MythTV where next,..

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diyhouse
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MythTV where next,..

Post by diyhouse » Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:48 pm

Ok friends, Romans, Countrymen/women,. and fellow Mythtv users,... there's an elephant in the room that no-one is talking about...

I RESPECTFULLY ask,.. where is MythTV going,... development work seems to have almost ground to a halt,.. there are little or no fixes,.. apparently taking place,.. and version 0.28 is so far of in the future,.. its a fantasy.

I have the greatest respect for the dev folks who have devoted their efforts and time so much to bring to the point it is today,.. a great media solution, with a fantastic back end,.. the others are still playing catch-up.

But where next for MythTV,.. I see little activity on the dev. front,.. primarily I suggest because there are not many devs around, and substantiated by github,.. but I do not know,.. I am just a mere mortal in the user world ,..

Who is at the helm of mythTV these days,.. what are the plans,...... I would be most great grateful if someone could come forward and discuss what is going on in the back room these days,..

Any one reading this please DO NOT ASSUME I have it in for MythTV,.. Quite the contrary,.. I love mythTV,.. I would just like to know what goes on in the dev world next,. or not,.. there are many user of MythTV, and I'm sure they to would like to know to.

I humbly ask......

Gary Buhrmaster
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Re: MythTV where next,..

Post by Gary Buhrmaster » Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:23 pm

diyhouse wrote:Ok friends, Romans, Countrymen/women,. and fellow Mythtv users,... there's an elephant in the room that no-one is talking about...
I am not a MythTV dev, nor do I play one on TV. And I agree that there are threads of importance in some of your questions, and perhaps a "State of the State of MythTV" presentation is overdue from the elders. But I think there is another elephant in the room that needs to be answered to be able to answer your elephant.

And that is what do *YOU* expect your role is here? I mean not on the forum, but in the project? In the MythTV project, as in life, those that actually meaningfully contribute have the ability to influence direction by their funding (whether that is time, energy, or money). Those that simply pontificate (myself included), or "takers" do not get to tell others how to spend their lives, nor ask them why they are living them the way they are (I mean, in most parts of the world, slavery has been outlawed). Sure, the others may listen, but they are free to (and often do) ignore me.

And, I have observed the following in the project:

* MythTV is a "mature" product. Much of the basic functionality is done. "It just works" for many.

* MythTV bugs are often subtle, sometimes country or provider or device specific, so bug reports likely languish for lack of a reproducer.

* MythTV is a "mature" product. A lot of the stuff that will substantially improve the product or the plumbing is very hard work. Only a few people understand it. Ripping it out and replacing it is a large project. That takes a lot of time. For results that no one sees or understands. The rewards are few to do that work.

* MythTV is somewhat monolithic. Adding or changing things is (sometimes) hard. Make a change here, it breaks something over there.

* Many of the core devs have gotten a life (and/or work responsibilities). Good for them. Bad for us "takers" who expected them to just keep delivering code to us.

* There have not been a lot of new people joining the community. Especially those that can contribute substantially to the core product.



I am done pontificating now.

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diyhouse
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Re: MythTV where next,..

Post by diyhouse » Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:51 am

Some interesting points Gary,.. without getting too personnel about my circumstances,... I to would consider myself an overall taker,... I do however contribute to forums when newbies ask questions ( to which I am confident I know the answer ),.. I do update and contribute to wiki pages where I can ( improving install instructions, add-on scripts etc its make life so much easier when there are good up to date instructions ),... but I am NOT a great C or C++ programmer, ( one has to know one own limitations ),.. I just tinkerer at it,.. so would drown in proper MythTV project programming,.. Although I do know from experience when a project is struggling, and to my perception,.. MythTV is struggling.

As you say MythTV is a well established product,.. and to most parts "just works",.. with a few quirks here and there,.. but that is part of the fun as we all say...

