[mythtv-users] FW: Help understand the interface of Myth Media & Video Gallery

Christopher Kerr mythtv at theseekerr.com
Fri Feb 4 13:23:54 UTC 2011

On Fri, Feb 4, 2011 at 11:54 PM, Anthony Rooney <rooneyo at iinet.net.au> wrote:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org
> [mailto:mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org] On Behalf Of Nick Rout
> Sent: Wednesday, 2 February 2011 5:41 AM
> To: Discussion about MythTV
> Subject: Re: [mythtv-users] FW: Help understand the interface of Myth Media
> & Video Gallery
> On Wed, Feb 2, 2011 at 2:15 AM, Anthony Rooney <rooneyo at iinet.net.au> wrote:
>> Hi Nick
> STOP top posting please
>> I am very surprised to hear that checking a location entered as a
>> directory path string could not be compared to a file system namespace
>> that could also be represented as a test string or x500 tree
>> structure.  I have always assumed that checking for a valid folder was
>> a simple task and quite different from testing whether access can be
>> achieved once that folder is found to exist.  I assume the pseudo
>> logic to be: - 1st check whether the path entered exists within the
>> name space
> you need to have access to see if the path exists. If you don't have
> permissions, you can't tell if the path exists. Is not a mythtv problem.
>> and if so can it be accessed by
>> the account used by MythTv.  They are 2 separate operations.
>> I take it on face value that this is more problematic in Linux than
>> any environment I have work in before and I am pleased that there is a
>> possibility that the error message can be altered to point others
>> encountering the same issue to look at permissions as a possible solution.
>> Please also note that there is a difference in a comment complaining
>> about a common function as simple as pointing to another valid
>> directory location causing considerable troubleshooting effort and a
>> subsequent post to a support forum and a personal complaint about the
>> effort of those who voluntarily contribute to helping other with
>> support problems.  The effort of those helping to provide solutions is
>> most appreciated and has never been questioned so it is unfair for
>> anyone to misrepresent frustration with software to a personal attack on
> anyone associated with the project.
>> Having worked in software support for more than 9 years and 3 of them
>> in a most uncompromising Call Centre environment, we expected
>> frustration from end users experiencing problems with software and
>> most of the issues arose from poor design and inaccurate
>> documentation.  We never took such feedback personally as it could
>> always be captured and feedback to improving the next version and was
> perfectly understandable.
>> I have seen many people set upon on this list for expressing very
>> valid complaint and just because MythTv is free in monetary terms (not
>> time) is no excuse for such sensitivity.
>> You might not like this feedback but it is given in good faith from
>> someone who has been on the front line in telephone support with most
>> demanding and uncompromising end users.
> If you think some of your comments were positive that's your outlook, but
> not all of us would think "What an enormous oversight!  Who proof reads the
> doco?  Is it tested on COLD users?  If not why not?  It is a basic
> requirement of good design  to be able to be used intuitively - BY COLD
> USERS.  Are they concerned with good design?" was entirely polite.
> So easy to shoot the messenger cause you don’t like the message.

It's not the message, it's the way it reads. You believe the way
Robert writes is insulting. I believe the way you write is insulting.

(By the end of this email, you'll probably think the same of me ;o)

> Have your ever heard of the concept "The customer is always right" and do
> you know why such a principle evolved?  Obviously not.
> It does not matter that no one paid any (money) for any open source software
> and to use the lame excuse of "you got it for free so what do you expect" is
> a piss weak excuse to not have a zero defect mindset to design.  You should
> be patient with people trying to learn who will understandably be
> exasperated by design oversights.  Such feedback is gold to the idea of
> continuous improvement which you have no interest in.

MythTV continuously improves. So far, though, I've not seen you
propose an improvement, just criticise in broad generalities.

> However I now know your involvement is all about personal ego and nothing to
> do with making open source a viable alternative for the main stream user.
> To you it should never succeed in the main stream.  To achieve design
> excellence you have to be kicked by end users into making better
> applications as logical as the pain that an elite athlete must endure while
> training for a major challenge to ever achieve excellence.  How else will
> you ever find out the value of the design without testing it on those who
> are not geniuses like you?

Version number: 0.24. The usability of MythTV has improved with every
new version, and will continue to improve.

> Documentation should be proof read and things should be tested on cold users
> and all of this is "BEST PRACTICE".

The pace of MythTV development is quite rapid...as such, the "cold
users" who are testing the documentation are people like yourself! If
no documentation was published until it had been tested thoroughly the
result would be perpetually a whole version out of date.

> Your ignorance of such concepts explains a lot about the issues encountered
> by so many with MythTV.  The developers think it is great and if ordinary
> user cannot USE it well they are just stupid nobs. OK keep your illusion.

The "ordinary user" of MythTV is a Linux user who understands basic
Unix conventions.

Some of these conventions are confusing to Windows users - in
particular, the Unix file tree and the concept of mounting remote
resources in it. That's not inherently a problem with MythTV.

> I will learn and understand this product despite assholes like you because I
> believe in the idea of Open Source Software and can work my way through all
> the design deficiencies and be well placed to help others.  I believe Open
> Source  can leverage on some of the methodologies that were successful for
> inferior commercial software without compromising the core advantages of the
> Linux architecture.

The core advantages of the Linux architecture lie in the modularity of
its tools, which is precisely what seems to annoy you - the idea that
setting up MythTV should require tools other than MythTV seems
particularly offensive.

> I already have Myth working quite well despite all the
> issues of poor UI and terrible documentation however I make no apologies
> from being frustrated for no other reason than I can envisage what it could
> be without dickheads who want to keep it unusable except for a few elites.

Which poor UI was that? The UI I interact with on an everyday basis is lovely.

Your frustrations seem to be mainly directed at the settings screens,
which is a bit harsh - you're only supposed to use them once, and for
the most part, the defaults are sensible.

> The whole idea of feedback is to seek to stimulate improvement.

> Open source can learn a lot from things that Microsoft and Apple did
> successfully without compromising what is good about Unix unless they allow
> themselves to be dominated those intent on keeping it limited to exclusive
> fundamentalists.

Right now, the dominant force in Linux development is Canonical's
Ubuntu project - I'm pretty sure you'd like their goals, even if
you're not yet impressed by their results.

> One day there might be a version of Unix that can be fully administered via
> a well designed GUI without the need to use a character based TERMINAL .
> How about that for a design goal?

You assume a GUI is inherently better than a terminal. I am at a loss
to understand this.

Directions given on operating a terminal are simple and unambiguous.
This is a huge advantage and shouldn't be dismissed just because you
like GUI's.

(Anyway, there IS such a version of Unix. It's called Mac OS X. I use
its terminal anyway - it's a fast and powerful way to get things done)

> Regards
> Anthony

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