Author Topic: WAF wins out.  (Read 4829 times)

skeptic

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WAF wins out.
« on: June 03, 2010, 10:42:09 pm »
Well guys, I hate to admit it but the wife has been somewhat unhappy with LMCE from the start.  She loves the idea of a central media center and various frontend MDs, as well as the potential for all the home automation stuff, integrated security and phone system, etc.  Unfortunately she hates the interface.  Ugly, non-intuitive, sometimes glitchy.  She wants to be able pick up a remote and have everything make sense, not need to learn where stuff is or how to do things. 

Since I had a spare 500G SATA drive in my closet, I went ahead and installed Mythbuntu for her to try.  The wife is happy with it, so it looks like I'll be stepping away from linuxmce for a while.  To be completely honest, I like it much better myself except for the lack of HA features.

I'll be keeping an eye on LinuxMCE.  After the orbiter re-write I hope to come back - there is so much potential functionality I want to use.  Unfortunately user friendliness is just not there.  LinuxMCE is also quite glitchy, but I've been using 810 BETA, it's expected.

Don't take this as a typical LinuxMCE sucks, I'm using something else type post.  If anything, think of it as a reminder of what is important to end users - the user experience.  I know some of the devs here get uptight and defensive when any criticism is given, but lets try to get past that.  I want LinuxMCE to succeed.  I think it has the potential to be great.  I know it's early in it's life and is trying to shake off the shackles of the commercial product that spawned it.  As an end user that has been using and following this project for more than 2 years let me throw out a few general suggestions:

*rip out, rewrite, or otherwise get away from any proprietary code.  LMCE needs FOSS programmers, some FOSS programmers may shy away from a project built from and still limited by non-free licensing, even if it's just some areas.
*stop chasing away potential users and developers.  Rude belittling posts do nothing but hurt the project. 
*listen to the users.  If a question or complaint comes up often, there is a reason. 
*more linux standard stuff, less wizardy stuff.  Think of how many people run into the "black screen, press 1, 2, 3, etc." on hardware where a standard linux install works fine. 
*If at all possible, get this to run on other distros.
*Do not force PXE booted MDs.  Net booting is nice, it's slick, but sometimes being able to boot a MD from a local HD is a better option.
*Put an end to the constand "need to reload router" and "need to regenerate orbiter" stuff. 

Of course these are all suggestions, nobody can demand or even expect the devs to work on anything they don't want to (unless they are being directly paid for specific items).  I'll still be lurking from time to time, I may even setup a test environment and continue to play around.

l3mce

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Re: WAF wins out.
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2010, 03:51:20 am »
You should have gotten her a remote with idiot buttons, as navigating the "Media" menu has proven too difficult for her.

"When you ground up re-architect the project and make it look like an Iphone I might use it again for free sometime."

Gosh. I bet they are really looking forward to that.
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tschak909

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Re: WAF wins out.
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2010, 05:12:17 am »
Yes, I have modified the post...

A good number of your points are valid, however, there is only so much the developers can do with limited time and resources. We need help,

You haven't been following any development discussions, so how could you possibly know how things are going?

I am a bit miffed at your tone of, "make it nice and perfect and MAYBE i'll come back." but I'm sure that was unintentional.

-Thom
« Last Edit: June 04, 2010, 05:46:20 am by tschak909 »

skeptic

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Re: WAF wins out.
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2010, 06:29:35 am »
Typical responses.  My second point in fact - rude belittling posts hidden behind a a thin veil of sarcasm.

Hand a guest in your home who has never seen LMCE a remote and tell them to set a program to record any time it comes on.  

You don't have to like my suggestions, or even agree with them.  I'm just trying to be honest and unbiased.  If anything, I'm biased in favor of LMCE.  

