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- bmfrosty - 2007-06-04 05:50

@affni

Hi. I see what you're saying, but I want to be able to be told that I can purchase X piece of hardware for a reasonable price, and then burn a file to a CD or a USB stick, pop it in and have it just work.

I don't want to have to fight *ANYTHING* to get this to work. I don't want to have to build a computer to a certain minimum spec, and then hope that the hardware matches what drivers are available in the distribution. I don't want to have to go to command line to make some adjustments before it will work. I don't want to have to go to support forums or to an IRC channel, and hope that there is someone that can point out what I've been doing wrong and how to fix it.

I'm all for generalized support. I personally think that when this is ready to go, the developers should engage the mythdora team and see if they can get it included in a future release of mythdora. I also think that for someone like me, or my parents, or anybody I have to advise about this type of thing, a single, standardized platform would be golden.

Oh. As long as we're comparing notes, I did support for an online university for 3 years, and have spent 7 years doing support for the one of the worlds largest telecomm companies.


- Livin - 2007-06-04 06:07

bm,
Your "wants" are 100% covered by a "reference design" - if you buy items in the reference design, it just works - no fighting. Nothing personal but your post shows a true lack of understand the meaning of reference design.

I was not trying to "compare notes" I was trying to show that I have some real experience behind my statements... I did not just support the systems; I design them. I fully understand "design for supportability" and that is what I'm trying to explain.


- bmfrosty - 2007-06-04 06:43

Ok. So how about this. Can you give me a reference design, that anybody could tell their mom to buy, and could reasonably expect them to understand to the point where they could from memory relay it to a salesman?

The moment that you give your mom a list of supported chipsets, it no longer works. If you call Dell and ask for a system with a specific chipset, chances are the salesman will get confused, and it doesn't work. If someone has to dig through a web site like aimicro to get a computer built from a list of supported pieces, it doesn't work.

It no longer works under the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) philosophy.

It works for me. It works for most of my friends. It works for people that hang out on message boards like these. I can build a computer, most of my friends can build computers, and I'd wager that most of the people reading these posts can build a computer.

My mom can't. Maybe your's can.

-----

It's reasonable to design this to work on just about any PC, but my hope is that in addition to that, the development team will pick a couple of specific platforms, and will make an extra effort to make sure that on those platforms, it just works.


- szsori - 2007-06-04 06:45

I think what pretty much everyone is missing is that if a proprietary system is supported immediately, when that system becomes outdated or hard to find, it should be relatively easy to switch to the next system to support. The same would need to be done with a reference design, since drivers and hardware change over time.

Say AppleTV is the first supported platform. What's to prevent the developers from also supporting the Mac Mini when that comes out. Then imagine that the AppleTV officially flops and nobody can buy them anymore. The developers just select the latest platform in the same price range that will do what they need it to do.

Since it's linux, it would take all of a week or two to get the new drivers into the distro and do some proper testing. They don't need to stop supporting AppleTV at that point either, since XBMC-Linux will probably be pretty stable on that hardware at that point. Basically all that's needed is a platform that's going to work for at least a couple years, just to keep the extra work to a minimum.


- szsori - 2007-06-04 06:49

Oh.. since we're now required to post our resume when making comments, I've been a high level programmer for the past 8 years and worked for 10+ years in hardware and user support.

Reference design is required for major software companies because they can't afford to exclude large numbers of users due to hardware conflicts. It's not required in an instance like this, which is more closely related to embedded systems.


- bmfrosty - 2007-06-04 06:50

szsori Wrote:I think what pretty much everyone is missing is that if a proprietary system is supported immediately, when that system becomes outdated or hard to find, it should be relatively easy to switch to the next system to support. The same would need to be done with a reference design, since drivers and hardware change over time.

Say AppleTV is the first supported platform. What's to prevent the developers from also supporting the Mac Mini when that comes out. Then imagine that the AppleTV officially flops and nobody can buy them anymore. The developers just select the latest platform in the same price range that will do what they need it to do.

