that doesn't meet the necessity of the masses.

Give it an honest shot, find a device that you're interested in and is either an open platform, provides an API or SDK, or you can obtain the protocol spec. for and drop by the IRC channel to ask questions about getting started.  There's always someone in there that can help answering questions (including myself).  Once you've got something going you can extend the development pages on the wiki with additional feedback and information you found helpful that's not already documented.

davegravy

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Re: Guys, seriously, are there no coders in here?
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2010, 04:04:43 am »
hmm. another person with all talk, no action.

TRAC is here: http://svn.linuxmce.org/ ... love that you looked...

work with us, then I'll listen to what you have to say.

Did it occur to you that maybe I know these things?

WE LACK MANPOWER. PERIOD.

If you actually followed threads, or talked with us on the IRC server, you'd know that I am doing all these things. I am SICK of managerial types who think they can lead. Get down in the dirt with us and help us actually do work.

-Thom

I believe this response perfectly illustrates why there are no new developers and you lack manpower.  Good luck with your project, but I think I'll look to spend my free time elswhere.

Wisdom is wisdom, whether it comes from someone who's invested 0 or 10000 hours into Linuxmce.

There's a human component to every programming project involving multiple people. It's not just about churning out code and getting "down in the dirt" and "we'll figure out how valuable you are once you produce". A lot more people would contribute if they were valued based on their experience, rather than their Linuxmce-specific merit.

As lame as it sounds, the Linuxmce concept isn't in and of itself enough to entice contributors... you need an attractive work environment as well.

tschak909

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Re: Guys, seriously, are there no coders in here?
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2010, 04:21:51 am »
once again, I'm the asshole...

great...

davegravy, what have you contributed?

-Thom

hari

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Re: Guys, seriously, are there no coders in here?
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2010, 11:26:03 am »
can we please stop wasting our time with this thread?
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davegravy

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Re: Guys, seriously, are there no coders in here?
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2010, 01:36:58 pm »
can we please stop wasting our time with this thread?

If the end result is a realization of the reasons why there are no contributors, is this thread truly a waste of time?