Author Topic: GUI Improvements  (Read 15747 times)

los93sol

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GUI Improvements
« on: September 20, 2008, 07:35:57 pm »
Is it just me that notices that nothing seems to work properly in the GUI?  Text does not fit on the buttons properly, most screens look like buttons are missing, when actually using LMCE it frequently allows you to realize that you are in fact using several different programs.  I know that is how it works, but the point is the GUI is incredibly sloppy.  I find it frustrating that the devs are apparently hell bent on keeping their obviously broken system for creating GUI's.  I would gladly help out if the current system was not so horribly difficult to use.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, look at XBMC's skinning engine to see how it is supposed to be done!  Look how many people are creating skins for their software, meanwhile LMCE cannot seem to get a single person to fix the obvious bugs with theirs that gives any demo the general impression the LMCE is clunky and sloppy at best.  Feel free to slam me and tell me how I am bitching and not contributing anything, but the fact is some serious changes need to happen to make LMCE usable and to get it to a stage where it can even be tested properly.  I've been following the project for about a year now and simply find it incredible that nobody is even concerned that their software looks so sloppy.  Sure, there was that whole UI3 "discussion", but what the hell happened to that?  Media organization is simply awful, and the devs concensus is they are doing it "the right way"...again...look at XBMC to see how it is supposed to be done.  For god's sake I even talked to the developer who does all the code on their skinning issue and he said he'd be willing to consult with you guys about the way your UI is created and possible improvements to it.  You know what happened there?  Absolutely nothing, because nobody contacted him from LMCE, they expected him to chase them down.  When you're seeking advice you go get it, you don't wait for it to come to you.  Oh well, I'm over it, perhaps in another year someone will have realized that the general consensus of the clunkiness and sloppiness of LMCE is to great to be ignored or brushed off as people bitching.  When you decide to take a sensible approach to the GUI let me know and I'll gladly contribute something, but until then good luck, I'll be watching.

Zaerc

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Re: GUI Improvements
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2008, 08:04:07 pm »
Is it just me that notices that nothing seems to work properly in the GUI?  Text does not fit on the buttons properly, most screens look like buttons are missing, when actually using LMCE it frequently allows you to realize that you are in fact using several different programs.  I know that is how it works, but the point is the GUI is incredibly sloppy.  I find it frustrating that the devs are apparently hell bent on keeping their obviously broken system for creating GUI's.  I would gladly help out if the current system was not so horribly difficult to use.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, look at XBMC's skinning engine to see how it is supposed to be done!  Look how many people are creating skins for their software, meanwhile LMCE cannot seem to get a single person to fix the obvious bugs with theirs that gives any demo the general impression the LMCE is clunky and sloppy at best.  Feel free to slam me and tell me how I am bitching and not contributing anything, but the fact is some serious changes need to happen to make LMCE usable and to get it to a stage where it can even be tested properly.  I've been following the project for about a year now and simply find it incredible that nobody is even concerned that their software looks so sloppy.  Sure, there was that whole UI3 "discussion", but what the hell happened to that?  Media organization is simply awful, and the devs concensus is they are doing it "the right way"...again...look at XBMC to see how it is supposed to be done.  For god's sake I even talked to the developer who does all the code on their skinning issue and he said he'd be willing to consult with you guys about the way your UI is created and possible improvements to it.  You know what happened there?  Absolutely nothing, because nobody contacted him from LMCE, they expected him to chase them down.  When you're seeking advice you go get it, you don't wait for it to come to you.  Oh well, I'm over it, perhaps in another year someone will have realized that the general consensus of the clunkiness and sloppiness of LMCE is to great to be ignored or brushed off as people bitching.  When you decide to take a sensible approach to the GUI let me know and I'll gladly contribute something, but until then good luck, I'll be watching.