Since it's linux, it would take all of a week or two to get the new drivers into the distro and do some proper testing. They don't need to stop supporting AppleTV at that point either, since XBMC-Linux will probably be pretty stable on that hardware at that point. Basically all that's needed is a platform that's going to work for at least a couple years, just to keep the extra work to a minimum.

Golden words here. Golden words.


- Livin - 2007-06-04 06:53

szsori... you and I are speaking the same language. I just used reference design to make a point... that more then just a closed system was the best way to go.

bm... you are a funny guy... you're mom cannot build a PC, I'm sure she cannot... but she's also not going to install Linux or better yet... download XBMC and install that... and most likely even care. If she does, you'll be doing it for her and your point is moot anyway... hehehe nice try though Wink


- bmfrosty - 2007-06-04 06:58

Yeah, but it's my mom, and since I know there is no way to get her to pay me back for the thing, I've got to make sure she pays for it on her credit card, and if I do that part for her, and for some reason she doesn't use it, she'll say that I pushed her into it. Eek





Big Grin


- Jezz_X - 2007-06-04 12:07

and just because I can my useless pic of the day
[Image: snapshot10hi7.th.png] [Image: snapshot11vc3.th.png]


- paperclipmonkey - 2007-06-04 12:19

KDE with XGL, nice setup jezz_x.
Has anyone tried this to work on OpenSUSE?


- inkubux - 2007-06-04 15:29

Gamester17 Wrote:I think that you are probably right on this, since XBMC will be a cross-platform software using the very same code base (and not seperate source code trees), best would be be if we also used a small cross-platform webserver and a cross-platfrom web-site running on that webserver. That way even if you run XBMC nativly on an Xbox, or on a x86 Linux-computer, or a future new game-console port, both the webserver and the website for remote-control would still look and function the same (as they share the very same code on all platforms).

XBMC uses GoAhead WebServer as its current code for this, and it was the best webserver for Xbox version of XBMC at the time it was implemented. It is very small, designed for embedded systems, and is cross-platform already. Unfortunatly GoAhead Software Inc. who maintain the original branch of the GoAhead WebServer seems to have stopped development of the source code in December 2003, (and I at least can not seem to find any projects with forked version of the GoAhead WebServer on which development have continued since then, can anyone of you?).

...the main limitation of the GoAhead WebServer is the lack of native ASP , PHP, and JavaScript support, which I agree is quitesome limitation, (as right now you can really make websites for it in standard HTTP and/or AJAX without JavaScript). The main iisue we have here is that no developers on Team-XBMC seems to have had a personal interest in maintaining the webserver source code, and no outside / third-party developers have stepped up and submitted any patches to show that they would be willing to help us update and maintain the webserver code (either by replacing it with a other webserver library or by adding additional libraries/code which add additional function):
http://www.xboxmediacenter.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Web_Interface
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=1358

Still LiquidIce629 and crew managed to do marvels creating a XBMC remote-control website for XBMC using AJAX (and no JavaScript):
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=18680

Also nad have extended the HTTP-server support with his HTTP API which enables many more ways to control XBMC via HTTP:
http://www.xboxmediacenter.com/wiki/index.php?title=WebServerHTTP-API
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=8760

PS! The webserver in XBMC is not meant to serve as a standard webserver, end-user are not suppose to use it to host their private website on, it is only ever meant to be a remote-control-interface for XBMC (and maybe at most also a way to access your local media-files remotly)

I personally think that you shoule use lighthttpd for this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lighttpd

It's a well proven web server which is small, fast and can run PHP.


