I thought I should post a bit of an update on the status of things at the moment. An article which was published on recently ( has generated a bit of interest in Gloss and whilst for the most part the comments have been positive, there have been a few questioning my motives and/or saying its a waste of effort to start a new project.

In many cases, these arguements are 100% correct. There’s already a number of really great projects out there, not to mention the official mythfrontend itself, where efforts could possibly be better spent, but personally that’s not what I’m looking for at the moment. The best suggestion I’ve seen so far is that I should ‘swallow my pride’ and work on an Elisa plugin getting myth functionality (ie live tv / recordings) happening there. This is something I am going to seriously consider and now that I have a reasonably complete implementation of the myth protocol in python, it shouldn’t be too hard to do. That said I haven’t looked at Elisa’s plugin structure at all and I am assuming that, like Gloss, the ability to feed data through to gstreamer should be pretty much taken care of already.

As for my motives for writing Gloss in the first place, I never wanted to step on people’s toes, I was simply intending to have something that would, at the very least, generate some discussion regarding the current state of the myth frontend and where it is and should be heading. Frankly, I don’t care if not a single person ever uses Gloss seriously, its something that currently I enjoy hammering away at and I will continue to do so regardless. Its nice to have a project of your own, where you understand it from one end to the other and where you don’t get tied up so much in the ‘politics’ and egos of open source development. Maybe I’m too thin skinned for it. That’s not to say that help isn’t appreciated and other opinions considered, just that I don’t feel I need to be continually justifying myself and my work to other people. I get enough of that every day at work.
At the end of the day, if you don’t like Gloss, ignore it and don’t use it.

OK, so with that rant over, I’ll say that the movement in Gloss has been a little stunted, but still coming along. I do hope to have another screencast VERY soon (Yeah I know I said that last time too), but I mean it this time. Beyond that, I am going to start looking at packaging things up for a 0.1 release and move onto 0.2. At this stage, the things I definitely want in 0.2 are:

  • Full adherence to existing myth key bindings (Actually already started, but will not be done for 0.1)
  • TV Guide
  • Recording playback
  • Expanding video directory browsing + automatic refresh of video archive

Finally, I’m giving a talk on Clutter at the next Linux Users Victoria (LUV) meeting. Details can be found at:

16 thoughts on “Indecision”

  • If your ever in Canberra , lookup the Canberra Linux users (CLUG) perhaps you can give a demo if your there.
    Always good to have alternatives.. perhaps this will prompt some other ideas in the official frontend.

  • I agree with Clinton, above. What some people see as a plus others will see as a minus. IMHO, reimplementing the Myth frontend is a great idea; there’s lots of things that I think it does in a very non-user-friendly way.

    Additionally, Python is a great platform for a project like this, and should open development for the Myth platform up a little bit. Like most young projects Gloss is pretty easy to download and understand (for the time being). I will be interested to see how the project progresses; if the API stays clean I think Gloss will be very successful, simply because its in Python and Python is wonderful.

    Some people will argue with me and say that we should do a rewrite in Fortran =). It’s all a matter of perspective.

    I’m unfamiliar with Elisa, but it sounds like it might be worth looking into.

  • I posted a link to the mythtv-users mailing list with one of the demos in youtube, they suggested you “open a ticket a make that frontend in the project not a side project.

    maybe with his help we can get the MythFE out of 1995 of UI’s :)”

    Looks like you’ve done some great work and we would like to see this integrated with mythtv 🙂

  • Yes, ignore the detractors. I’ve been using MythTV since 0.18 and have long said it needs more eye candy. In it’s current form it’s a little shaky but very impressive.

  • Daniel Kristjansson says:

    Great Work!

    As a MythTV developer I would of course like cool things to become part of MythTV proper eventually. But experimental stuff of this nature should be done in whatever manner gives the developer the most pleasure. Some ideas will work out and others will not. We can all work later on getting the best ideas into MythTV proper with all the boring i18n, backwards compatibility and other integration stuff done then.

  • Marc Randolph says:

    Keep pushing the envelope – please! The UI and especially the music interface, are sorely out of date. Even if your project doesn’t ever reach “production,” hopefully it will spur others as well – so that we’ll have multiple choices.

    Thank you!

  • As a long-time MythTV user – I love what you are doing. Having read the dev list for a while now, unfortunately the answer to most UI related things has been – wait for the new MythUI code (which I’m sure will be great). But – by doing something fresh and different you will hopefully spur the project to newer and greater things.

  • Hey!

    Great Work! Gloss-mc has a awesome aspect! I was really wondering when would someone make a good interface/front end for MythTV!
    Keep up the good work!


  • Really great work, I love the look of Gloss.

    It would be fantastic if you did consider integrating with Elisa, it has an increasingly large base of people behind it.

    Elisa itself is pretty bare bones…it’s basically designed for people to add cool stuff like what you’re doing through their plugin system.

    Regardless, thanks for the awesome work you’re doing.

  • I love all the functionality in MythTV but it is looking dated.

    It should have the same glossy theming and stuff as in



    I’m looking forward to using Gloss as soon as it’s stable

  • Gloss is top notch. It has the best GUI of Myth or ELISA and honestly, I think the work you are doing now will eventually become canon for the future GUI of Myth. People are upset because they haven’t been able to accomplish what you have. Don’t let other’s egos deter you.

  • Honestly, gloss looks exciting in a way that the default mythtv frontend doesn’t. It may be lacking in features right now, but it looks very slick. One thing I was wondering about, having not used python before, how is the performance? I’m wondering how much of a hit you take for using python instead of c/c++.

    When I have the time, I think this is something I might want to work on also.

  • @Paul

    Whilst there is some performance hit, most of the ‘grunt’ work is being done by Clutter, which is reasonably well optimised.
    That said, there are areas of Gloss that are is deperate need of optimisation, but this is mostly an algorithmic thing rather than python itself slowing the show down.

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