Mediaportal setup with plugins - quo vadis?

Discussion in 'MediaPortal 1 Talk' started by Requiem, December 2, 2018.

  1. Requiem
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    Requiem MP Donator

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    Hi everyone.

    I am a big fan of MediaPortal. I have been using it for several years now and I hope to do so in the future.
    I have a dedicated HTPC in my living room and I watch most things with MP.

    But I think we need to see a growing problem.

    I am an IT enthusiast. I am not a coder, but I am used to fiddling around with things, locate problems,
    track them until they are solved.

    This week, I decided to make a fresh install of my HTPC for various reasons. And I decided to install
    MediaPortal from scratch, review each configuration and every plugin.

    And there is the problem: MP is a wonderful piece of software, but it is so much more powerful with plugins.
    And it is a pain in the a.. to set up.

    It starts with the installation of MP itself: On a standard Windows 10 setup, the installer wont run as .NET3.5 is not installed by default.
    When you are ready to install, you may or may not get a note about an "invalid file hande 32". It wont do anything, but it is annoying.
    If I was new to MP, I would be worried about this.

    As I said: I am a long term user, I know what I need.
    I will install StreamedMP. But the SMPEditor will not work properly; it wont download weather icons or splash screens anymore.
    If you search for it, there is a patch somewhere in this forum. It used to work but it does not anymore. This has been reported a while back in the thread, there is not an answer or even a solution to this. I took the files from an old backup and put them in the right place, because I have them and I know what to to.

    I look for more plugins. The logo manager needs extra skin files which have to be extracted to the right folder to work with StreamedMP.
    It also needs a patched version from somewhere in the plugins thread to work properly
    It is not listed in the Extension manager with 1.21 pre anymore.

    Other plugins, like essential Online Videos, are marked as incompatible even though they work well.

    Other plugins, like MPCleaner, will randomly crash MediaPortal.



    I could go on, but you all get the point: This is nearly impossible to do for a newbie. MP is becoming less attractive.
    (Before anyone says that there is MP2: Yes, it is. I still did not switch to it for reasons, and I am not the only one. Even if it is V2.2 meanwhile,
    it is a long road to go until I might replace MP1 for it. MIssing skins and plugins is just one of them. And were talking MP1 here).

    So, what should happen?
    I think there must be a focus to tidying things up: Get things sorted out. Mark old plugins as deprecated or motivate the developers to make compatible skins again.
    Host plugins on the MP main site, if possible.
    Plugin authors: Publish your code on GutHub, put it on GPL. We hat Fanart Handler disappear until ajs made it a great (and essential) plugin again. We have
    MPExtended where the original developers disappeared years ago. We have skins which are not being developed or fixed when things get broken anymore.

    I know, it all takes time and I appreciate the work of everyone of you. But BECAUSE I do so, I want to wake you up and get things clear. Dont let all your work be wasted.
    Its definitely time for a cleanup in the MP1 universe.

    I hope for discussion (and action)!
     
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  3. Requiem
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    Well, I must admit that I expected some kind of reaction, either good or bad; Im quite astonished that there are no replies. Am I the only one who think that this is a problem?
     
  4. spachti

    spachti Portal Pro

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    Of course NOT.
    But it seems that the devs either all moved over to MP2 and have no intent to support an "old and outdated" program anymore, OR they just don't care and do only what they need to fill their own needs.
     
  5. Lehmden
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    Lehmden Retired Team Member

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    Hi.
    I don't think the devs don't care. I'm pretty sure they simply don't have the time to do such clean up stuff. By the way, I always had the impression that most devs still are working on MP1 not MP2. Different point of view...;)

    Not only the number of active devs, the whole MP community is shrinking rapidly. This is for many reasons. Many people are no longer in the need for a HTPC as most Smart TV can stream Netflix and Amazon Prime much better than MP (no matter if MP1 or MP2). And if they want more, they add a FireTV or an Android TV Box to their TV... Aside this the classic linear TV is loosing more and more of it's importance. Most of my younger relationship didn't even plug in the antenna cable to their TV. Ethernet is enough... So why on earth those people should fiddle with a very complicate piece of software running on a big, noisy and expensive PC??? This is valid for nearly every HTPC software, not only MediaPortal.

    MediaPortal has a massive drawback build-in right from the beginning. In the older days where MP was born nobody could ever imagine that anything else than Windows will be more than a niche solution. But today Windows has lost it's former glory due to completely different hardware development. Most people are surfing, mailing and even playback media with smartphone and tablet, not with a PC any longer and on only very little of those devices the OS is Windows.
    Also it's very understandable that the fathers and mothers of MP were using "Windows only" technology to create MP, today this turned into a big disadvantage. Sadly this will lead to the death of MP sooner or later, I'm pretty sure. You can see it everywhere. The TV engine, the former flagship of MP, has fallen far behind solutions like TVHeadend or NextPVR (just to name free software, no commercial ones), at least as it comes to supporting "modern" hardware... There is more hardware sold with pre- installed Kodi per week than a copy of MP is downloaded per year. No point in blaming the "marketing" of MP. MP simply can not work on those good selling and cheap ARM based systems with mostly Android (or Android- based) operating systems...

    Even with this huge user base, Kodi is short on devs. So how should our very tiny community (compared to Kodi) should handle all this "not so important" things in short time???
     
  6. joecrow
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    That is neither fair or true!:mad:
    Given the rollout of new versions of MP1 and the major improvements in recent times (e.g.Madvr integration) I can't understand how you can say that,o_O furthermore in my experience Mp 1.20 is the best yet.
    With respect to the OP, yes you are quite right, the plugins really need cleaning up, it would be nice if only the working/supported ones were offered but in this respect based on my brief flirtation with Kodi, it is not the worst, and the MP Extension Manager is some help but for sure a bunch of the downloads should be thrown out.
    I suspect the devs. feel much the same as I do about my attic, I'll get round to clearing it up one day when I have enough time.:)
     
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  7. Requiem
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    Requiem MP Donator

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    Good example. But I'd really suggest to centralize addons on the MP website and maintain them there. And if any developer does not want to continue his work - which I can understand - it'd be nice if they would seek someone else to continue development and hand them over the code (if it's not GPL or other free license)....
     
  8. Timberwolf99

    Timberwolf99 Portal Pro

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    I found the same anyone starting out can very easily get lost in the plugin then patch then ask for help which can be a while coming round about as the are sometimes a few patches that apply to a specific problem and sometimes need to be applied in a specific order for the fix to be successful.

    Do this for all the plugins you would like to use and I could take weeks to months to get a working MP installation going and useable.

    Bear I mind this was for me only about 1/3 of the reason I turned away from MP. Another 1/3 was hardware issues with my graphics and tv, which couldn’t be fixed with the help on here, the last 1/3 was that I could not get my prototype system quiet enough to please the missus.

    Also every time she went to watch something on it the video had frozen requiring a reboot didn’t help also.

    Im still here and may revisit this one day but for now I have other ways to do what I need though it’s not as elegant as a MP instal could have been.

    I also made the suggestion a while ago, anyone developing a plugin or extension that cannot for whatever reason support it in a timely fashion or continue its development should be able to put the project into a location where someone else can go, pick it up and run with it until such a time they cannot and the place it back so someone else can do the same.

    1 this will allow for the new guys to tidy the project up, e.g. apply patches to the project to fix bugs.

    2 allow continued development of the most used plugins from only one developer.
     
    Last edited: December 15, 2018
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