Sooo... why don't you and XBMC get a room then?
"Change is inevitable. Progress is optional."
-- Anonymous


hari

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Re: GUI Improvements
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2008, 08:21:00 pm »
given on how many platforms it runs, I think the UI is not all that bad..

but hey, did you even care to watch tschak's hadesigner screencasts?

best regards,
hari
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tschak909

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Re: GUI Improvements
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2008, 08:34:39 pm »
Okay, damn it. Now the gloves come off.

First,

We are a community based project, who are trying to get their feet stable, especially since we are lessening our dependence on Pluto to handle infrastructure.
Our concerns first, are getting a builder running for the next release, and to fix as many critical bugs as on our list before the 0810 release. This means, not many new features, but a few.

Secondly,

Our UI approach _IS_ the right one considering the sheer number of display devices we need to target. I have said it once, and I will say it again:

LINUXMCE IS NOT A MEDIA CENTER. IT IS A SMART HOME PLATFORM. THIS IS ITS FIRST PRIORITY!

While Orbiter is not perfect, and it is a bit behind the curve, it is more than capable to build a beautiful looking UI that targets not one, but over 7 different display targets. We just haven't gotten there, yet. the Basic skin is just that.. Basic. It was designed by Pluto to test and make sure that Orbiter was working in the first place. As such, it doesn't focus on aesthetic, as much as functionality. I want to replace this, and am actively looking for help from other people who can follow my lead, and produce something aesthetically pleasing.

The second issue is of course, that we are using disparate system components linked together with a message buss. For some of these pieces, such as the Xine_Player, this is very smooth and well integrated. For other pieces, such as the MPlayer_Player, or the MythTV_Player, it isn't so well integrated. It is possible to tighten the integration between these pieces to smooth things out, but it takes man power, moreso than it does time. I want to be able to make it so that the MythTV screens are not used, instead, using the Orbiter UI, so that scheduling, etc.. can be done from any display surface in the house. Similar things need to be done to the web browser, and other smaller pieces.

We even have someone who is actively working on re-vamping the web admin.

If you obviously felt enough passion for this project, to scream at it from the top of your lungs, you need to ask yourself, what can you do to help? Furthermore, just do it.

Until then, you have NO RIGHT to bitch. Go home.

-Thom

hari

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Re: GUI Improvements
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2008, 08:37:56 pm »
* hari gets some popcorn
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sadara

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Re: GUI Improvements
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2008, 12:44:38 pm »
This is my first post on the forums.
I've been following the development of MythTV for years, and linuxmce since the beginning.

I mostly agree with los93sol, but don't share his attitude.
I believe that the UI does _really_ need improvement, (a bit of an understatement)
However, I am not going to complain about it, or DEMAND it be fixed RIGHT NOW.

WYSIWYG - This is open source software, and until someone finds the time to do something about it, nothing is going to happen. It sounds like the core developers have a fair few things higher on their TODO list atm.

If the UI bothers you that much, start a bounty for a new one, just don't be surprised by the amount you will need to raise to get a developer interested.

If you believe that the underlying API is fundamentally broken, either write a new one, or pay someone to do it for you.
When I get time, I may look at this (highly unlikely it will be anytime soon)

For the moment I will start a new thread with a bit of a more positive note, could someone pm me with the contact info for the XBMC developer so I can chase him down.

tschak909

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Re: GUI Improvements
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2008, 04:43:46 pm »
I want something to be crystal clear: We will not replace orbiter, unless we have a technology that can effectively target all of the devices that orbiter can currently target, as well as providing a paradigm that will allow for a UI designer to be able to design re-usable elements that can inherit, and create variations that are not only device divergent, but also skin divergent.

Guess what? Orbiter and Designer ALREADY DO THIS!

LinuxMCE is so much more than what's on the on-screen display, and before you scream that "well, people don't normally use all that stuff." Firstly, they should, the orbiter can be installed on a wide variety of devices, and secondly, we're going for a much larger use case than MythTV, XBMC, elisa, etc... so please.. keep that in mind. We are painting a much bigger picture than all of those projects combined.

