Media Companion

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 Whats Happening?

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billyad2000
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PostSubject: Whats Happening?   Mon May 04, 2009 11:28 pm

Hello everyone, i'm sorry about the lack of communication over the last couple of weeks, but I have been extremely busy.

Just to make things clear, Media Companion is not dead, it is however going through a major transition.

After I uploaded the last version and started getting reports of different bugs and issues, I started the usual process of trying to track them down to fix them. It was during this process that I realised that that the code was becoming impossible to maintain. Constant additions, changes, and tweaks have made it extremely difficult to track down bugs, in addition to that every time I added another feature things got even more complicated, making the next change even more difficult.
What was the cause of these issues. Many of my difficulties were caused simply by bad coding, out of date knowledge, inexperience, and trying to use procedural programming techniques to create an increasingly complicated program all added up to the problem and I decided that it was time to fix it, not simply tweak it or shuffle things around, but to really fix it.

Over the last year I have learnt a great deal about programming, I have read extensively, I have spent a lot of time talking to people, who for the most part have been very helpful, and I must have spent 100s of hours browsing other peoples code, and I would not like to say how much time I spent looking for solutions online, all the time, learning what I was doing wrong.

The process of fixing MC has turned out to be far more complicated than I believed would be possible. By going back to basics, and programming a more logical, object based program core, I in effect broke most of the function of the program. To be honest I was greatly tempted to say stuff it and just keep on trying to work with what I had, but knowing what I know now, I'm not the sort of person who could settle for knowing that I could have done it so much better.

The bottom line is this, it will likely be quite a while before an update does become available, I would make an estimate of between 2-4 weeks for the next build, but I would very much doubt that this would include all current functionality, though I will make sure that all major functions are working properly. I am leaving the current interface unchanged since, despite the negative comments of some towards it, I feel that it is fairly intitive, and many people do seem to be comfortable with it.
Once I am happy that the basics are working as expected then I will be working through the disabled functions, adding them one at a time, I don't expect this to be a lengthy process, but I do feel that it is neccesary.

I do apologise for the delay that this is causing, especially taking into account the serious issues that some people are experiencing at the moment, but I feel that 6 weeks now will be time well spent when it comes to taking MC further.

Just as a side comment since I read mention of abandonware, at the moment, I am quite happy with my role in creating MC, at times it is a chore, but for the most part it has been a positive learning experience and I am not finnished yet. If this was ever to change then you can be assured that the entire source code would be made available to anybody that asked.

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Last edited by billyad2000 on Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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flipped cracker
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PostSubject: Re: Whats Happening?   Tue May 05, 2009 12:21 am

thanks for the update. i'm just wondering if this means you're not going to look into the current issue brought up in the 2.287 thread. we are unable to scrape tv shows, eventhough it was working before. i'd be ok with no new builds if the current one was working, but it's not. i've even tried a few of the previous builds and can't get them to work either.
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Wizerd
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PostSubject: How to revert to to older version?   Tue May 05, 2009 1:13 am

Billy: There are amny people having truolbe reverting back to the older versions. Perhaps you can explain the process that will allow people to use the portable version (self contained config) so they can at least get back to some level of scraping.

As always - I apprecaite your diligence in putting out a good product. The easy route would be to confinue on and apply 'tweaks' . The fact that your rewirting is a testiment to why we all love the program.

Kudos.
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billyad2000
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PostSubject: Re: Whats Happening?   Tue May 05, 2009 3:30 am

I've just had a look at the TVDB API and have found the problem, it is an issue that will not occur anymore using the newer methods i'm in the process of implementing, however in the meantime I am fixing an older backup so that at least the tv scraper works, the version I am using is somewhere between 2.209 and 2.220 so some of the newer features are missing, but at least you will have the basics back.

I'll upload this at some point tomorrow (Today actually (Tuesday)) it is later than I thought

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PostSubject: Re: Whats Happening?   Tue May 05, 2009 5:58 am

billy dont worry about everyone's ideas for new features. I think getting a rock solid build down pat is of utmost importance(and slowly incrementing from there). Hell the latest build is working fine for me in every way, just the TV scraping is not working.

The problem is, catering for all the differing folder structrues, people want media tags, etc all this rubbish lol. Cant everyone just follow one conventional method!!!! tongue

I guess the main thing to look at is an understanding of why we as users, actually use this program. That is to have a seamless import of library into XBMC. Fancy things like media tags and all that rubbish IMO can wait. Making a streamlined, quick importing app is the crux here. I mean shit like:

'04 Movie and TV Show file rename
'05 Support for Audio catagory (albums, music videos etc)
'06 Support for Home movies Catagory.

IMO is a waste of time atm. Move and TV Show File rename - TV show rename can be done with other apps and shouldnt clutter or bog down your dev time. Movie rename, shit if someone cant go the the effort of properly organising their movies in a logical manner, they shouldnt be allowed to use this app. Home Videos, dont even get me started on that bom . Yes slowly slowly, start implementing these changes, but I find it harsh that people have just gone nuts on the feature request board not even realising the amount of work that goes into this.

I also think some moderating needs to take place in the bugs forums, and a strict guideline of how to actually report a bug. At the moment, people are going frantic over issues, not even putting a version number in the title of the thread!

I will patiently wait for the new release, and dont really care if my TV shows Library is not functioning for another month. Billy, take your time, and ignore the morons who are captioning your work.

Peace.
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Fire69
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PostSubject: Re: Whats Happening?   Tue May 05, 2009 9:18 am

I totally agree with katz!

It's great you're willing to spend this much time on a program you're not even getting paid for!
Everybody should be thanking you instead of bitching about problems they're having with it right now... Rolling Eyes

Hope to see a new version in the near future. I could switch to MIP while waiting for your newly coded release, but it sucks bigtime! Laughing


Keep up the good work! cheers


Last edited by Fire69 on Tue May 05, 2009 1:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Whats Happening?   Tue May 05, 2009 12:48 pm

Thanks billy, take your time, it's a great program and we appreciate all the work you put into it.
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PostSubject: Re: Whats Happening?   Tue May 05, 2009 2:28 pm

I just want to agree, the main thing that sucks for me right now is how XBMC can't find any new shows. Getting that covered is my main concern(don;'t even need any of the art right now)

And of course, thanks so much for the app. Super helpful and I personally think the interface is pretty damn simple for all that it can do.
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StormyKnight
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PostSubject: Re: Whats Happening?   Tue May 05, 2009 2:52 pm

Billy, I appreciate your communication & I understand completely re the issues regarding programming. It can get quite confusing over time when you add so many new features, when they were not even contemplated at the beginning.

Cheers & I will look forward to the 'New' Media Companion when it is released Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Whats Happening?   Tue May 05, 2009 9:22 pm

I just want to say, thank you very much for this wonderfull piece of software and I hope you keep up the good work Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Whats Happening?   Wed May 20, 2009 5:49 pm

Just to say, thanks again for all the work you've put in to making this programme.

Looking forward to the refined version, and I can't wait until there is some support for Music Smile (I know this will be a long time...)

ps. Do you have any updates on how your getting on? I'm checking the site a few times a day at the minute... but their's not much in the way of new posts from people at the moment.
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