Stability Release (1 Viewer)

Do you want a Stability Relase after Beta 0.2

  • No, i dont want that

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infinite.loop

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  • December 26, 2004
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    Please take a minute and read this Post. Thank You! :)

    Iam using mediaportal for more that one year now. and iam realy surpised how quick it evolved to an fullfeatured HTPC software.

    The releaseplan (features) for 0.2 sounds realy great.

    recently i have been talking with a few (16) people on ICQ (and personally) who are using mediportal. and we all love it.
    but what i hear quite often is: "mp is great, the features, the look, its easy to use. but until i can use it without crashes, freezes and other weird stuff i use HTPC-Software XY".
    we know that mp is still beta. but we all agreed in one point.

    Mediportal needs more stability.

    Since the developers have added all the features an HTPC-Software must have, its time for an Stability Release.

    So what i (we) are asking for is, that after the release of Beta 0.2 all efforts should concentrate on:
    • finding and solving bugs
    • speed up /clean existing code
    to get a stable base for further releases with new features.

    Please consider our suggestion.

    Kind Regards
    Avalon111 and 16 other mp users
     

    tomtom21000

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  • April 22, 2004
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    I think what you suggest has been established with the

    pre-release
    release
    cvs versions

    system?

    Or do you mean to stop adding new functionalities and consolidate the existing ones?

    And for me mp runs rock solid and flawless, but this can be different for everyone.

    tomtom
     

    kamrat

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    May 24, 2005
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    Sorry for crossposting. I just made the following post as a follow up on the bugs-thread but maybe it fits better here.


    I am aware of how delicately this has to be put. But let me give it a try.
    We all know that the MP-software has fantastic features and the programming team is incredibly good at coming up with new features and improving the software quickly. Not to mention how helpful they are in this forum to answer questions and fix bugs. I am deeply impressed by the team and I think most people active on this forum are too.
    All this been said the software has a really big problem when it comes to stability! I don’t think I’ve used less stable software since before Windows 95. And yes – I am aware that it needs a lot of tweaking and care and I’ve spent tens of hours installing patches, cvs:s and drivers to make it run as well as possible. I am also aware that this is not a release version.
    It is probably theoretically possible to make a dedicated system reasonably stable for a while if you know exactly how to configure it. But as soon as there is a driver update, or a windows-patch or new release of MP hell starts all over again.
    I too have used Showshifter. I did not particularly like it but at least it was stable. I once left it running in the taskbar for five weeks while on vacation recording 10-15 shows. I would not trust MP to do this.

    I know that the team claims that stability is a high priority but why not give us a stable 0.1.4.0 with all the fixes put into the CVS:s after 0.1.3.0 before starting to do prereleases of 0.2.0.0?
    Putting a halt on feature development for a couple of months and focusing on ironing out bugs would help the user base more than anything else. This would probably greatly increase the following and help give the team better support in continuing to develop the software.
    I understand that it must be tempting for the developers to move on and give the software more features and after working with the software for so long their systems are probably perfectly tweaked and they probably do a lot of workarounds without even thinking of it. But for new users – even very experienced computer users – MP can easily be a nightmare.

    Please don’t flame me for this. I have the deepest respect for the MP-team and maybe I just don’t know enough about software development to grasp the difficulties involved in creating bug free software. But this lovehate for MP has been growing inside me for a while and I just had to let it out. It’s like having a best friend with all the qualities you’d ask for in a best friend except he never turns up on time and sometimes just walks away on you in the middle of an interesting conversation.

    I have noticed that as soon as someone points out that they have a stability problem on the forum he is pointed towards all kinds of downloads and updates. Could we please not make this thread about solving specific problems and instead have a discussion on the stability problems in general?

    What do you all think?? Is anyone experiencing a rock solid setup of MP at the moment?
     

    infinite.loop

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    tomtom21000 said:
    Or do you mean to stop adding new functionalities and consolidate the existing ones?
    i think one release should focus on that. to get a solid base for new features.

    tomtom21000 said:
    And for me mp runs rock solid and flawless, but this can be different for everyone.
    tomtom
    i have only 2 small issues with mp that i can life with.

    but the problem is that there are many users who have real problems with mediaportal as you can read in the forums here and the others in the www. and the problem is not always infront of the monitor :wink:
     

    Frodo

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  • April 22, 2004
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    Here is my opinon:

    1. Mediaportal is still in beta phase. I don't see how anybody can expect beta software to be fully stable

    2. You guys are requesting a stable version, but at the same time
    i see >1000 feature requests in the forums. This conflicts and it is not possible to please everybody. We cannot stop adding new features to make MP stable because users demand new features

    3. i think 80% of all problems are related with the My TV plugin. All the other modules are pretty stable

    4. Reason TV causes all the problems is because :
    MediapPortal Team:
    - bugs (offcourse)
    - the fact we're volunteers and dont have 40hrs/week to work on My TV
    - the fact that there are just 2 developers working on My TV
    - the fact that we dont got enough serious/dedicated and motivated testers

    Environment:
    - the vast amount of different tv capture cards
    - the hardware differences between every PC
    - the audio/video codecs people use

    3th parties:
    - some tv capture cards have very buggy drivers
    - the lack of good documentation on directshow (blame M$ for this)
    - 3th parties not releasing documentation to opensource projects

    End Users:
    - not reading any documentation
    - using pc's which dont follow the system requirements for MP
    - wrong setup/configuration of MP
    - using latest CVS versions and expect it to be bugfree
    - using non-supported tv cards


    Now what have we done to improve this:

    1. we introduced the pre-releases and final release
    The +/- 2 weeks between a pre-release and final release is used for testing. Its forbidden for developers to add any new code and the entire 2 weeks are used for testing, debugging and fixing bugs. However since we cannot test everything (due to lack of time and available hardware) we have to rely on testers

    2. Attracting new developers and testers
    We tried in every way to get good testers and good developers.
    However in the end this resulted in nothing. Developers seem not interested which is weird because SageTV/Meedio and others have no problem attracting developers.

