Author Topic: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality  (Read 69815 times)

wierdbeard65

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #30 on: June 25, 2009, 10:41:50 am »
Sorry to pitch in again but I have read and re-read this thread several times now. Some great ideas and suggestions from various viewpoints, but there are one or two themes that seem to be appearing. Distil them down and you have, basically, two.

1) Documentation. I'm sorry to those of you who have worked hard at it, but frankly it sucks. There, I've been blunt and said it. No, perhaps I'm being unfair, so let me re-phrase that. The organisation of the documentation sucks. There are gaps, but what is there is so hard to find, it might as well not exist for most of us. We need, as I've said alrteady, two VERY SIMPLE guides. The first for total newbies that says "if you buy this and then do this with it, it WILL work". The second for new devs that gives a hold-your-hand walk through of development. Perhaps one example in each area. I know there are videos already there on things like HA Designer, but where's the overall picture? Schmich and pcbastard are saying this, as have others (myself included).

2) Management. If the project is to move forward much further, the base of developers will need to expand. This will need a much more transparent and clearly defined management plan otherwise there is a risk of huge duplication and omission. Again, others have said this.

Devs, yes you have our thanks BUT, if you want help, if you want involvement you must LET US IN!!!!

Thom, as the previous poster said, your videos are excellent. (Although as an aside, you showed a screen capture device at one point, but continue to use a hand-held camera pointed at the screen a lot. May I suggest captures may well be easier to follow?) New functionality and cool gadgets are great to see, but please please please can we have a "development 101" series?

Right, I'm off back to building my Virtualized development environment! (And YES, if / when I get it working, I'll wikify it ;) )
Paul
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geekyhawkes

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #31 on: June 25, 2009, 12:19:07 pm »
I am more than willing to write a "user guide" once 810 stabilises and is released.  I was intending to this anyway.  I was thinking of producing a newbie, buy this and type this here and it will work.  Once that is done hopefully it will be in a format that can be used for the rest of the guides we are trying to produce. 

Pnuts

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #32 on: June 25, 2009, 06:44:18 pm »
LMCE is simply an amazing application. I agree with everyone in this thread before me in congratulating all of the hard work the dev’s and put into this!

Prior ot LMCE, I was a complete Linux novice, not having looked at it at all, in the last 6 months, this has changed greatly, all because of LMCE. I have been answering what I could in the forums and created/added to a few wiki pages, but mostly, all of my free/available time has been learning and working with Linux in general. I do not even have an install of LMCE up right now. If it wasn't for this project, I would not know the wonders of Linux and still be living under a Windows rock.

I'm just about ready to dive head first back into LMCE like I did initially before I got a general feel of Linux and I would like to give back in any way I can. Reading through this thread, there are lots of great idea's. Documentation and proper organization of it seem to be the main issues preventing several people from jumping on board, or even trying to help. I would agree dedicating some time to this would create the means for a boost of novices to come on board.

Another suggestion which is equally important that was mentioned would be creating groups or team leads for specific sections or development. A go to person for specific things is needed. As people with specific talents are put to use, someone needs to guide them. The example of designing a new skin is great, it provides someone wanting to do something with direction on what to do. It also helps prevent duplicating work.

...

Perhaps we (as in one of the non-developers) could generate a Wiki page that includes a matrix with the following (non-exhaustive) headings:

...

A wiki listing peoples skills and talents is a great idea. If this could go up today, it would be great to start getting an idea of what there is to work with. I’m tempted to just stick something up there now, but it would be very basic and lack any special wiki coding, basically needing to be redone correctly which would suck after people contribute to it...

-Pnuts

tschak909

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #33 on: June 25, 2009, 07:07:27 pm »
Here we go with someone thinking that the iPhone is the end all be all of UI design.

Yes, the Basic UI is just that.. Basic. It was intended to simply be able to tie together the individual pieces of the system.

However, what many of you fail to realize, is that Orbiter is _HIGHLY_ retargetable. It was designed to run EVERYWHERE at once, with all the different display surfaces in the house in sync. In order to do this, a number of things had to be omitted.

* No scroll/drag actions (although this could be added)
* it's a 10' UI, less is more, IT IS NOT A #@(%#@( WEB BROWSER!
* No animation/effects, this has to run on low powered devices too.

You people dog orbiter. Yet, I haven't seen very many talented UI people among the bunch? I've had to do almost all of it since we got the project from Pluto, so far.

