I understand that because this system is so complex, it is hard to know where to start. Let me see if I can untangle some of this for you.
Templates: No there unfortunately isn't a way to easily duplicate a template. It needs to be made from scratch. We aren't averse to somebody writing a duplicate function in the web admin, however, this would be very useful, it's just nobody has done it yet.
Device Templates are typically tilted towards specific devices and models. Sometimes, one device template can handle many different devices, sometimes it is a single device to a template. This is of the contributor's discretion, in the end the user just cares that it works, and therefore that's our stance too. The system is very flexible as to where it comes to describing a device, so if a multiple devices can work with the same commands and command groups, it makes sense to combine them into one device template. We have the ability to have multiple plug and play records for this purpose (among others.)
Uploading: Device templates can be uploaded with the anonymous/nopass credentials. They are then put into an area where we can view them and subsequently approve their inclusion into the database. In order for this to work effectively, what we ask each contributor to do is:
(1) sqlCVS update your database before making your new template
(2) make your new template
(3) Go to trac (http://svn.linuxmce.org/
) and create a new ticket, with the title being your new device, and an indication that this is a new device template. This will give you a TRAC ticket #. you will need it for the next step.
(4) Go to sqlCVS->Diff in the web admin, and be sure to check all for the DCE and IR command groups, as this is where your device template will be stored (the metadata is in DCE, and any special commands, IR codes, Ruby code, will be in the IR repository), IN THE COMMENTS FIELD, PLEASE PUT THE TRAC TICKET # YOU WERE GIVEN. This will allow us to easily process your template and match things up.
(5) We will look things over, and most likely approve. If we don't, either way...
(6) You get a message indicating it was approved or not, and what device template # it was inserted into the database as. If you do an sqlCVS, you will see the revised device template #.
As for Designer: Designer is still used, because we haven't replaced Orbiter yet. While we ARE working on a new engine, and it is available for those who want to contribute and test, Orbiter is still used in most cases, therefore Designer is still relevant. For most things, you should not need to go out and design a new screen, but if you do need to make UI changes, we can walk you through them in the -devel IRC channel.
and finally, all bug reports are useful, don't be hesitant to file one. If it's a dupe, we will mark it as such. If it's a worksforme, we will try to offer an explanation or ask for further information.
Hope this helps,