[mythtv-users] Terra theme, 24 hour time

Robert McNamara robert.mcnamara at gmail.com
Sun May 9 04:21:30 UTC 2010

Well here I am again, having sworn off this list months ago for just 
this kind of self-entitled stuff.  It's worth noting that I resubscribed 
just so that I can address this, and that I'm just as likely to 
disappear again into the ether.  If anyone ever wonders to themselves 
why a large number of the developers don't participate actively in this 
list, here is a prime example of what makes it such a soul-crushing list 
to read.

> lol... of course it's easier to alter the theme.  And I probably will.  It
> just frustrates me that we are taking steps backwards when the clear
> disadvantage of Mythtv (vs other similar software like XBMC) is it's UI.

Who is "we?"  Forgive me if you've actually done a lot for Myth that I 
don't know about that entitles you to weigh in on project aims, goals, 
and especially our relative progress.  I know that there are lots of 
folks out there that think merely using MythTV entitles them to full 
voting rights, but I happen to disagree.  I'm of the belief that we're a 
meritocracy.  The more you do, the more priority I tend to give your 
opinion-- and I know I am not alone.  That's not to say that some user 
suggestions aren't helpful-- Those phrased in a courteous manner, or 
which come with acceptable patches, are very highly prized-- and few and 
far between.  Just caterwauling about something that is easily changed 
by the user in XML, or by switching themes, is useless.  If the best 
thing you can think of to start a stubborn eye roller of a thread about 
is the time format of a single theme, then we must be in great shape indeed.

>   Our themes need to be fast, flexible, and most importantly user friendly.
>   Restricting one of the most user friendly themes to a 24hour clock (which
> requires extra thought for most people) automatically makes MythTV less user
> friendly by a small degree.

Ah, "our," the toothless cousin of "we."  I happen to think our themes, 
Terra included, *are* fast, flexible, and user friendly.  Personally, I 
think that the more we put in the hands of the themers, the *more* 
flexible it is, and extrapolating out, the more user friendly it is 
likely to become as people explore the possibilities offered by a 
flexible theme engine.  Though, if it would help, I could remove the 
user customizable time format and leave it entirely to the themer, then 
it won't be the themer subverting Myth's settings.

I note as someone who easily spends as much time on myth code, bug 
triage, theming, and troubleshooting per week as he does on his paying 
job that it's no fun to take project management and theming advice from 
someone who has not, to the best of my knowledge, contributed any code 
or themes.  If you're not going to contribute code or themes, that's 
fine, but the least you could do is a) realize the MythTV developers are 
hobbyists too and b) try to avoid giving the impression that you think 
we work for you/you are our supervisor.

> If we

You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.

> are going to package a theme with mythtv, as a community we need to be
> sure that the themes represent the quality of the entire product, not just
> the themer's work.  I am certainly not suggesting that Terra be dropped as
> an "official" theme, only that it be improved upon.

There are many, many places where all of the Myth themes could be 
improved upon.  This one, however, is not up for discussion, and it's 
not a democracy.  I bet the author would love some help getting the 
unthemed screens themed, though, how about getting us some patches for that?

> would a few more pixels really hurt the
> overall appearance more than this restriction on appearance.

The author felt that it did.  His word is final when it comes to his own 
work.  See next paragraph for acceptable responses.

> If there were hundreds of high quality themes to choose from, then I would
> be all for letting the authors have complete reign over their creations.
>   But there are only a few "official" themes, lets see that they move forward
> and not back as they evolve.

I have an alternate suggestion-- In the time you've taken to loudly 
complain about Terra, you could have read:


And probably completed your base.xml file.  Then you'd have all the 
basic tools you need to complete your own theme.  How about we get to 
having hundreds of themes instead?  Then you can use words like "we" 
because your opinion will merit consideration.  ;)

Alternately, you can edit the XML to your heart's content, curse the 
project and/or me personally, and generally lament to your 
friends/family/clergy the state of MythTV, and how great we could have 
been if we only listened to the unsolicited advice of strangers.

Anyway, I'm back to my secret bomb shelter where I avoid mythtv-users 
fallout.  Any opinions expressed above are my own, and from my personal 
perspective within this project.  I've become quite accustomed to 
catching heat around here, though, that's the price of doing business.  
Getting things done and moving things forward means disappointing some 
people.  If you are sufficiently disappointed, please feel free to take 
one of the acceptable courses of action outlined above.

To the Mythcave!


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