An open letter to responsible script guys at XBMC

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miljbee Offline
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Post: #31
I Have read this thread, and as a end user, I agree that there is quiet a huge number of scripts/plugins that don't works. That situation is not good for the clean end user experience XBMC tends to offer.

There is something that has been requested a long time ago that hasn't been implemented yet (I Think it hasn't, I Haven't Checked ...) and could help you sorting out "bad" plugins.

Users should be able to remove scripts/plugins within XBMC.

So when they remove a script/plugin, we could ask them their feeling about it.

Also in every plugins/scripts there should be an action to report the status of the script.

If after ten runs, the user hasen't rated the script/plugin yet, then show him a dialog : "Please, would you like to help us evaluate the script/plugins you are currently running ?" Yes, wil bring the rating form, no simply close the dialog box. Eventually, if after ten runs, the user decide not to rate the plugin, then, we could assume it is working.

Reguarding plugins updates, every new realease of a plugin should be considered as a new plugin. So if a user upgrade one script/plugin, then he should reevaluate it.

That's just my quick toughts about this, I Hope it helps ...

Keep up the good work !

Thanks to all XBMC contributors, devs, skinners, scripters, ... It's really an amazing piece of software.
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zag Offline
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Post: #32
There is no need to ask a user inside xbmc if a plugin works imo. This just annoys people I think.

Simply having a central website repository for plugins with the option to rate a plugin is enough. We found that lots of users rated plugins all the time simply because they are directed to the same download page each time the plugin is updated.

The added level of having a moderator of the repository to make final decisions makes it near on perfect.

@blittan, is the XML plugin descriptor working/decided yet? If it is I can modify the php to work with xbmc plugins.
(This post was last modified: 2009-06-17 14:16 by zag.)
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bidossessi Offline
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Post: #33
zag2me Wrote:There is no need to ask a user inside xbmc if a plugin works imo. This just annoys people I think.

Simply having a central website repository for plugins with the option to rate a plugin is enough. We found that lots of users rated plugins all the time.

The added level of having a moderator of the repository to make final decisions makes it near on perfect.

@blittan, is the XML plugin descriptor working/decided yet? If it is I can modify the php to work with xbmc plugins.

i would second rating plugins on the central repo. after all xbmc allows but doesn't control plugins or scripts.
However, that would mean that every plugin used in xbmc should be send to the repo, for it to be considered an "active" plugin. and release links from the forum should be discouraged. I think the process would weed out hit-n-run scripts.
Hell, anyone who has anything to release should go drop it in the central repo for the same reasons (rating, and ease of update)

openSUSE 11.2 | SVN XBMC
I'm... dreaming... of a quiet... HTPC
(This post was last modified: 2009-06-17 14:18 by bidossessi.)
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Justcop Offline
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Post: #34
I don't really understand the problems with false reporting. We don't even need to compare reports to numbers of downloads. All that needs to be done is monitoring the number of reports over time. When there is a sudden increase in the number of reports then we know something is wrong. If the plugin becomes completely dysfunctional then the report numbers will be masssivly different from the background level of silly users who have not ubdated xbmc.

For this to work we'd need to IP filter reports, one per person in a given time as well as ignore reports when the latest version is not installed.
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bidossessi Offline
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Post: #35
Justcop Wrote:I don't really understand the problems with false reporting. We don't even need to compare reports to numbers of downloads. All that needs to be done is monitoring the number of reports over time. When there is a sudden increase in the number of reports then we know something is wrong. If the plugin becomes completely dysfunctional then the report numbers will be masssivly different from the background level of silly users who have not ubdated xbmc.

For this to work we'd need to IP filter reports, one per person in a given time as well as ignore reports when the latest version is not installed.

why set all that up when a simple rating system will work just as well?

openSUSE 11.2 | SVN XBMC
I'm... dreaming... of a quiet... HTPC
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ashlar Offline
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Post: #36
The "built-in" reporting system sounded really good while I was reading the thread. But I wonder... what if a plugin suddenly breaks? It might even be a successful plugin with thousands of positive reports. Then it stops working but the aforementioned thousands will already have expressed their vote of confidence.

Maybe a registration based web system could be better, allowing you to change your vote for a plugin.

Edit: also, yes, I agree that something needs to be done for plugins. In the Xbox days, plugins were one of the pleasures of XBMC. Nowadays the chances of having something work are so slim that I refrain from installing anything Sad
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Gamester17 Offline
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Post: #37
ashlar Wrote:The "built-in" reporting system sounded really good while I was reading the thread. But I wonder... what if a plugin suddenly breaks?...(
...or the website that a plugin/script gets its data from is temporarily down for a day or a few days Rolleyes

It happens, and it is then not the plugin/script fault No

Always read the XBMC online-manual, FAQ and search the forum before posting.
Do not e-mail XBMC-Team members directly asking for support. Read/follow the forum rules.
For troubleshooting and bug reporting please make sure you read this first.
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TeknoJnky Offline
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Post: #38
as far as confidence, it should be simple trending..

