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SageTV Customizations This forums is for discussing and sharing user-created modifications for the SageTV application created by using the SageTV Studio or through the use of external plugins. Use this forum to discuss customizations for SageTV version 6 and earlier, or for the SageTV3 UI.

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  #1  
Old 04-14-2010, 09:56 AM
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stuckless stuckless is offline
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Users / Add-ons / Problems / SageTV [rant]

Ok... it's not a rant... but, but I wanted to post something here, that is a more a "call to users" than a "call for developers".

I added some functions to SageTV in areas that I've felt it was deficient (ie, remote apis (sagex-apis), bmt (metadata tools), phoenix apis (fanart, etc)).

At this point, I spend about 20+hrs a week on SageTV related projects, and I do it for 2 reasons.
1. I want to make SageTV better for my own personal use
2. Some of what I do can be of value to others (consider it 'charity' for Geeks)

In addition to myself, there are numerous other developers that have added functionality to SageTV, such as the Jetty Web Server (jreichen), SJQ (Slugger), SageMC (MeInMaui), and the list goes on... In fact If I were try and name every current active developer, then I'd probably be here for hours

One of the things that comes up from time to time is how complex it is to get something "simple" working, or the lack of "documentation" for a given plugin (or series of interconnected plugins, bmt, sagemc, tvexplorer, etc). Personally I find this hard to believe, since I install my stuff, from scratch, about 5-10 times a week. I've provided a wiki page on sagex and bmt which I thought was quite well done, and really showed how simple the whole thing is. But, maybe, myself (and perhaps developers in general), aren't the best person/people to write documentation for their plugins, since we tend to gloss over steps that we find trivial (and to be honest, most of this stuff is trivial to us, because spend our lives in things like this... it'll be like asking your to write a help document on the windows start menu)

So, here's my challenge to the users... You spend your time fighting with a series of add-ons... you ask good questions... you get answers (hopefully), and finally at some point, it all works (hopefully)... you are happy... end of story. But why not just take a little extra time, and help the developer by writing a guide for a particular add-on.

You don't even have to tackle the whole add-on, just taking a part of it, would be helpful. For example if I look at BMT... here's a quick list of what some guides could look like...

Installing BMT
Upgrading BMT
UPgrading Phoenix for BMT
Configuring the Automatic Plugin
Troubleshooting why the Automatic isn't working
Naming your files for better matches
Forcing Matches using the MediaTitles
How to Exclude directories
Understanding Regular Expressions and how they are used in BMT
Installing the WebUI
Troubleshooting the WebUI
Configuring BMT for use with DVDProfiler

and the list goes on.... No one person needs to tackle all topics (and the list is by no means exhaustive), but maybe if a couple of people took ownership of some of the topics, then over time, we'd have a collection of documents/guides that could be beneficial to others.

Many people have asked how they can help... well, here's a chance.... and Some people already have... in BMT 3.x I received document submissions from a couple of people, and I was thankful for it. I know Brent has done some really great guides on SageMC and certain features of SageMC (and no expects you to be as good as those )

So, that's my rant (not really a rant), but rather a call for help, from end users, to help make the add-ons that you love, that much better.

Good luck.
Sean.
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  #2  
Old 04-14-2010, 10:02 AM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Here Here!!!

ps I appreciate the charity for geeks very much

pss- I have to say I have never written documentation very much but Brent and Dbone have always been willing if I ask them.

Last edited by PLUCKYHD; 04-14-2010 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:05 AM
jaminben jaminben is offline
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Yea, I think thats a really nice idea..... perhaps if dev's were to start a wiki page upon release of their work and then leave it for user's to update over time.

Cheers

Ben
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:40 AM
SWKerr SWKerr is offline
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That is a great idea and I think you could get people to help with this if there was a good place to post and maintain such a repository. This is where I think Sage needs to step in a provide a WIKI framework for the documentation. A Plug-ins Wiki would be great for users. This would be a good place to highlight the most used plug-ins and maintain documentation.

I have on occasion created some step by step guides but on the forum it will eventually get buried in all the support posts.

I think this is something that needs to be supported by SageTV the company in order to survive long term. I think a Sage Plug-ins Wikipedia managed by the Sage community and Developers would work. Forums and Wikis serve two different purposes and Sage needs both. The Forum format does not work well for documentation and general communications.