- ultrabrutal - 2007-06-04 16:16

what about mono?

http://www.mono-project.com/Main_Page


- Gamester17 - 2007-06-04 16:20

inkubux Wrote:I personally think that you shoule use lighthttpd for this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lighttpd
It's a well proven web server which is small, fast and can run PHP.
I am not sure the BSD license is compatible with GPL which is what XBMC is licensed under(?) Confused


- inkubux - 2007-06-04 18:00

Gamester17 Wrote:I am not sure the BSD license is compatible with GPL which is what XBMC is licensed under(?) Confused

The old BSD liscence was not compatible, but As far as I know the newer BSD liscence is compatible:

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#OrigBSD

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BSD_license

Quote:The GNU project has called this clause "obnoxious", explaining that as people changed the license to reflect their name or organisation it led to ridiculous advertising requirements when programs were combined together in a software distribution—every occurance of the license with a different name requires a separate acknowledgement—and citing the requirement for 75 such acknowledgments when advertising a 1997 version of NetBSD.[1] In addition, it presents a legal problem for those wishing to use BSD-licensed software under the GPL: the advertising clause is incompatible with the GPL, which does not allow the addition of restrictions beyond those it already imposes.

The advertising clause was removed from the official BSD license text on July 22, 1999 by William Hoskins, the director of the office of technology licensing for Berkeley,[2] in response to a request from Richard Stallman.[citation needed] Other BSD distributions removed the clause, but NetBSD still uses the original version of the license and many similar clauses remain in BSD-derived code from other sources.



- jonb2 - 2007-06-05 03:12

There seems to be a good bit of confusion about what XBMC will do verses what linux will do. I will try to clairfy it a bit, The purpose is to clarify the facts so that there is less confusion. Please correct any mistake I make here, but be specific in what your correcting and do so with fact not opinion.

XBMC Does not control hardware or provide drivers for it.
XMBC Does not encode or decode video.
XBMC Does not encode or decode audio.
XBMC is a programed interface (the best interface around) linking to other programs and codecs that do those things.

Linux along with other apps will handle the hardware and networking whether it is a pata, sata, usb drive or intel, amd, nvidia, hybrid, mac, board.

Linux is a text based OS it does not have graphic interface, additional applications provide a graphic interface (X windows) in linux.

Now here is where the catch comes in. If a linux distro is modded to be XLMC (X Linux Media Center) it is at this point the devs decide what to include with the distro. Drivers, apps, what if any setup questions, if runs from a live-cd or installs on a drive so forth and so on.

XBMC will actually be an application that runs in linux and could be launched from gnome or kde desktops etc... but many (including myself) are interested in using XBMC as the desktop itself.

The following seems to be the point of confusion and debate. It should not matter if you have a mac-x, shuttle htpc or full tower yada yada yada as far as setting up a live-cd. As long as the drivers for the hardware are included the setup would be the same in all cases. Linux will load the hardware detection and pick the drivers that most closely matches your hardware configuration, load them and boot up to the XBMC login screen or straight to the interface depending on how they configure it.

It is of course totally up to the devs what is included, but I really don't think they would remove drivers unless the driver/hardware actually caused a problem. To better understand this I suggest anyone still confused about the linux portion of this go try out an ubuntu live-cd. (This is not to say they will be using ubuntu, but meerly so you can have a limited idea of how a linux live-cd works.)

Much of the debate has been about what will be supported. There are 2 sides to that coin I want to mention here (and probably not the two some of you are thinking about). Again if I am incorrect here even in part please correct me.
1 The code the devs write. What is on the live-cd. The apps the drivers.
As I've already said I doubt any drivers/hardware that work properly would be removed (why fix it if it ain't broke). So it is likely that if they choose to support mac-x as the reference hardware, it will still support standard PC's unless by chance they chose a distro specifically designed for the mac-x.

2 What these forums and the site will support.
It would be totally unreasonable for them to support every possible hardware configuration, on the other hand it would be a mirror image of that if they only supported one or two hardware configurations (this was what I was talking about previously). I would imagine as time passes support on this site will increase, though it is possible that it would not.

Note: If that was to become the case, I imagine some in the linux community would pick it up and create their own distro for the pc (this of course is meerly speculation and for the most part months or more away).