[mythtv] CVS UI Questions

Nathan Ziarek htpc at ziarek.com
Thu Sep 9 17:35:55 EDT 2004

I didn't see this mentioned, although I am willing to believe I just missed
the email...

A week ago or so I updated my Myth install to CVS and noticed that all of
the menus had been reorganized into groupings like "Optical Disks" and
"Information." I didn't have time to putz with it, and haven't since then
(working on my HT in the basement now means no time for computer stuf!), so
I don't know if this change is on a theme by theme basis or an overall

However, as I've thought about it (thinking is about all I have to give to
the project), I don't think I like it, and I don't think it advances the
usability of the system at all. In fact, I think it makes it much more

When I sit down at my TV or media station, I go with a goal in mind: I want
to listen to music, I want to watch TV, I want to watch a movie. I don't sit
down and say "I have an optical disk" or I have a DVD in my hand. However,
the reorganization seemed to make some sense to me, so I started to sketch
out what I thought might make more sense. If I wanted my Mom to sit down at
this and use it, what would best convey to her the methodology? I came up
with something like this. I think it represents my train of thought, and
while perhaps a bit of overkill (too many clicks to do one thing) it
definitely follows a logical pattern in getting to the end result.

    Live TV
    Recorded Programs
    Video Library
        Link to Recorded TV Programs
    Internet Radio
    FM Radio
    Instant Messenger
                * could go either way

As I said, the biggest thing I can offer to this project is that I really
enjoy thinking about ways to make the UI better. Maybe you all disagree with
this line of thinking or maybe you have little tweaks that could make it
better. In the end the menu would seem to be a minor issue within such a
complex program, but I sincerely believe (can't say it enough!) that the
thing that separates a good program from a great program is the polish.
Maybe you just consider MythTV a tinker program in which case my points are
kind of null. But for those that see it as a very legitimate HT application,
I'd like to hear what you have to say about the menu system.



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