Do any of you understand the semantics of a 10' UI? or what this entails versus a desktop UI?

-Thom

geekyhawkes

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #34 on: June 25, 2009, 08:05:20 pm »
Personnally i really like the orbiter UI and think the Iphone interface leaves a lot to be desired!  That is not saying i wouldnt mind re-skinning my orbiter at some point but for me I am more worried about getting all of my functionality up and running (with the endless help of the guys here!).

If i can be so bold,this thread has raised lots of good ideas, few solutions (mostly due to keen-ness over ability (me included!)).  I think we need to move forward and get some actions.  We also need to recognise that we are mostly a bottom heavy forum / community that is burdening the few with the requirements of the many (at the moment). 

I do honestly think we can move forward, the big 5 know who they are as do most of us here and i think as they do most of the work they should drive what falls out of this thread.  Do you guys want to share the work down in to teams?  As mentioned before I am more than happy to run with Userguide single handed if required and I am sure plenty of other guys are happy to chip in with various sections. 

Even if we end up with teams and some guys do little more than donkey work collecting bits of info or hardware / beta testing code that might relieve some of the burdon on the big 5 and make them feel like the masses (again me included) are giving something back and not just taking.

I am sure MCE will have an up-surge in users over the coming years as peoples needs change, we are at the cutting edge (ish) oh home entertainment yet, and it takes a while to get the word out and have people see past the poor imitations (such as XBMC and Boxee).


maverick0815

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #35 on: June 25, 2009, 08:50:29 pm »
I must say I had no idea, that there are really only so few people working on this. On the other hand, I should have figured it out, since at present I wouldn't have the time or the proper focus to do what Thom is doing. This guy is dying for Linuxmce.
This said, I would like to comment on the orbiter. While I can understand that there are a lot of people, who aren't satisfied with the UI, I would like to point everyone to Canon.
In the company where I work, we have 8 digital copy-machines by Canon. They are all different models. However their UI is almost identical. The menus are all the same, the look and feel is the same. So everyone knows where to go in order to get their things done, regardless of the model! For Canon this is a huge sellingpoint, since the learning curve is pretty low, even if you get the latest model of their copiers. I feel the same about the orbiter. No matter what device you use, you can feel automatically at home, though it doesn't look the very same on different devices. Of course you can always argue about looks and you should, but you should not underestimate what is already there.

qball4

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #36 on: June 25, 2009, 09:42:25 pm »
...
Frankly, I'm beginning to think that your attitude is a big part of the problem.  Phrases like "you people" are offensive and derogatory to the hundreds/thousands of very different people with different views and abilities, united in their common desire to make this project a success.  Don't put everyone into one box, or believe that of all these people you are the most knowledgeable or experienced.  Consequently, don't be closed to ideas.
...

1. I highly doubt he meant "you people" in a derogatory fashion; the negative stigma associated with the phrase is related to race and religion, neither of which are remotely related. (get it? "remote"ly... orbiter... I kill myself :) )

2. Like Thom mentioned in this post (http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8291.msg55156#msg55156), sometimes there needs to be a hardliner that says, we are going to do it THIS way. I think that's kind of the point of having team leads: the experts can make such decisions because they experience has shown them what will and will not work. The only times I've seen Thom closed to ideas is when he has been in that exact situation. Most of the time, he just says go for it.

3. To me, this project is about having fun. I'd like to start having some more. So... do the core devs have anything to say about the ideas that have been tossed around so far? Are any of you interested in becoming team leads? (please) Do we even know what teams should exist? Is someone already working on the wiki page/skillset table idea?

:Matt

tschak909

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #37 on: June 25, 2009, 09:53:08 pm »
I'm going to talk to the other devs in #linuxmce-devel.

It may very well be me doing orbiter / media work, and hari handlng home automation  team leads, from first guess, but I can't speak for anybody except myself.

-Thom

geekyhawkes

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #38 on: June 25, 2009, 10:00:00 pm »
Thom sounds good.  In an attempt to move us forward i have created the following wiki;

http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Community

PLease add you details and lets see who is willing to step up!

tschak909

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #39 on: June 25, 2009, 10:11:47 pm »
I've been talking, and the cold hard facts are that we simply do not have enough people willing to step up.

So I guess things continue as they are until we get more self motivated people.