    Some things we did:
    - publishing 'how-2-write plugins for MP' tutorial'
    - made the sources available as file release on sourceforge
    - post on our website and forums to attract new devs
    - setup a wiki for testers

    We did attract a lot of new testers. However none of them where serious
    They simply did not test, didnt write test plans etc etc

    - Making MP less dependent on 3rth party code
    Part of the problem is that MP now uses codecs, filters etc written by 3th parties like microsoft, intervideo,... We're currently in the process of writing our own codecs/filters. This means we will have full control and can fix bugs because we wrote the software ourselves.
    At the moment when there's a bug in a microsoft filter we cannot fix them. Even worse, microsoft is fixing those bugs, but is only making them available for microsoft media center edition and not for windows xp users

    - Assigning plugins to developers
    In the past every developer could do what he pretty much wanted.
    We changed this recently and now a developer is responsible for 1-2 plugins. This means that this person will be the only dev working on the
    plugin which hopefully increases stability.

    As you can see we are making steps to improve stability of mediaportal
    I know we're not there yet, and requesting a stable version is just too early in my opinion. On the other hand I believe we could greatly speed up the development process of mediaportal and thus have a stable version if we could find more good testers and developers which
    are willing,dedicated and motivated




    Frodo
     

    FlipGer

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  • April 27, 2004
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    Hi,

    the change to prereleases was already a step in the right direction. I do not know the future plans of the MP team. But i also think that a "stabilty only release" is a idea to think of. And the sooner such a release will be done, the better will be the result. (Late changes can cause very big problems)

    One of the biggest "problem" is that MP attract more and more people :) with very different systems. The MP team did a call for testers a few months ago and the first answers did look very promising, but there were not much people left after all. :?

    Much problems occure through the new field DVB and their BDA drivers (my PVR 350 runs rocksolid). That is mainly the reason for stating people to patches and updates.

    Flip.
     

    rtv

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    And for me mp runs rock solid and flawless, but this can be different for everyone.
    That's it - I'm using a dedicated pc for MP with carefully chosen hardware and I know what I do but I'm far away from calling any release since 0.1.0.2-2 stable.. At the moment I can't risk my girlfriend to miss further recordings, etc so I'm using 0.1.2.0 CVS shortly before 0.1.3pre came out. Therefore I know 2 or 3 things which simply doesn't work and can avoid them. Since 0.1.3.0 I often get random crashes which can't be reproduced.

    After the 0.1.3.0 release not working correctly with Skystar2 (which quite many people use) I would have released another "official" 0.1.3.1 which 'should' work for everyone..
     

    wierdnatox

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    I agree. I've been waiting 8 months for a version of MP I can use for everything, but it seems that if a release fixes one thing it breaks another.

    HTPC systems can be used by many different types of user in many different environments and as tempting as it may seem to just develop the next top feature and move on this will inevitably lead to instability.

    There is only so long that we can put off our family who's demand for perfection is much greater than most of ours. So please, please lets have maybe one release where no new features are added, only bugs fixed. I think people would actually prefer this to getting version 0.2.

    As a final point, some time ago MP asked for testers in the forum. Many people replied and then there was a posting about lack of response. I put my name down but heard nothing after that, and I can only assume that was the case with most other people. If you need help testing then ask and we will help, but at the end of the day it is your project and you have to organise it. Don't expect people to just know what to do.

    Please don't read anything harsh into this posting. Like someone else said it is a delicate subject. I think MP is fantastic and I just want to help make it better. :)
     

    infinite.loop

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    frodo said:
    2. You guys are requesting a stable version, but at the same time
    i see >1000 feature requests in the forums. This conflicts and it is not possible to please everybody. We cannot stop adding new features to make MP stable because users demand new features

    i have the greatest respect for you and the other developers who are doing an fantastic job on mediportal.

    but the question is: do we want more and more features or do we want to use the existing ones without problems?

    you can never please everyone. but since mp is a noncommercial software i dont know if its good that the developers spend their limited time to programm new features instead of making the existing code more stable and get away from beeing reliant on 3rd party codecs/filters (as you mentioned). thats a point nearly everone who makes a feature request should understand.

    frodo said:
    As you can see we are making steps to improve stability of mediaportal
    I know we're not there yet, and requesting a stable version is just too early in my opinion.
    thanks for your detailed information whats going on at the developers front.
    the one thing iam asking myself is what features do you plan for the final version? is there a feature list you want to accomplish?
    in my opinion Mediaportal has all the essential features a HTPC Software needs.
    Thats why i think its time for a bugfree version. More Features could be added in the next versions after that stable version.

    At the moment Mediportal is loosing users because of the frustration it could cause to get it working.
    a stable version could change that.

    if there is a stable version you can go back when testing a new plugin or feature will also increase the amout of testers.
     

    ting

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    Ive experienced, like some others chrashes with the 0.1.3 version. Now I am using CVS from 15. august (15:47). And I havent yet tested so many parts of MP, but It seems like the Bugs have been fixed.

    What I would recomend is having a 0.1.3.1 or 0.1.4 (what ever you want to call it :wink: ) with perhaps one of these CVS versions as an exe release.

    Installing a cvs is more scary for a user than an exe version. Then both new and old users would have a fall back solution if they don't want to add cvs files, or if they can't wait for a fix.

    This sugestion rests on the assumtion that the Cvs or cvs's I am refering to are more or less stable of course :D

    But with this method, i think the team will have more peace of mind, and be able to continue with there anounced schedule.
     

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