[mythtv-users] More feature requests

Scott Rowe mythgnomer at rowelab.com
Fri Mar 26 21:32:17 EST 2004

> -----Original Message-----
> From: mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org 
> [mailto:mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org] On Behalf Of J. 
> Donavan Stanley
> Sent: Friday, March 26, 2004 3:16 PM
> To: Discussion about mythtv
> Subject: Re: [mythtv-users] More feature requests
> Garry wrote:
> > Just because someone isn't a coder, doesn't mean their 
> suggestions are 
> > any less welcome, surely?
> No it just means that they're not likely to be a priority for 
> developers.  Having a feature idea is all well and good, but 
> ideas without code to back them up are not all that useful.
> > The whole "if you want it to do that, then go code it yourself" 
> > attitude if the only real downer I see when dealing with 
> OSS projects.
> Well what exactly you do you expect when you getting 
> something for free?  Most OSS developers write code for other 
> people all day long so when working on OSS projects they 
> write code for themselves.
> > Coding is only one way of contributing.
> Feature requests are really contributing.  If you honestly 
> want to contribute try writing documentation, submitting 
> DETAILED bug reports things of that nature.


Actually, feature requests help spur innovation.. If someone comes up with a
cool new feature that someone with the skills to implement really likes, it
helps both of them. Unless you make the assumption that the developers have
thought of everything and will never come across an idea that they might
like but didn't think of themselves. 

Gee, arrogant much?

Development isn't the be-all and end-all of sucessful product development.
You need visionaries, dev leads, developers, config folks, testers, release
/ build people, product managers, technical writers, marketers or
evangelists, user acceptance testing, etc. While there may not be people
exclusively devoted to each of these roles right now, someone is performing
them (Isaac, Jarrod, Axel, et al, remove all those hats and take a bow.)

There comes a point in most sucessful open source development when it gets
away from developers 'scratching an itch' and looking more toward what the
market needs. Because, in the end, it's good for all of us. Broader feature
support and ease of use leads to a wider audience. Wider audience attracts
commercial development. Commercial development attracts hardware vendors
looking to make their product 'myth-compatible'. 

As a developer, how would you like Hauppauge sending you the newest, coolest
toy to play with, all the documentation, SDKs, and resources you could ask
for? Which would look better on a resume, 'developed widgetX for unknown OSS
project' or 'Courted by major hardware vendor to lead a team of developers
integrating cutting edge technology into an OSS app that everyone loves.' So
who knows, you might even get a job out of it. One doing something you love.

So where is mythTV in that process? I'd say close to the end of that list of
steps. We've seen the flood of newbies who are encouraged by the HOWTOs and
such, there are at least three companies commercializing myth, and
developers are being called by hardware manufacturers to demo myth. Not that
the 'end' means anything- it's an iterative cycle feeding on positive

So take the feaure requests as market research. Someone's paying attention
to what the users want, and they may eventually convert those into a product
roadmap, and throw resources into the project. If it isn't an itch for you,
don't scratch it. Someone will. Either because it's their itch, too, or
because they see it as a way to sell boxes utilizing myth.

Reminds me of the saying 'Ask an engineer what time it is and he'll tell you
how to build a watch.'


-Scott Rowe

P.S. No, I'm not a commercial operator, just someone who's done dev, QA,
product management, technical writing, and marketing.

More information about the mythtv-users mailing list