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SageMC Custom Interface This forum is for discussing the user-created SageMC custom interface for SageTV.

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  #1  
Old 09-20-2009, 06:50 PM
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Kryspy Kryspy is offline
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Add ons......Why so difficult

Hi,

Before anyone gets their knickers in a knot this isn't a slag at Sage at all but more of an observation.

Other media software like Mediaportal, MCE etc. all have installers for their plugins and add ons. Why does a sophisticated piece of software like Sage require manual set up (unzip this, configure that) of add ons and plugins? Why can't dependancies be taken care of in the form of an actual installer?

Just a question. I realize people do SageMC on their own time but I find setting up things like Moviewall (just an example) an absolute nightmare. Maybe it is the documentation that isn't quite clear, I am unsure.

Am I alone or what.

Maybe a few questions may help me out.

Using a client PC and a WHS set up what goes where. SageMC set up I assume goes on the client but things like the jetty server and what not do they gop on the server side or client side. Is there a good summary somewhere that I have missed that dumbs down this whole process for me?

I find set up of SageMC with fanart and what not a truly frustrating affair.

Kryspy
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2009, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kryspy View Post
Other media software like Mediaportal, MCE etc. all have installers for their plugins and add ons. Why does a sophisticated piece of software like Sage require manual set up (unzip this, configure that) of add ons and plugins? Why can't dependancies be taken care of in the form of an actual installer?
I don't really see this as being SageTV's fault, but rather that of the plugin authors. Installers are programs, that need to be written, tested, respond to input, perform actions, etc. I looked at writing an installer for bmt, but to be honest, the work involved has always deterred me. At the end of the day, when I'm done working on a project, the last thing I really want to do is figure out how to write an installer

Quote:
Just a question. I realize people do SageMC on their own time but I find setting up things like Moviewall (just an example) an absolute nightmare. Maybe it is the documentation that isn't quite clear, I am unsure.
Documentation is always the last thing to get written/updated. No one likes doing it.

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Am I alone or what.
I doubt it.


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Using a client PC and a WHS set up what goes where. SageMC set up I assume goes on the client but things like the jetty server and what not do they gop on the server side or client side. Is there a good summary somewhere that I have missed that dumbs down this whole process for me?
Rules of thumb...
1. If your plugin has a visual component, and your had to install the SageTV software on a machine, then you'll most likely have to install the plugin software on that machine as well.

2. If your plugin is server based, install it on the server.

3. If you only have extenders and placeshifters, then everything is installed on the server.

4. if a plugin sounds really cool... it's probably hard to configure/install, since the developer has put all of his/her time in making the plugin, not so much on the documentation

5. There forums are here to help you.

As a plugin author, I feel your pain. I get equally frustrated when people are having issues with my stuff, or they can't configure it/install it, etc. Maybe spending a month or so writing an installer and updating documentation wouldn't be a bad idea.
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  #3  
Old 09-21-2009, 06:03 AM
jaminben jaminben is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kryspy View Post
Other media software like Mediaportal, MCE etc. all have installers for their plugins and add ons. Why does a sophisticated piece of software like Sage require manual set up (unzip this, configure that) of add ons and plugins? Why can't dependancies be taken care of in the form of an actual installer?
Not having a pop at you, but have you tried to use MediaPortals installer software......my god what a hash-up that is. In theory its a good idea but in practice its an absolute nightmare to get running and who's idea was it to have the setup options outside the actual UI.

Sage isn't perfect but at least most of the imports only require you to extract the zip to the default install directory then setup within the UI.

Quite easy IMO.
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  #4  
Old 09-22-2009, 12:15 PM
babgvant babgvant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kryspy View Post
Hi,

Other media software like Mediaportal, MCE etc. all have installers for their plugins and add ons. Why does a sophisticated piece of software like Sage require manual set up (unzip this, configure that) of add ons and plugins? Why can't dependancies be taken care of in the form of an actual installer?
Speaking as someone who'd written installers for Media Center, it's a major PITA. Installers are a huge time sink (that have no value to the developer) and next to impossible to really debug. The only reason I chose that option was because installing addins to MC is too complex for normal people.

ZIP installs have drawbacks (uninstalling is tedious), but they are simple to do and pretty low touch on your PC (i.e. if you want to know what it does, take 2 min to look at the content and target paths before exploding the file). Where a packaged installer can do all sorts of things to destroy your PC; you're putting a lot of faith in the efforts of a hobbyist developer to get it on there correctly and off should you choose to uninstall.
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  #5  
Old 09-22-2009, 01:56 PM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Figured I would chime in sense you mentioned my addin in your frustrations I would agree with most of what has been said. I would like to see sage implement some sort of version check or something of the sorts to allow multiple imports of the same import (ie updating) without having to revert back to a blank stv everytime. (by blank I mean not having the import) of course like stuckless said I could implement something to this effect on my own maybe if I had the time. I find sage very easy to configure/setup after you know the process.
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  #6  
Old 09-22-2009, 02:00 PM
babgvant babgvant is offline
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Originally Posted by PLUCKYHD View Post
Figured I would chime in sense you mentioned my addin in your frustrations I would agree with most of what has been said. I would like to see sage implement some sort of version check or something of the sorts to allow multiple imports of the same import (ie updating) without having to revert back to a blank stv everytime. (by blank I mean not having the import) of course like stuckless said I could implement something to this effect on my own maybe if I had the time. I find sage very easy to configure/setup after you know the process.
The default STV handles this process very well. You tell it which STVi you want to use, and anytime the base STV is changed it rebuilds everything for you.
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  #7  
Old 09-22-2009, 02:00 PM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Originally Posted by babgvant View Post
The default STV handles this process very well. You tell it which STVi you want to use, and anytime the base STV is changed it rebuilds everything for you.
wasn't aware of that will have to look into
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  #8  
Old 09-22-2009, 02:36 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Yeah, basically you setup a list of STVi's you're using and the stock STV automatically manages loading them all. For example when you upgrade the the newest version. The stock STV sees you've got STVi's configured, but not loaded (Sage resets the STV) and prompts you if you want to "rebuild".

