[mythtv] MythTV Usability Report

f-myth-users at media.mit.edu f-myth-users at media.mit.edu
Mon Jan 9 05:19:01 UTC 2006


    Date: Sun, 08 Jan 2006 22:27:21 -0600
    From: Kevin Kuphal <kuphal at dls.net>

    Steve Hodge wrote:

    >On 1/9/06, Kevin Kuphal <kuphal at dls.net> wrote:
    >  
    >
    >>I agree and I think he should take the time to make a similar evaluation
    >>of the latest code rather than spending time on things that have already
    >>been addressed
    >
    >Unfortunately most people are not able to run a development version of
    >MythTV. They only have one system with capture cards and that system
    >must be as stable as possible as it is essentially a production
    >system.
    >
    Actually most people can.  Myth is a very stable product in the SVN 
    branch compared to other projects I've used.

*cough* Anyone who had other people depending on the operation of the
box would have had a difficult time explaining that LiveTV was broken
for weeks because the lead developer did the work on the mainline
instead of a branch.  (And if your next move is to say, "But LiveTV
isn't what Myth is about!", then why did Isaac spend so much time
rewriting it?)

Sure, Isaac presumably had his reasons for doing the work on the
mainline, even though it was a matter of some controversy even to
other developers.  But it sure led to a lot of useless traffic and a
confusing situation, and asking brand-new users to unexpectedly wade
into that sort of predicament seems like it's asking quite a bit of
them.  The real issue here is that stable releases are so infrequent
that many non-developers try to run SVN to get any of the new features
at all, and many developers can't even remember what was in 18.1 any
more.

And the situation is made even worse because (a) many users of Myth
are -not- programmers (they're TV viewers; what they do for their day
job is anyone's guess), and (b) running an SVN version when other
people use the box---in the face of unexpected weeks-long breakages of
common features---requires spending actual money for extra hardware
(tuners, CPUs, etc) and the SVN version won't even interoperate with
the stable release.  Myth may -say- it's "for developers, by
developers", but, judging from the percentage of people on the -users
list who not only say they can't code Myth, they can't code -at all-,
I'd say that either we're seeing a very biased sample on -users (quite
possible), or that who Myth -says- its target audience is doesn't
really reflect reality.

That's the breaks---Myth is popular enough to be used by nondevelopers.
In most projects, that's considered a feature!


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