# of reports/lastweek/weektodate
# of reports/lastmonth
# of reports/last6months

anything over ~6 months should probably be irrelevant/dropped/ignored, this should probly apply to both ratings and problem reports if either get implemented.

should make it readily apparent (after a period of time) when/where the baseline and spikes are

Gamester17 Wrote:...or the website that a plugin/script gets its data from is temporarily down for a day or a few days Rolleyes

It happens, and it is then not the plugin/script fault No

Well, it may or may not be the scripts fault, but it is just as important to know that there is a problem.

If a script that references a website(s), and that website(s) go down permanently, then script is basically non-functional and the reports/ratings/confidence would indicate as such.
(This post was last modified: 2011-02-16 05:37 by TeknoJnky.)
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The-Boxhead Offline
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Post: #39
what to me is totally clear is that if this system is to give any meaning the reporting has to happen from xbmc itself in some way, just using a "manual" web page isnt going to work, trust me. The whole point is to get enough reports to trend on.

What about to automaticly send an error report without any user interference if a script crashes or doesent start ?
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blittan Offline
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Post: #40
Can't understand why you would want a website to list addons, must be simpler and more effective to handle it all within xbmc. Otherwise you'll need to go to a website, download the addon, install it in xbmc and then use it..

Always read the XBMC online-manual, FAQ and search the forum before posting.
Do not e-mail XBMC-Team members directly asking for support. Read/follow the forum rules.
If you don't have the time to read them, please don't take the time to post in this forum!
For troubleshooting and bug reporting please make sure you read this first.
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The-Boxhead Offline
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Post: #41
yeah offcourse selecting and installing/removing addons should also happen from xbmc.
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zag Offline
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Post: #42
blittan Wrote:Can't understand why you would want a website to list addons, must be simpler and more effective to handle it all within xbmc. Otherwise you'll need to go to a website, download the addon, install it in xbmc and then use it..

No no, I think you miss the point. There would of course be a plugin that works in xbmc to download from the repository, the user doesn't have to actually go to the website to install, update or check a plugin. Its all done from the GUI with a simple PHP call to an API. The user sees the plugin website page when they browse forum threads or the main xbmc.org site(something I believe a majority of technical users will do anyway).

The idea of the repository is it takes away all the management from the xbmc app and lets users do it in a centrally managed and moderated place using the power of the community.

The only downside of this approach is dodgy plugins that the xbmc app might not want to be associated with such as tv hacking but thats a long way in the future.
(This post was last modified: 2009-06-17 23:58 by zag.)
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Voinage Offline
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Post: #43
All well and good people, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Here is mine.

The vast majority of non working plugins are MINE. Life has a habit of getting in the way and I am but one man.

So repairing all of them will take a while.

We would all like a clean experience but life isn`t quite so pleasant.
Most plugins have been coded by people who create for themselves then release as an after-thought.
Websites change or die, real life gets in the way and plugins are not updated instantly.

I for one am rather annoyed by people who do not create any plugins or at least attempt to fix them then release the updated version, before commenting on the lack of working plugins.

In february of 2008 plugins were scarce, I released a lot to fill the gap and maintained them for a long while. Point being, depending on when you have started to use xbmc the amount of working plugins varies.

Feb - June 2008 : At least 25+ working plugins.

In an ideal world, I could breathe underwater and fly - It isn`t, I cannot.

A working system would be wonderful,see above sentence , just don`t forget the amount of work required to create the plugin in the first place regardless of whether you happen to be missing your favourite show as it isn`t functional - boo hoo.

Rant over.

I do hope that a balance can be found, team of plugin repairmen/reviewers etc

Vin
(This post was last modified: 2009-06-18 00:48 by Voinage.)
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natethomas Offline
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Post: #44
Voinage Wrote:In an ideal world, I could breathe underwater and fly - It isn`t, I cannot.

I don't know about anyone else, but I support you in your quest to be able to breath underwater and fly, and only hope that you'd be willing to share the method by which you did so to the rest of the community, should this ability come to pass! Big Grin

Also, as a person whose sole experience with coding involves cutting and pasting some lines, I assure you that there are a number of us who understand just how much of a free ride we are getting from XBMC and it's plugins.

So, regardless of future work or upkeep, I'd like to note my thankfulness for past endeavors.
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Silverxxx Offline
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Post: #45
I have to say, the plugin problem is overrated, imo. That is because say there are 30 plugins, you, and anyone, could install them all and see which work. The problem arises because the plugins use websites and parse html to get their results. This is obviously going to brake any plugin at the smallest changes in a website. The second problem is about copyright, and free streaming services. Most of the content of some plug-ins is in the "gray area" regarding copyright, which is the "is illegal but everyone is doing it" sort of thing. That means most content has a fairly short life, and the websites don't last very long. The other problem is with US based content , that is available to US IP adresses only. Those plugins should have a warning or text included in the title, at least. The plugins will never be reliable, as long as they use websites as a source. For example, one minor change to the megavideo website code would break half of the video plugins.
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