[mythtv-users] Merge of OSD and Main themes causes WAF to plummet
mythtv at michaelandholly.com
Sat Mar 5 23:49:32 UTC 2011
From: mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org [mailto:mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org] On Behalf Of Robert Siebert
Sent: Saturday, March 05, 2011 10:42 AM
To: Discussion about MythTV
Subject: Re: [mythtv-users] Merge of OSD and Main themes causes WAF to Plummet
On Fri, 4 Mar 2011 08:11:46 -0800, Michael Jones wrote:
You’re right, it doesn’t take an “expert” to use a text editor or change some piece of text and “see what happens”, but as someone with limited time on their hands (with work, family, other stuff) poking through the theme to “see what happens” doesn’t cut it
If you just want to change the text size for the OSD and keep the font size for the rest of the theme as posted in this thread, then definately yes. Takes 10min and you are set. The devlopers even told the guys where and what they should change. And there is always a search function.
Compare the complexity of XBMCs themes with the MythTV ones. This I would say is difficult, not MythTV.
Actually implementing the change is not difficult in any way.. It’s finding the right place to change it, without breaking something that’s not so intuitive. I have yet to find any documentation from the developers that is complete enough for someone unfamiliar with the way the theme was built to successfully make the edits necessary in as little as 10 minutes. If you know the theme you’re working with on the other hand, that might be a reasonable estimate.
As an engineer, there’s very little that makes my skin crawl more than relying on the “just change something and see what happens” method of development. . I’ll admit that when learning a new programming language I will sometimes employ that method, but it’s RARELY the best way to go about it.
That is correct when you work in a large or small company when many people work on one (more complex or safety relevant) project. There you have your processes that you need to stick to and documentation rules and so on. I don't believe that the developers have an idea what they are doing before they commit the changes to git.
MythTV and open source software is about as close to “when many people work on one project” as you can possibly get. I’ve heard numbers on the order of 40 or 50 people who actually contribute code to this project (I’m not sure of the accuracy of this number, but it sounds pretty reasonable). If these people are working collaboratively on this project I’m pretty sure that they have some sort of agreed upon standards of structure and organization of the code. Why shouldn’t the themes as well?
Also, maybe I’m looking at different theme creation documentation than you are, but I haven’t come across anything really useful yet – if you know of a link to something more complete, please post it?
I used http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/MythUI_Theme_Development .The basiscs are included with examples.
Then I used the deafult-wide theme as a base and edited it. After 2 hours I got the hang of it and was able to rearrange stuff and change it. So after a total of maybe 10 hours I got the first version of the blue-abstract. In this case it could sometimes be more efficient to just start doing stuff instead of thinking about a process and stuff like that.
I’ve found that one, and have looked through parts of it. It’s far from “complete” but it was helpful in my attempts to adjust MythCenter’s Grid “Gallery” view in MythVideo. I was successful, and mostly have the result I wanted but the process was, again, FAR from intuitive.
As a programmer and professional project manager myself, I know there has to be a “better” way. It may take a little more time on the developers or theme designers side to make it “better” (and as I’ve said before, I’d be happy to contribute in any way I am able) but I think in the long run a little planning and structure will make the whole thing more useful to everyone at very little cost in flexibility and freedom.
Sure there is a better way, but will it really improve things here? Will people be willing to contribute more? Theme development is NOt difficult and I don't think that a better structure and planning will improve things to a noticable extend. I am really interested what kind of structure and planning you would suggest that is required to improve theme development. As a programmer and project manager I assume you can contribute in planning and strucuring ideas.
You may be absolutely right, judging from the (shall we say) “resistance” seen so from those unwilling to accept ideas from someone unable to contribute code, I’m guessing that very few in the community have any desire to do anything beyond what is in their own immediate self interest. I’m hoping that I’m wrong. I guess it all depends on what would be considered an improvement. If you are happy with the way themes are structured right now, then my ideas would be pretty meaningless.
If interest actually exists, the Improvements that I would make would be those most immediately useful to those who are not experienced with designing and/or modifying existing themes.
The first adjustment would not necessarily be structural.. but informational. Documentation in its most simple form: Comment what you create. It’s not difficult, it can be a little time consuming, but it’s an infinitely useful tool for someone who is either unfamiliar with your code/design or wants to figure out how you did it, or how to change it to fit their needs. Wouldn’t making things easier to adjust and/or customize create themes that are much more useful to everyone?
Another idea would be a central, carefully commented, well documented area within every theme where basic constructs are defined – for example: the basic sizes for the grid elements in the gallery view for MythVideo or the size of the font for the OSD.. (though I’m not sure if this is currently possible).
There are many other ways to make the themes easier for the uninitiated or inexperienced to modify for their own uses – my growing knowledge of how themes work will invariably uncover more of them. Many of these could be “best practices” but others (such as Dynamic or Scalable themes) would definitely require code adjustments in how themes are currently processed – this suggestion is likely to bring the wrath of those who want to argue about it.. but oh well..
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