Thom - as much as you have contributed to this project and as much good as you have done, LinuxMCE would be better off without you.  Or at least better if you were banned from the user forum.  Stick to coding and leave the PR to others.  Newsflash - not everyone's life revolves around LMCE.  You can claim I have a complete lack of contribution, disregard 2+ years of answering what I could in the forums and what little of my posts made it to the wiki.  I understand your ego is fragile and anyone that doesn't submit code to the project is inferior to you, has no valid opinion, and are only to be tolerated but not allowed to speak freely.   You did notice this was posted in the users forum right?

BTW, I didn't say I was leaving.  I said I was going to hang around, watch how things progress, maybe even setup a test box for LMCE.  In fact, I specifically said I hope to replace Myth with LMCE in the future.  Think of my going back to MythTV as a temporary thing while the usability issues are worked out.

If the goal of the project is still to make a simple to setup, simple  to use, all-in-one appliance type device you HAVE to listen to the users.  Who is the target audience for the future?  If it's techies or people who are willing to learn lots of detailed stuff like most everyone here in order to get the functionality of LMCE, then things are fine the way they are.  I am fine with the learning curve.  If the target audience is non-technical people or those who just want things to be easy to use without a steep learning curve then the opinions of people like my wife should be important. 

Or just continue the way things are, keep chasing people away while begging people to help.  Keep all the options limited with a high learning curve to weed out anyone that may want to just download it for and use a hassle free system.  Ignore all the reasons why other options such as boxee, xbmc, mythtv, etc. are more successful.  And most important of all, ignore the suggestions by those of us who have been using LinuxMCE for a while. 

skeptic

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Re: WAF wins out.
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2010, 06:50:50 am »
Yes, I have modified the post...

A good number of your points are valid, however, there is only so much the developers can do with limited time and resources. We need help,

You haven't been following any development discussions, so how could you possibly know how things are going?

I am a bit miffed at your tone of, "make it nice and perfect and MAYBE i'll come back." but I'm sure that was unintentional.

-Thom

Since you modified the post after I started my last reply, then was away from my computer for a bit, let me reply to this directly.

I'm still going to leave my original reply as is because your "don't let the door hit you on the way out" is far too common and I think my reply is valid.  Ok, I may have been a bit unfairly harsh, but I'm leaving my knee-jerk reaction to your knee-jerk reaction.

I'm not a coder.  Probably never will be.  I'm a Unix admin.  As part of my unix work I sometimes do ksh scripting all day long.  I've also done a bit of python programming.  The LAST thing I want to do after work is code especially if it means learning/re-learning a language.  I don't follow the dev forums, although I do pick up the occasional bit here and there, such as the plan to re-write the orbiter.

My tone may have come across as "make it perfect and maybe I'll come back" but it certainly wasn't meant that way.  To put it simple:  My wife does not like the LinuxMCE interface so I finally gave in and switched to MythTV, now she is happy.  I plan to come back to LMCE as soon as it's user friendly enough that she is ok with it.  I have confidence that this will be the case once the orbiter has been re-written.  I'm technical, she is not.  Things that I, and most everyone here, are fine with she sees as ugly, unintuitive, or a hassle.  I think it would do everyone some good to sit down with a non-technical person with no LMCE exposure and get their honest opinion.

My suggestions, and they are only suggestions, are based on what I have seen here and with other projects like MythTV.  Additional coders will come with a larger user base.  A larger user base will come with easier, more flexible install and a more user friendly UI.

tschak909

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Re: WAF wins out.
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2010, 06:56:29 am »
You honestly think i don't see the faults?

Really?

Like I said, if you were part of the development discussions, you'd know this is the furthest thing from the truth.

I work constantly, to try and come up with a development plan to virtually address most of your criticisms (the diskless workstation concept is staying in place as is however. not going to change.)

Ask anyone here who has worked beside me.

-Thom

dcubox1

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Re: WAF wins out.
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2010, 10:19:31 am »
I can see some of skeptic points are valid but telling one of the main coders that the project is better off without him is not going to help the project grow. This project is by far the best all-in-one package I have ever come across.