I fully agree with your comments that changing core stuff can have untold repercussions throughout the code,.. what may appear a simple request,.. can have far reaching consequences,.. and as you say many of the original core devs. have moved on,... ( life work and other responsibility,.. I'm sure we all appreciate the work place is a much more demanding place than it used to be, and families should never be forgotten,..) is there still a core of devs. able to maintain MythTV into the future, because as sure as "eggs-is-eggs",.. there will be a ubuntu update that will break something,.. the challenge will then be can it be fixed? Also a 0.28 slippage of 12 months plus,... OK so there is no longer the resources to deliver on that target,.. would it not be better to set realistic goals, deliveries that are achievable, rather than one that cannot be met, and I am sure acts a de motivator for many,..

MytvTV is a great Media player with many innovative tools and add-ons,.. it just needs some direction today,.... with a realistic set of goals that the dev community buys into,.. IMHO......

My Humblest Regards to the community,.. and thanks to the Devs.......

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paulh
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Re: MythTV where next,..

Post by paulh » Sat May 02, 2015 2:25 pm

Anyone reading this thread would be forgiven for thinking the project is dead but that is not the case. While it would be safe to say things have slowed down considerably the last year or two development hasn't completely stopped.

The way MythTV development works in the most part is devs just work on features that interest them or fix bugs that affect them has spare time allows. There is no real overall plan but for 0.28 most devs agreed there was a few tasks that ideally needed to be done before 0.28 could be released.

1. Replace MythWeb with a WebFrontend built into the master backend. Current status - started but not completed
2. Convert the remaining plugins to use storage groups. Current status - MythMusic is complete, MythGallery has been started but needs more work
3. Rewrite the setup stuff to remove having to run mythtv-setup and instead be able to manage capture card, channels etc. using either a web interface or something build into mythfrontend or both. Current status - all I can say is after long and protracted discussions we have set a date to have the discussion about the plan :roll:

This is I believe a current roll call of the current developer line up and where known what they are currently working on (apologies if I missed anyone) :

Chris Petersen
Inactive

Chris Pinkham
Inactive

David Blain
Maintaining the windows port and services API

David Engel
Changes leading to multirec without requiring virtual tuners

Jean-Yves Avenard
Busy with work

Jim Stichnoth
Subtitle fixes and watch recordings screen optimisations for slow FE's

John P. Poet
?

Jonatan Lindblad
Converting the settings screens to use MythUI

Karl Dietz
Compiler warnings, EIT fixups?

Kenni Lund
Translations - inactive?

Michael T. Dean
Busy with work

Nicolas Riendeau
Translations

Nigel Pearson
Windows port - Inactive

Paul Harrison
Been working on private projects for the last few months but I hope to get back to MythTV soon

Raymond Wagner
Busy with work

Richard Hulme
Not sure usually works on DVD playback problems

Rob Smith
MythWeb - inactive?

Stuart Auchterlonie
Screensaver support and nursing our sick server and migrating things over to OSL servers

Stuart Morgan
Webfrontend, uPnP

Other notable current contributors

Roger Siddons
Currently working on finishing the new Image Gallery using storage groups

Gary Buhrmaster
Various patches including Qt5 support and fixing compiler warnings

As you can see we are a small band of developers and are always happy to receive any help with patches, tickets and documentation etc

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diyhouse
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Re: MythTV where next,..

Post by diyhouse » Sat May 02, 2015 5:53 pm

Paul,.. many thanks for your response,... this does make encouraging reading,..

Am I reading too much into your comments and 0.28 is NOT too far away,... maybe weeks.... or is this just wishful thinking/reading...

It is really good to here one of the dev's comment of where mythTV is at/heading, and how the development is coming along,.. although one thing I did not see noted in the tribute/list of the devs,.. ( and my personnels Thanks to then ALL,.... no matter how much or little they have contributed,.. it all counts towards to final cut,.. Thankyou ) is who is currently leading the MythTV project?,.. ie who is the "MythTV Sage",.. The knower of everything,.. so to say.

Kind Regards, and thanks to the Dev Team,..

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stuartm
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Re: MythTV where next,..