Pluto has already done the hard work to make this possible, and quite frankly, I don't think any of you will do any better off the cuff.


If you're going to scream, and complain, why don't you actually dig into the code, and you'll see that we already have what we need, instead of whining and complaining that it doesn't fit your model of the universe.

-Thom

los93sol

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Re: GUI Improvements
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2008, 05:00:09 pm »
A few things to note...

Yes I watched the screencasts and will not use the HADesigner under any circumstances, it is way too cumbersome and drastically overcomplicated.  I've said this before, but the guy who wrote HADesigner has even stated that it needs replaced and was a hack to get something usable out quickly.  It was NEVER intended to be used this long.  That said, why keep bothering defending it when the same guy has also stated that there are bugs with it that have not been fixed or even attempted to have been fixed since it was put out.

Dont worry about taking off the gloves, I obviously threw mine aside when I decided to make this thread.  You should however note that I did make the statement that when the standpoint of HADesigner changes and the devs and people who are able to fix that current problems do so that I'll gladly help and contribute.  You're beating a dead horse continuing to use the HADesigner, it is clearly broken.

Finally, call it screaming if you want, trust me, it is not.  It is unbelievable to me that when showing off this system to your friends/family that nobody is embarassed by the UI, even the "nice" UI looks awful, have noticable bugs from the time the system is booted.  Again, I'll gladly help once a reasonable system is in place, or at least considered.

BTW...XBMC's skinning engine could easily be adapted to handle all platforms with little effort in recreating the entire UI several times over. ...I loved the comment about getting a room with them, you must share my views and/or stance on the issues considering you normally fire right back.


tschak909

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Re: GUI Improvements
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2008, 05:14:45 pm »
you know what?

it's become very clear, that you are more intent on complaining, than actually doing anything at all.

I'm going to continue working, helping write the Designer replacement, and working on the replacement of Basic.

I find it deplorable that you are content to sit and watch from afar while we bust our ass trying to stand on our own two feet, and make the system our own. by our, i mean the community, yet from your virtual mount olympus you feel the need to rain down complaint upon us that are ACTUALLY DOING THE WORK. You sir, should be ashamed of yourself. If you want change, get in, and get your hands dirty, and make the change. You'll feel a lot more accomplished for it.


Are you going to defend your position to the point where you are willing to do something about it? something tangible? are you?

Probably not,
I'm going to continue hacking. Later.

-Thom
« Last Edit: September 21, 2008, 05:19:24 pm by tschak909 »

Zaerc

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Re: GUI Improvements
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2008, 05:49:59 pm »
...
BTW...XBMC's skinning engine could easily be adapted to handle all platforms with little effort in recreating the entire UI several times over. ...I loved the comment about getting a room with them, you must share my views and/or stance on the issues considering you normally fire right back.



If that is so easy as you claim, then why haven't you done it yet?

And to clear that little misconception up, I just think it isn't worth discussing with some little troll who blatently chooses to ignore the underlying complexity (and everything else that doesn't fit his delusion).  So as far as I'm concerned both you and your views can fuck right off.
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totallymaxed

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Re: GUI Improvements
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2008, 08:44:21 pm »
A few things to note...

Yes I watched the screencasts and will not use the HADesigner under any circumstances, it is way too cumbersome and drastically overcomplicated.  I've said this before, but the guy who wrote HADesigner has even stated that it needs replaced and was a hack to get something usable out quickly.  It was NEVER intended to be used this long.  That said, why keep bothering defending it when the same guy has also stated that there are bugs with it that have not been fixed or even attempted to have been fixed since it was put out.

Dont worry about taking off the gloves, I obviously threw mine aside when I decided to make this thread.  You should however note that I did make the statement that when the standpoint of HADesigner changes and the devs and people who are able to fix that current problems do so that I'll gladly help and contribute.  You're beating a dead horse continuing to use the HADesigner, it is clearly broken.