The only complaint I would have is that it is very very hard to get started with helping you guys in some of the coding as people coming from a non linux background find it hard to setup the project from source...(i still have not managed to follow the instructions) so maybe a bit more help is needed in that area, then when people get setup they will gladly be able to contribute!!

P.S. I love the PXE booting option so I for one would hate to see that go!!

chrisbirkinshaw

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Re: WAF wins out.
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2010, 10:46:38 am »
This is a tricky one. I am a hardcore geek and live by myself, but have now phased LMCE out of everything except lighting control. In that area I find it hard to replace linuxmce as the next best thing is Misterhouse which is quite primitive.

I think the problem is that LMCE tries to bite off too much and there is really too much work to do on the project for the limited number of devs. It will perhaps never catch up with the Ubuntu release cycle and who knows if it will make it onto other distros. It will be hard to get myth developers to come over to LMCE. Wouldn't it be better if LMCE was a set of plugins for mythtv? We use the mythtv interface, keep everything simple, and get all those mythtv devs excited in our project. Keep the DCErouter, but user mythtv as the front end - always running. Or, different approach - use XBMC and make mythtv a set of plugins on that. It was good enough for Boxee....

purps

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Re: WAF wins out.
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2010, 11:26:37 am »

My tone may have come across as "make it perfect and maybe I'll come back" but it certainly wasn't meant that way.  To put it simple:  My wife does not like the LinuxMCE interface so I finally gave in and switched to MythTV, now she is happy.  I plan to come back to LinuxMCE as soon as it's user friendly enough that she is ok with it.  I have confidence that this will be the case once the orbiter has been re-written.  I'm technical, she is not.  Things that I, and most everyone here, are fine with she sees as ugly, unintuitive, or a hassle.  I think it would do everyone some good to sit down with a non-technical person with no LinuxMCE exposure and get their honest opinion.
 

Is it just the interface for the TV part that's causing the friction? I have to say, I recently switched to the N800 as my main remote, and that uses all the myth menus for recording, browsing recording, guide, etc, and I have to say I much prefer it. I would have thought that any touchscreen mobile orbiter would help the WAF.

Regarding your point "Hand a guest in your home who has never seen LinuxMCE a remote and tell them to set a program to record any time it comes on." is not really fair I don't think. Take any standard PVR machine that is on the market right now, and I know people that would still have trouble. I don't think that LMCE (with a touchscreen orbiter) is really any more difficult.
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wierdbeard65

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Re: WAF wins out.
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2010, 11:58:11 am »
*stop chasing away potential users and developers.  Rude belittling posts do nothing but hurt the project.
I have to totally agree with this comment. However I think it is unfair to single Thom out in the way you did later on, he isn't the only (or worst) culpret!! It's supposed to be a community and, AFAIK, Linux is about choice, so various views are all valid as are different configurations and any resulting, open discussions. Having said that, if you deliberately don't follow advice, don't expect the main guys to bail you out!
It will perhaps never catch up with the Ubuntu release cycle and who knows if it will make it onto other distros.
Perhaps I mis-remember, but I'm sure I read that part of the reason 810 is such a big deal (and a big job) is that the close tie with Kubuntu version is being un-picked. My understanding is that it will go from a system embedded in the OS, to one installed on top. I'm sure I read that once this process is complete, moving to newer Kubuntu releases will be a much faster, and less painful, process. Or have I mis-remembered?
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totallymaxed

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Re: WAF wins out.
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2010, 01:42:35 pm »
Well guys, I hate to admit it but the wife has been somewhat unhappy with LinuxMCE from the start.  She loves the idea of a central media center and various frontend MDs, as well as the potential for all the home automation stuff, integrated security and phone system, etc.  Unfortunately she hates the interface.  Ugly, non-intuitive, sometimes glitchy.  She wants to be able pick up a remote and have everything make sense, not need to learn where stuff is or how to do things. 

