[mythtv-users] Philosophy (Was: Where to find Myth Setup Information?)

Simon Hobson linux at thehobsons.co.uk
Mon Jan 10 13:27:25 UTC 2011

Scott & Nicole Harris wrote:

>FWIW, I do 100% agree with you that the "you get what you pay for" 
>party line from the open source community is tiresome.  Especially 
>for a Linux who claims to be ready for mainstream.

What you are forgetting when making a statement like that is that 
there is no single "OSS community" or "Linux Community" - or at least 
with very few exceptions, there is no single community that shares a 
single viewpoint.

There is a community that aims for "mainstream".
There is a community that just wants to get on with it (to scratch 
their personal itch) and it will be ready when it's ready.
There is a part of the wider OSS community who could be called a 
Linux community - no they aren't the same.
There is a community that aspires to the "free or nothing" approach 
as exemplified by the Debian distribution.
There is a community that works on "as free as possible, but allow 
proprietary where needed" as a more pragmatic approach to get things 

The MythTV community aren't a Linux community - though there is a 
huge amount of overlap since Linux (or more correctly, GNU/Linux) 
appears to be by far the most common host OS it's run on.

I would say that the majority of developers in the MythTV community 
appear to be in the "it'll be ready when it's ready and not to some 
externally imposed timetable" camp. They aren't out to make a 
mainstream PVR, they are out to make a "great" PVR in terms of what 
it can do - without any pretence whatsoever that it's intended to 
compete on price or ease of setup with a "consumer appliance".

There are some people eyeing up whether it's practical to make a 
'mainstream' PVR based on Myth, but to do that they would have to 
strip it down and concentrate on support for a specific set of 
hardware and features - that is the only way you could remove the 
setup complexity (either by removing what isn't used, or setting (and 
hiding) working defaults for the rest).

You also need to separate what is Myth, and what isn't. xmltv and 
video input/capture hardware support aren't really part of the the 
Myth project - but they are used by it. Likewise, what many people 
call "Linux" is actually the Linux kernel, with GNU tools, and a 
myriad other tools/packages from other projects - all rolled up into 
one "Distribution".
It can be a hard thing to remember if you are used to the commercial 
OSs where you get all the OS (kernel, GUI, and a load of tools) all 
supplied by the one vendor - and in the case of Apple, you get a 
bundle of the hardware, kernel, OS tools, GUI, and applications from 
the one vendor.

Personally I'm a pragmatist. I like free, but I also use commercial 
tools as well.
Simon Hobson

Visit http://www.magpiesnestpublishing.co.uk/ for books by acclaimed
author Gladys Hobson. Novels - poetry - short stories - ideal as
Christmas stocking fillers. Some available as e-books.

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