Some developers have done a great job and created there own but they really need to be centralized and advertised by Sage to work well for basic users. I think it is also fair that the users share in the work the developers put into their plug-ins by helping with the documentation.

Last edited by SWKerr; 04-14-2010 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:47 AM
vividweb vividweb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWKerr View Post
I think a Sage Plug-ins Wikipedia managed by the Sage community and Developers would work.
Very good idea. A common location for wikis would be helpful.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:15 AM
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wrems wrems is offline
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I think that's a great idea too!

Even though I'm not a developer, I can understand how it could be frustrating repeating yourself for the mundane details. I agree, some sort of wiki framework would be ideal.

To all the developers: THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU DO!! Sage wouldn't be the same without all of your efforts. I just hope that I can contribute in some meaningful way.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:22 AM
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stuckless stuckless is offline
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I think that something that could potentially work as well as a WIKI (most projects have a wiki of some sort) is to just use the forum. ie, if you write a Guide on how to configure BMT to do something specific, then start a new thread and document it there. Then you can PM the developer (me in this case), and I can create a section in the first post for Guides and HowTos and I can link from there to your Thread. Or, you can use google docs, and PM me the link... or you can add a Wiki page to the BMT project (as an example) but I'd have to give you documentation access to the project for that to happen.

If you use the forum, then others can comment on the guide, and you own the first post, so you can continue to update and maintain it.
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:07 AM
dkopp dkopp is offline
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I host my own server, not an expert at all. I have been fooling around with Joomla. I think it could be an answer. I am willing to host a site. Look into Joomla.org, and see if the group feels it could work.

In the meantime I will install a joomla site and post a link.
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Old 04-22-2010, 03:37 PM
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jreichen jreichen is offline
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This is a great idea.

For those who are interested in contributing, I think any of us developers would be more than happy to provide you with any information you might need for your contributions - that shouldn't keep anyone from getting involved.

There are plenty of opportunities, too: creating installation and configuration steps (thanks Skirge01!), enhancing and organizing existing content, documenting common errors and resolutions, and setting up and running the web site to name a few. I also think we need more articles about *what* the plugins are used for and "case studies" of how users are setting up their systems - anything to help the newbies get up and running.

I also think it's worthwhile to look into Joomla and Drupal for publishing and organizing the content.
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:08 PM
Diego Garcia Diego Garcia is offline
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jreichen suggested I drop in on this thread because I raised the issue on the Hardware forum about starting a wiki that could encapsulate/organize the wealth of information on hardware configuration, issues and gotchas, etc.

It sounds like this thread is talking about doing something similar on the plugin front. Which I think is a great idea.

Is there any chance that we could work together to set up something that would be a community-supported site intended to organize all the information out there about Sage, from the program itself, the alternative UIs, plugins, hardware, etc? I'd certainly be willing to pitch in on such a thing. Even to the extent of contributing a basic hosted site to get things rolling.
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:24 PM
KarylFStein KarylFStein is offline
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I help maintain a Joomla site and have set-up/maintained Drupal as well. I'm sure it could be done in those systems, but I think that something like GForge or FusionForge are better platforms as they are more targeted to the task. Plus, Joomla and Drupal have a bit of a learning curve--not quite as much when you get to the editor/maintainer level, but some people will have to work the admin side. On the other hand, Joomla is probably more common for a hosting company to have available in case things have to be migrated to another server for some reason.

A hosting company? Why not just run it in someone's basement? Well, I've done that and hosted web/email/DNS/etc. services for various non-profits for several years. It was expensive especially with redundant Internet links and servers, but it was my hobby, so didn't mind. When I moved, I gave it up and helped people migrate to professional hosting sites because the only high-speed Internet I could get at any reasonable cost was Comcast. These days, sure, I could stick a server in the basement fine, but would people trust some dude with a server in his basement enough to seriously consider moving their repositories, wikis, forums, email lists, etc. to it? People have got to want to use it and comfortable that it's not just a "here today, gone tomorrow" thing to make it successful...

I wonder how many plug-in developers are interested in a full-featured site like this?

Just my 2 cents .
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