Since I had a spare 500G SATA drive in my closet, I went ahead and installed Mythbuntu for her to try.  The wife is happy with it, so it looks like I'll be stepping away from linuxmce for a while.  To be completely honest, I like it much better myself except for the lack of HA features.

I'll be keeping an eye on LinuxMCE.  After the orbiter re-write I hope to come back - there is so much potential functionality I want to use.  Unfortunately user friendliness is just not there.  LinuxMCE is also quite glitchy, but I've been using 810 BETA, it's expected.

Don't take this as a typical LinuxMCE sucks, I'm using something else type post.  If anything, think of it as a reminder of what is important to end users - the user experience.  I know some of the devs here get uptight and defensive when any criticism is given, but lets try to get past that.  I want LinuxMCE to succeed.  I think it has the potential to be great.  I know it's early in it's life and is trying to shake off the shackles of the commercial product that spawned it.  As an end user that has been using and following this project for more than 2 years let me throw out a few general suggestions:

*rip out, rewrite, or otherwise get away from any proprietary code.  LinuxMCE needs FOSS programmers, some FOSS programmers may shy away from a project built from and still limited by non-free licensing, even if it's just some areas.
*stop chasing away potential users and developers.  Rude belittling posts do nothing but hurt the project. 
*listen to the users.  If a question or complaint comes up often, there is a reason. 
*more linux standard stuff, less wizardy stuff.  Think of how many people run into the "black screen, press 1, 2, 3, etc." on hardware where a standard linux install works fine. 
*If at all possible, get this to run on other distros.
*Do not force PXE booted MDs.  Net booting is nice, it's slick, but sometimes being able to boot a MD from a local HD is a better option.
*Put an end to the constand "need to reload router" and "need to regenerate orbiter" stuff. 

Of course these are all suggestions, nobody can demand or even expect the devs to work on anything they don't want to (unless they are being directly paid for specific items).  I'll still be lurking from time to time, I may even setup a test environment and continue to play around.

Firstly Thom commits an enormous amount of his personal time and energy at all levels of this project - and yes he can often be 'heard' here voicing a somewhat acerbic opinion or just venting his frustration here in the forum... but after all is said and done no one here has put more into this project than he has - including me or indeed you. So who are we to criticise him?

Hmm... what i fail to understand is that you want to make such a big deal about 'leaving'...since you are by your own admission not contributing at a code/technical level then I would have thought it more appropriate to just stop using LinuxMCE and to focus your energy on raising the WAF in your home with Myth or whatever else you find works for you.

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l3mce

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Re: WAF wins out.
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2010, 04:26:42 pm »
Typical responses.  My second point in fact - rude belittling posts hidden behind a a thin veil of sarcasm.

Hand a guest in your home who has never seen LinuxMCE a remote and tell them to set a program to record any time it comes on.


Choose an upcoming show (with the arrow keys). Press "ok" and record whatever scheme you want (again using those pesky arrow keys).


That is also a function of myth. Aren't you now on mythbuntu?

Splain to me how it is better. How is the scheduled recording different? How has it become easier for your wife? Because you have a big button on the tv which takes you to the same place?
 
I am not associated with lmce. I just found your "this isn't a lmce sucks thread but this is why lmce sucks" not only disingenuous, but a labor of the obvious or just painfully myopic. Literally my eye hurt after reading your suggestions. I have a headache in my eye now. If this wisdom is the culmination of your 3 years of experience... well... there you go.

I am sorry somewhere down the line Thom hurt your feelings. Perhaps you are a little to gentle to be on the internet just yet.
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l3mce

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Re: WAF wins out.
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2010, 04:38:07 pm »
I agree, and disagree.  I'm not saying LinuxMCE should go the way of MythTV, but the whole UI gently overlaid is certainly not true either.  I really like the way the main menu doesn't block the other stuff when media is playing, but go into the video menu, or audio, etc. and it blocks everything (or blends with the background). 