Finally, call it screaming if you want, trust me, it is not.  It is unbelievable to me that when showing off this system to your friends/family that nobody is embarassed by the UI, even the "nice" UI looks awful, have noticable bugs from the time the system is booted.  Again, I'll gladly help once a reasonable system is in place, or at least considered.

BTW...XBMC's skinning engine could easily be adapted to handle all platforms with little effort in recreating the entire UI several times over. ...I loved the comment about getting a room with them, you must share my views and/or stance on the issues considering you normally fire right back.

Hmmm... look if you truly feel that XBMC's  skinning engine "could easily be adapted to handle all platforms with little effort" then lets see you prove that statement... "put up or shut up" is a phrase that comes to mind. As Sadara said here this is a community... get involved and prove what your saying is reality or fund someone else to do it. If its so easy it will not be a costly excercise... will it?

Thom & Zaerc are full engaged in this community... and have been for a considerable time...and by the way actually know what they are talking about funnily enough.

So I would suggest you get yourself engaged too and if you can - prove your point by 'doing' not just 'talking' ;-)

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hari

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Re: GUI Improvements
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2008, 12:54:48 pm »
* hari gets some popcorn
damn, the troll ate all my popcorn..

@'maxed: how true :-)
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los93sol

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Re: GUI Improvements
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2008, 03:18:00 pm »
You guys are all missing my point entirely, the fact is there is only a handful of people who know enough about the framework to make a change.  It's not as simple as just get in there and do it, it needs to be thought out thoroughly and discussed.  That is my whole problem with this project, nobody is willing to discuss or look at different options for systems that are obviously broken.  Sure, I could just start hacking away myself, but then you'd be no better off than you are currently, it would be just that, a hack.  At some point you have to stop putting new code in and start working towards cleaning up the existing stuff and making changes to fix architectural problems.  I want to clarify too I said XBMC's skinning engine could be easily adapted, I never said anything about implementing it.  That's where this needs to be discussed.  I realized that this isn't so much of an argument since nobody is denying that there are problems with HADesigner.

Zaerc

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Re: GUI Improvements
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2008, 03:46:30 pm »
You guys are all missing my point entirely, the fact is there is only a handful of people who know enough about the framework to make a change.  It's not as simple as just get in there and do it, it needs to be thought out thoroughly and discussed.  That is my whole problem with this project, nobody is willing to discuss or look at different options for systems that are obviously broken.  Sure, I could just start hacking away myself, but then you'd be no better off than you are currently, it would be just that, a hack.  At some point you have to stop putting new code in and start working towards cleaning up the existing stuff and making changes to fix architectural problems.  I want to clarify too I said XBMC's skinning engine could be easily adapted, I never said anything about implementing it.  That's where this needs to be discussed.  I realized that this isn't so much of an argument since nobody is denying that there are problems with HADesigner.

I have only one question... do you want fries with your order?
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tschak909

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Re: GUI Improvements
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2008, 04:24:53 pm »
No, you're missing the point.

You seem to be expecting everything to be laid out for you before you ever set foot on this project.

Sorry pal, we're not there, yet.

And yes, before you retort back, "Well how can I do this, only a few know how to?" .... We are not inaccessible. You can work with us on getting a proper development environment set up, and the things you need to do the work. Either here in the forums, or on the chat.

Also note, that even with the final infrastructure in place, UI developers will need to work with us to merge the changes into the system. This encourages a bit of team work. In the end, UI people will probably be paired off in twos or threes, with one person doing the UI work, and another helping to get it all checked in.

Also, how can you have a discussion on something, when you don't know how it works? in this case, how can you begin to figure out how to IMPROVE a piece of software when you haven't used it with your own two hands?

Chew on that a bit.

-Thom
« Last Edit: September 22, 2008, 04:29:19 pm by tschak909 »