Post by stuartm » Sat May 02, 2015 6:36 pm

Development is far from dead, and I least while I still draw breath development will continue. There are natural highs and lulls in any open source project, and it so happens that we're currently in one of the lulls. Reasons vary, but primarily it's because a number of developers have found themselves short of time either because they have young families or because they've started new jobs which demand more of their time. This doesn't mean that they've lost interest in MythTV, nor does it mean that things won't pick up again in the near future.

There have been delays to the timetable for 0.28, I take responsibility for that, I argued for some ambitious goals for this release cycle because I wanted 0.28 to be more than just a minor release. We recognise that some users are becoming restless, we share the same desire to see constant improvement and for most people that means frequent releases but we're also conscious of the fact that releasing something that is obviously unfinished would do as much harm to the project as the delays. That said, there are features on the target list which will probably be dropped now with the aim of getting 0.28 sooner rather than later.

Overall we've seen an an increase in contributions from new faces recently, and renewed activity from dormant developers that should give everyone some reassurance. We always welcome more contributors of course, and you can do much worse than work on MythTV, many of the developers have improved their careers as a direct result of having MythTV on their CV/Resume. You don't need to be an experienced programmer to become involved, most of the core developers started with small contributions, sometimes no more than one line in size because they took the time to investigate some tiny issue that bothered them ... perhaps it's a spelling error, or a mis-aligned image in a theme. Once you start to learn how something works you may realise that it's easier than you think to make a meaningful difference, and then you'll be hooked.

So in summary: The next release is coming, we are making progress and we will deliver. We can always use your help.

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stuarta
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Re: MythTV where next,..

Post by stuarta » Sat May 02, 2015 7:43 pm

From my side, when I'm not working on migrating stuff off our sick hardware, I'm currently focusing on stuff that makes new users life easier. I started on the dbus screensaver, because these days any modern distro out of the box uses dbus. So for a new user, not having to go to the trouble of setting up, or fiddling with screensavers, is one less thing to worry about.

There are some other bits which I have in the pipeline, which will combine with the web based setup for the backend that will also make it easier to get going for a new user.

However, I'm one of those with job that keeps me very busy, and therefore limits the time and braincells remaining for MythTV.

Regards
Stuart

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peper03
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Re: MythTV where next,..

Post by peper03 » Sat May 02, 2015 10:38 pm

Hi,

Just to clarify my present position - I am certainly active in the sense that I try to make time for working on MythTV. That often doesn't work, but I try!

When I started providing patches for DVD playback, work was fairly quiet and so I had more time and mental energy to work on it. Work is now a lot busier and so not only am I working longer hours, I'm more mentally tired at the end of the day. That means less time with the family and less energy to sit down and concentrate after a full day's work.

Even after all the years I've spent programming, it still amazes me just how long it can take add new features and get them to a state where I'm confident that they work as expected with no unwanted side-effects. If I'm going to spend four or fives hours on something after working a full day and go to bed at stupid o'clock several nights on the run, it's generally only going to be for something of personal benefit or at the very least personal interest. Big new features generally require that much time to the power of n.

All of that sounds like an excuse for why I'm not committing changes on a daily basis, which is what it is really, but I don't want it to come across too negatively. The question was respectfully asked why significant changes are not visibly forthcoming, and that is my respectful answer for my own position. I would guess that others are in a similar situation.

As others have said, new contributors are always welcome. Just because we don't all have as much time as we'd like doesn't prevent others from contributing. There are probably too many patches waiting in Trac than there should be, which is also a symptom of too little time (among other things), but a gentle prod might be all it takes to get things moving.

Richard.

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warpme
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Re: MythTV where next,..