If you want coverart and enough movies per screen it kinda has to. 

Start a movie that you were previously watching and the entire screen is covered while asking to continue or not.  There are plenty of places where LinuxMCE blocks whatever on-screen media is playing, some make perfect sense while others do not.  While I agree that trying to copy MythTV or any of the other eye-candy UIs is not the way LinuxMCE should go, I do think there are a few areas where using at least the bulk of the screen makes sense.  Possibly scaling the media to a PIP type box. 

Just to be clear, I like the way LinuxMCE works.  I still only use it for media, no HA stuff yet, and I'm still using LinuxMCe with no plans to switch.  I'm also happy to hear you are working on re-writing the orbiter. 

My how a few weeks changes things...
« Last Edit: June 04, 2010, 04:54:07 pm by l3mce »
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skeptic

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Re: WAF wins out.
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2010, 05:38:24 pm »
Didn't mean to start an uproar.  Let me see if I can respond to some of the main points/questions.

The stuff directed toward Thom was a reaction to his original reply.  I don't want to dwell on it, but my comments refer to his posting and attitude toward others, NOT on his contributions as a dev.  There seems to be somewhat of a confrontational tone between devs (and others) and anyone wanting to make a suggestion.   I've seen people join the forum, say they are a coder or want to learn, then get chased off when they suggest ideas or new approaches.  I wasn't singling out or implying anyone specific in my first post.

PXE boot - I think I may have been misunderstood, I would not want to see PXE booting go away.  I do think the ability to install a MD on a local drive and boot from it could be handy in certain circumstances.  Mainly for things like a wireless laptop that may move around.  In fact, I'm PXE booting a MythTV frontend now.  Very handy feature that I wouldn't want to see go away.

WAF - simply put, she doesn't like the interface and finds the Myth one more intuitive.  I/we have never used a webpad mobile orbiter, she may have been happy had I bought one for her to use. 

I wasn't trying to make a big deal about leaving.  Quite the contrary.  I was trying to throw out ideas to help LMCE appeal to a larger audience.  I started with 0704, ran 0710 for most of the time, then switched to 0810 beta.  I want LMCE to succeed, I want it to grow and become the standard by which all other media centers are judged.  Yes, LMCE is far more than just a media center, but that's how it's going to be seen and compared to by others.  Sometimes I think people here get tunnel vision and it helps to get another point of view.


l3mce - I'm not going to get into a pissing contest over how much easier one product is than another.  I'm fine with LMCE, the wife thinks other options are easier to use and look nicer.  End of discussion.  Clearly you have issues with reading comprehension as well, but thank you for taking the time to search through my older posts and quote one that supports what I am saying in this thread. 

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Re: WAF wins out.
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2010, 06:01:21 pm »
l3mce - I'm not going to get into a pissing contest over how much easier one product is than another.  I'm fine with LinuxMCE, the wife thinks other options are easier to use and look nicer.  End of discussion.  Clearly you have issues with reading comprehension as well, but thank you for taking the time to search through my older posts and quote one that supports what I am saying in this thread. 

It is the same product. Scheduling functions the same way because it is the same interface. There is no discussion to be had. If your wife cannot, after a single explanation, "work it"... I do not see how that would change.

Your quoted post, while still whining that it isn't good enough, is in contrast to what you are saying now, and supported by your decision to move to the "eye candy" option you did not think LMCE should go.

What did you expect this thread to accomplish? That everyone would drop the current product and re-engineer it to suit you so you will come back? Seriously? If you want a feature, make it. If you want to criticize it, you might want to contribute first to lend your opinion weight. My opinion has no weight... that is why I bother talking to you about this. It is not your place, nor mine, to complain about what "I think it should do" or state the obvious as if it is a revelation. There is nothing of merit in your contradictory posts, and this thread serves no purpose but to offend... my reading comprehension not withstanding.
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