-Thom

wierdbeard65

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #40 on: June 25, 2009, 10:18:31 pm »
I've been talking, and the cold hard facts are that we simply do not have enough people willing to step up.

So I guess things continue as they are until we get more self motivated people.

Please define "step up". I, along with several others, have expressed a desire to get involved here. We just need some guidance as to how.

Surely, the investment in writing some guides will pay dividends not only in fewer stupid questions here, but a shared workload?

Or am I missing something here?
Paul
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qball4

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #41 on: June 25, 2009, 10:31:21 pm »
I'm sure we all understand that the core devs have a lot on their plates right now. So I offer an alternative idea: those of us that are interested in stepping up but may not be experts can start the teams. The core devs could do business as usual, but act as advisors of sort to the teams. Since the same questions would probably get asked anyway, no additional work is required from core devs. Actually, the non-experts will probably learn even faster this way.

So, offer yourselves up!

Thom, if you still want to lead Team UI it's all yours. If not, I volunteer.

Let's get a list of teams going:
* User Interface
* Documentation
* Home Automation
* Media
* Website
* Computing Integration? (office suite and the like)

:Matt

tschak909

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #42 on: June 25, 2009, 10:54:13 pm »
No, you're not understanding...

We do not have enough TEAM LEADERS to lead teams.... But even more to the point, we do not have enough INDIANS...but PLENTY of people wanting to be CHIEFS (Managers) ....

Sorry, this situation is a wee bit too lopsided. We need a few more self motivated developers.

-Thom

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #43 on: June 25, 2009, 11:35:51 pm »
Thom,

I don't think it's possible to reach that conclusion without first having given the community to respond.  This is going to take a few weeks to organize most likely.  We have a wiki page asking for volunteers, and we should post a sticky to get people to respond.  As this is an extraordinary event, perhaps an email to all registered forum users would be in order, too.

As a number of people have pointed out, we will get more developers once there is a management structure in place ("goto" people, as one person posted) and the documentation and support to help them.

Lets get organized first and not jump to the conclusion that no one is willing to help.

Tim

Tim,

The facts are that we dont need more 'management'...'working groups' or any such new 'management structures'... what we need is experienced & motivated developers. We dont have any resource spare to spend months training you guys up to be that new development resource. If we could 'bake' some new developers that easily we'd do it to be frank. The coding needed on this project is not going to happen, with all due respect, by having inexperienced people do the coding. This aint beginners territory I'm afraid.

What we need is people with good existing development skills who want to get involved.

Andrew
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wierdbeard65

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #44 on: June 25, 2009, 11:50:45 pm »
The facts are that we dont need more 'management'...'working groups' or any such new 'management structures'... what we need is experienced & motivated developers. We dont have any resource spare to spend months training you guys up to be that new development resource. If we could 'bake' some new developers that easily we'd do it to be frank. The coding needed on this project is not going to happen, with all due respect, by having inexperienced people do the coding. This aint beginners territory I'm afraid.

What we need is people with good existing development skills who want to get involved.

Andrew,

I kind of sit on the fence about management, I reckon both sides are making very good points.

I disagree about developers, though. Firstly, I quoted a post from Thom only two years or so old in which he was asking similar questions that others are now asking. As he said in that post, what a difference a couple of years makes.

Speaking for myself, I had a need to program in Java a couple of years ago. I went from knowing nothing to having a fully developed app (having figured out how to download and install the SDKs etc along the way) in about 2 weeks. I haven't touched Java since, so am rusty! The difference was the easy availability of good quality documentation, online, and free.

The simple fact is, anyone who is experienced in the whole MCE system is already developing for it. There are a lot of experienced developers out there who may well be interested in becoming involved, but who will need explanations of how DCE works, how the database is structured and used etc etc.

I'm not saying the information isn't there, but it sure as hell isn't easy to find.

Added to this, not ALL development is at that kind of level. Some is bound to be mundane, tedious and repetitive. Ideal for someone in the position Thom was in two years ago (I believe it was you mentoring him on that thread!)

All I (and others) ask for is some pointers and to be given a chance. Point me at a clear explanation of how DCE works between devices. Examples of an Orbiter network interface. (For example, when an orbiter starts up, what is the format the UI is sent in?) IS this documented? If so, where? (The correct answer is not "on the wiki") If not, then how on earth can you guys ever expect the developer base to expand? We all have to start somewhere!
Paul
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