Post by warpme » Sat May 02, 2015 11:24 pm

Just few word from my side...
I'm not myth developer per se, so this might be little off-topic...
I'm developing mythtv distro exclusively devoted to mythtv. So far minimyth2 has out-of-box support for 1198 graphic cards with full auto detection and hw decode support (when relevant).
I spent considerable time to achieve this because I clearly see mythtv going right and well.
My family (and some minimyth2 users) are using current master in production system with EXCELLENT results.
This is IMHO best prove that MythTV is alive and kicking.
Being down stream in value chain to mythtv I strongly prefer stability/quality over count of new features (especially for appliance-like software).
Current progress is well fitting this direction as my 'customers' are really happy with stability/quality of solution.
As always some things are much welcomed (i.e. transcoding on demand) - but all we are doing mythtv in spare time...so I'm happy that in such circumstances quality still gets priority over speed/excitement.
I'm really happy we started to have ppl like Roger Siddons who is doing really excellent work with new functions like new gallery well fitting mythical convergent box.
I recently added proof-of-concept for phone calls support in minimyth2. Simple but works well. Another steep for convergence. Currently we have: TV, video, DVD/BluRay, music, radio, Internet browsing/RSS, Internet streaming, weather, Home Monitoring, phone calls. Not bad for convergence. Show me other solution with this list...

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paulh
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Re: MythTV where next,..

Post by paulh » Sun May 03, 2015 9:40 am

diyhouse wrote: Am I reading too much into your comments and 0.28 is NOT too far away,... maybe weeks.... or is this just wishful thinking/reading...
Sad to say it's wishful thinking. Even if we drop the new setup stuff it will be several months away before the remaining tasks are completed and any remaining trac tickets are triaged/fixed. We will likely make a beta version available before the final release that can add several weeks to the schedule if any problems are found as well.
diyhouse wrote: ie who is the "MythTV Sage",.. The knower of everything,.. so to say.
Since Isaac left the project no one is really in charge. That could be a big part of why big projects like the setting re-write are taking so long with no one to push things along.

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Re: MythTV where next,..

Post by zaphod24 » Wed May 06, 2015 3:20 pm

So from a completely selfish perspective :)

Would it be possible to backport any of the new web services to 0.27? I'm using several RPi2 devices running Kodi and the newer mythtv pvr plugin uses web services instead of logging directly into the mysql database. One of the things that was lost during that change was accurate commercial skipping for content with variable framerates (typically different frame rates in the commercials vs the program). The plugin devs have said that there are (or will be) web service calls to get a more accurate skip list in 0.28. I think the data must be coming from the recordedseek table.

Since it may be a few months before 0.28 is released and there are not any pre-built 0.28 packages for Fedora, it would be great if the new web services could be back ported to 0.27.

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diyhouse
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Re: MythTV where next,..

Post by diyhouse » Thu May 07, 2015 6:45 pm

Dev. Guys,.. many thanks for your input,.. its nice to get some definitive 'humble' :-) answers to some long standing questions....

Although it is unfortunate the is no-one at the helm currently,.. but I'm sure the remaining devs have things under control...

Not wishing to speak out of turn,.. zaphod24's request for some 'backporting'
it would be great if the new web services could be back ported to 0.27
From the essence of this thread I think we can see there is no vast pool of resources driving development to meet the current Mythtv 0.28 commitments.... so any distraction from their goal of delivering 0.28 would only delay that commitment.

With the limited time these guys have,.. switching their mode of thought from 0.27 or 0.28, would just complicate things too much,.. lets leave the dev. guys do what they do best,.. "Program with a single objective",.. and we as end users should just be patient,....

Hope I haven't spoken out of turn....

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stuarta
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Re: MythTV where next,..

Post by stuarta » Fri May 08, 2015 10:02 am

zaphod24 wrote:So from a completely selfish perspective :)

Would it be possible to backport any of the new web services to 0.27?
Short answer no, such a big feature as this would not get backported, we normally only push fixes for issues to the stable branch for good reason

Regards
Stuart

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Re: MythTV where next,..

Post by zaphod24 » Fri May 08, 2015 1:01 pm

No worries, guess I'll just wait for 0.28. Thanks for all the hard work!

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Re: MythTV where next,..

Post by p-we » Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:01 am

Thanks dev's for all your dedication and hard work. Also thanks that you took the time to put us in the loop by responding to this thread.
Let's face it, us users continue to use MythTV because it simply works . . . well. It's still the best PC based PVR solution out there for traditional TV.

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