[vdr] Suggestion for VDR 1.5 (Usability)

J. L'huillier linux-vdr at lhuillier.de
Sat Dec 10 13:41:23 CET 2005


Hi!

First of all I have to thank Klaus and all programmers for
this great peace of software!

I use my VDR system since a few years and I am very happy.

But for new users a VDR system (especially with many plugins) may be 
difficult
to use. One way to make the usability more convenient could be a extention
of the plugin system.

I guess we are very close to Version 1.4 and so it is time
to think about possible improvements for one of the next
development steps 1.5, 1.7, ...

Therefore I want to start a discussion on an improved plugin system.

I think of defining more specialized "Input/Output" plugins in addition to
the "gereral" plugins.
The main goal of these changes would be to
make the different types of broadcasts, files and informations transparent
to the user. Every type of broadcast or information would be only a 
channel or
a recording.  In additon the amount of entries in the main menu would 
decrease.

Input plugins could handle different types of inputs
like video, audio or text "broadcasts" (e.g. streams from another vdr,
internet radio stations, video broadcasts, weather information, news 
feeds,.....).
Such a plugin should provide the content similar to common channels.
This means if I want to hear an internet radio station with such a
plugin system, then I would zap to the appropriate channel in the
shedule menu. The necessary configuration could be done in the
channels menu. In this case it is as easy to use the various
plugins for a particular content as using the core vdr. There would be no
difference in watching a "vdr" channel, hearing an internet radio 
station or
looking on a mpeg2 stream generated by a peronal info plugin like the 
weather
plugin. This may include the recording of the content.

The second type of plugins (output plugins) could integrate different
types of "players" in the structure and logic of the vdr system.
These plugins should implement the ability to play a certain type of
files (eg. MP3, OGG, AVI,...) and the ability to identify these files.
If an appropriate plugin for a special file is installed, the file would
occur in the recordings menu similar to common vdr recordings.
This could be also true for DVD, Audio CDs etc.
I know most of the functionality is already implemented in different
plugins, but this would solve the inconvinience that the user has to 
manually
select a special plugin (menu item) for a certain type of file and then 
the right file......
For example the great(!) mp plugins implements its own "browser" etc.....

The description above is rather abstract, but I only wanted to explain 
the major
ideas of the possible changes. So we can at first discuss if these 
behaviour
of the vdr is usefull and then we can discuss the technical details.

I could help doing the work. But these changes are rather deep especially
for many plugins. So Klaus has to decide if he wants these or similar 
changes.

What do you think?


Greetings
Johannes




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