I don't think it's smart enough to rebuild automatically if you change an STVi, but if the name is the same, you should just have to go in and hit the manual force rebuild option.
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  #9  
Old 09-22-2009, 06:43 PM
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There has been instances where it has recognized that an STVI has been upgraded, calls out that the STVI has been upgraded and asks if you want to rebuild. I just don't know what it keys off of.

Gerry
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  #10  
Old 09-22-2009, 08:55 PM
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It checks the time stamp on the base STV & all imports, and will do the check the first time the Main Menu is entered after startup or after applying an STV update.

- Andy
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  #11  
Old 09-23-2009, 07:13 AM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Originally Posted by Opus4 View Post
It checks the time stamp on the base STV & all imports, and will do the check the first time the Main Menu is entered after startup or after applying an STV update.

- Andy
Andy,

Thanks for that so basically it automatically takes the default STV and imports all imports again when something is changed correct?
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  #12  
Old 09-23-2009, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by PLUCKYHD View Post
Thanks for that so basically it automatically takes the default STV and imports all imports again when something is changed correct?
This is documented in the PDF manual; it is not new.

- Andy
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  #13  
Old 09-23-2009, 10:03 AM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Originally Posted by Opus4 View Post
This is documented in the PDF manual; it is not new.

- Andy
You and your manuals
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  #14  
Old 09-23-2009, 10:17 AM
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Opus4 Opus4 is offline
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Originally Posted by PLUCKYHD View Post
You and your manuals
Yes... me and my manuals... and sometimes I feel like the high school librarian where students want the librarian to do their research for them.

I took the time to write it; the least others could do is take the time to look at it w/o waiting for me to post a page number. New users may not know about the manual, but long time forum members should be aware it exists. It isn't perfect & may need clarification or have typos, but it is a place to start for the basics about various options.

- Andy
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  #15  
Old 09-23-2009, 10:38 AM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Originally Posted by Opus4 View Post
Yes... me and my manuals... and sometimes I feel like the high school librarian where students want the librarian to do their research for them.

I took the time to write it; the least others could do is take the time to look at it w/o waiting for me to post a page number. New users may not know about the manual, but long time forum members should be aware it exists. It isn't perfect & may need clarification or have typos, but it is a place to start for the basics about various options.

- Andy
I agree and understand your frustrations. I am like a kid in a candy store is my problem I want to rip right in and not read the packaging. it may say danger do not eat but I don't care I want the candy. So that is my fault not yours.
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  #16  
Old 09-23-2009, 04:04 PM
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gplasky gplasky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opus4 View Post
Yes... me and my manuals... and sometimes I feel like the high school librarian where students want the librarian to do their research for them.

I took the time to write it; the least others could do is take the time to look at it w/o waiting for me to post a page number. New users may not know about the manual, but long time forum members should be aware it exists. It isn't perfect & may need clarification or have typos, but it is a place to start for the basics about various options.

- Andy
Quote:
Originally Posted by PLUCKYHD View Post
I agree and understand your frustrations. I am like a kid in a candy store is my problem I want to rip right in and not read the packaging. it may say danger do not eat but I don't care I want the candy. So that is my fault not yours.
Well in that case-don't eat the manual either.

Gerry
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  #17  
Old 09-23-2009, 06:53 PM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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I'll agree that in the beginning I found the install process a bit frustrating.

Now that I've reinstalled sagetv about 500 times (never ending, wife frustrating tweaking) I find the process very simple.
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  #18  
Old 09-24-2009, 09:43 AM
tchapin tchapin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opus4 View Post
Yes... me and my manuals... and sometimes I feel like the high school librarian where students want the librarian to do their research for them.


- Andy
Andy, I don't know what software the manual was authored in, but have you / SageTV considered putting the manual online as a set of HTML docs? If it was done as a wiki, then it could easily be updated by people with tips and tricks and such.

I think that part of the problem with the manual is that it is a really huge document. So people aren't printing it out. Long documents are hard to read online, whereas with paper, it's much easier to put bookmarks or annotations or whatnot.

If you thought this was a good idea, but needed some forum assistance, I'd help out.

Todd
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:13 AM
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I think Sage could go a long ways with a standard plugin file format... even if it's just a re-extensioned zip file, with an install instructions file contained in it. Then it gets associated with a small app that unzips it, and follows the install instructions... It can keep track of what has changed.. if it has rewritten any STV's or STVi's, it can rerun the auto-import. If it has added any JARs, it can prompt if you want to/are ready to restart the service. It really wouldn't take much to do. It should also do some level of dependency check, and perhaps even auto-download dependencies.. (this would require a bit of standardization on the part of the sage downloads section as well, to include version information in a standardized way). This would then be a relatively simple matter for dev's to create the script (which for most imports, would be incredibly simple)
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