Seperis (seperis) wrote,

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documentation is key to success

For a while now, the entire package system of Ubuntu has mystified me in that way where I can't figure out why everyone doesn't do it this way and why are we using huge exe programs like a sucker when--I just felt several programmers start hating me and I'll stop. Suffice to say, I couldn't quite parse why this wasn't standard.

I got it during my last ubuntu upgrade to 11.10 and Mediatomb broke dramatically. Because all teh dependent libraries and operating system updated, but Mediatomb was working off a build back from 2010, about three number combinations ago.

I have said I love Mediatomb, but I don't think I can explain how deeply I appreciate the equivalent of a video iTunes, though not a tenth as functional, but better than anything else I've found and very, very, very, very easy to use. Mediatomb runs on my server and hooked up to the router, it has an interface (an easy, easy, easy remote-control interface) where I can watch all my TV, vids, and movies on any television or computer that's got access, or through the bluray players hooked up to the router either by ethernet or built in wireless (or Playstation 3s, or Wii if you are really ambitious. I am that ambitious.). My media is all on two drives, so I just clicked on teh web interface to add it and set it to autoscan and update every so often or add new things manually. It's not just that it's easy; I forgot what it's liek watching things on a screen larger than a laptop. It's amazing.

Short version--I wiped my ubuntu upgrade, reinstalled it back to 11.04 and turned off updates. In the short term, this is fine. In the long term, this is going to bite me on the ass since the server itself is a recreational item for me and I can't randomly install programs just to see what they do or crash more databases or screw with Apache because again, Mediatomb hasn't been updated in over a year and the one I'm using isn't the packet version that's less dependent on this one particular library that I had to download the gz, write the Makefile, and install before downloading the Mediatomb development tools and source code, reconfigure--my God--and install that while watching for it to error on this one stupid javascript engine (Spidermonkey). The entire reason I did this was to customize how the media was organized--

--that's almost a lie; I can honestly say at this point that when I was doing this, I didn't care what it did--I wanted to make the damn thing work--

--but the principle is the same. Now I love it, all organized in by type and genre adn alphabetical and with javascript, no less, I can create entirely new ways to organize. And I have never loved any language like I love javascript, which the answer to the statement "You can't do that in javascript!" seems to be "Create a prototype!" It's magic. Well, and a few Regex statements, if you like that sort of thing.

But on OS update when it goes to 11.10, an unknown library that I can't seem to track down updates and I can't use the javascript. Honest to God, I probably wouldn't have cared if I hadn't spent weeks reading the source code, googling, and hating the sight of a keyboard trying to get it to work. Now I'm committed. And now I can't do anything useful or interesting on my server because Mediatomb would win and all those weeks of failed configurations and creating debs and seriously reconsidering the wilderness as a lifestyle choice would be for nothing.

I am beginning to understand why the Ubuntu package model is not--used by everyone. Technically speaking, while not well, I can still run most exe programs from as far back as DOS on my Windows system. This with Mediatomb is annoying. One updated library is killing my build.

The other, less serious but also more long-term problem is that Mediatomb is fantastic by default in its sheer simplicity, but terrible in that the coding isnt' consistent--I am not saying this as an expert, I sent it to Computer Batman, V's husband, who was helping me do some changes so my bluray player could play the mkv files and he independently got irritated with it, but he is also Batman and his math homework looks like epic letters to Pegasus in their native tongue, so God knows what he considers good, probably machine code in haiku form. It's also irritating in that a lot of the functionality is broken because of both the fact it hasn't been updated and that the last update they deferred a lot of problems with it because the web moves forward but it didn't. It kept the important organizational parts, but the javascript, for example, which is why I ended up working with source code, does this thing where you can do this:

displayname: Dr Who 4.01 Partners in Crime
displayname: Dr Who 4.01:Partners in Crime

and the folder name in your computer directory

foldername: dr.who

displays as this

display name: Dr. Who

Using the javascript functionality to run them all through this:

String.prototype.capitalize = function(){
   return this.fixit().replace( /(^|\s(?!and\s|the\s|or\s|a\s|an\s|on\s|in\s|of\s)|\-)([a-z])/g , function(m,p1,p2){ return p1+p2.toUpperCase(); } );

String.prototype.fixit = function(){
  return this.replace(/(\_|\.)(?!0)/g, ' ');

String.prototype.roma = function(){
  return this.replace(/\b(X|V|I)(x{0,3}v{0,3}i{0,3}v{0,3}x{0,3})\b/g, function(m,p1,p2){ return p1+p2.toUpperCase(); } );

String.prototype.suffix = function(){
  return this.replace(/\.(avi|mkv|flv|mp3|mp4|mpg|rmvb|wmv|wm|mpeg|mov|divx|ram|m4v|vob|VOB)\b/g,'');


The first one is based on this one:

String.prototype.capitalize = function() {
  return this.replace( /(^|\s)([a-z])/g , function(m,p1,p2){return p1+p2.toUpperCase();});

roma is from a roman numeral one that didn't work for what I needed so I altered it

end Note

So the names you see when browsing is pretty.

And God does it have potential. If it were at its base more limited, than this wouldn't bother me, but after looking at a lot of open source media server programs, this one is in potential one of the best, most expandable, most customizable I've seen, and for the record, I download a lot of programs and checkout a lot of source code just from curiosity. This one works best because it's so ridiculously simple. You download the packets and then you switch the command on the xml to enable the web interface. When you open it, your file system is under one tab and you just pick the folder and add them.

The youtube and apple trailer and dvd functionality are broken or mostly broken, sois weborama, and lastfm, but there's so much potential it's driving me nuts.

There has got to come a time I will have conversation outside of my server drama. I mean, eventually?

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Tags: crosspost, mediatomb, my relationship with electronics
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