Re: Call for a Gnome Media Center

Thought someone from Fluendo should chime in on this as Elisa been
mentioned. In general we would be interested in having Elisa
be the media center add-on to GNOME. So the question is what the
community would expect from a 'GNOME media center'. 

We are already using as mentioned by many gnome related technologies,
but since the media center GUI is so different we feel a lot of the
stack is not really relevant, the same goes for the HIG. While we try to
do intelligent GUI design with Elisa there is IMHO not really that much
of the HIG that applies directly, but of course we try to use it for

We do want to integrate as widely as possible with other applications,
be that through upnp a/v and DAAP etc. and I think that it would be
mutually beneficial for both Elisa and the rest of the media
applications if we managed to create a standard for how to store media
files in the form of a certain directory layout and naming and so on.

I guess from our point of view we would be interested in hearing what
requirements/expectations people have for something like a media center
solution to be included as a 'part of GNOME'.

A media center interface is in some sense an alternative GUI to the
desktop, so my thinking so far is that we should both do a GNOME menu
entry for Elisa and a GDM entry to log directly into Elisa.


On Sun, 2007-02-11 at 08:58 -0500, Luis Villa wrote:
> On 2/11/07, �ienne Bersac <bersace03 laposte net> wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > > It's more usable that your proposal (get someone to start something from
> > > scratch) as it exists, so I don't see your point.  Elisa has exactly the
> > > same goals as the Apple and Microsoft media centres.
> >
> > Hi, my proposal was just a braindump, useful in case no project were up.
> > Since Elisa is on, and pigment seems very nice, my "proposal" worth
> > nothing ! However, it seems Elisa is not "Gnome" enough. Is there plan
> > to integrate it ?
> There are three ways something can be more gnome-y:
> (1) interoperates well with existing GNOME technologies
> (2) uses GNOME UI metaphors/HIG.
> (3) uses GNOME libraries.
> I'd suggest that (1) is critical for a 'GNOME-y' media center, and
> that the other two are at best likely problematic.
> To elaborate a bit on (1):
> What I'd like is that when I get a new laptop and a new media player
> box, to download two CDs (ignore the underlying OS for now): one that
> is a 'desktop' and the other a 'media center'.  When I install the
> desktop, I get what we all know and love: something fairly easy to
> use, powerful, etc. GNOME 2.x.
> When I install the media center, I want it to immediately interoperate
> with that desktop- no setup, no thinking, I want it to Just Fucking
> Work. That to me is what I mean to be GNOME-y.
> My f-spot should have 'publish to the TV' option; my rhythmbox should
> immediately read music files from the media box, and vice versa; all
> my file dialogs should suddenly offer a save location on the media
> server (inc. my bittorrent client, which maybe should automatically
> offer to save to a video directory?); my ipod plugged into my desktop
> should allow me to get music files from my media server (my media
> server is under a desk so I can't plug the ipod into it), etc.
> Potentially it should offer to be the automatic backup server for my
> regular desktop files, since presumably my media box has tons of free
> space. (In my dream world, my N800 also immediately does smart
> things.)
> To me, that level of automatic, seamless interoperation with existing
> GNOME apps is what it means for a media center to be 'GNOME-y'. Note
> that in many cases this probably means hacking on the desktop apps as
> well, but such is life- we can't just expect to have a good user
> experience by hacking on one code base.
> There may be some (3):
> * muine does a great job thinking about albums and album covers; elisa
> currently does not do that as far as I can tell. Sharing that code
> (instead of reinventing that wheel) would be great.
> * elisa already does use pango, I believe? (maybe I'm confusing it
> with opened-hand's clutter?)(I see that it uses cairo through
> 'pigment'; I'm sort of surprised that pigment and clutter seem to be
> substantially overlapping.)
> Hard to see (2):
> * radically different resolutions and font needs, not to mention
> wanting more visually pleasing (aka non-gtk themed) UI
> * not wanting file/edit/view menus everywhere; heirarchical menus
> being crappy, etc.
> I do agree that it is *critical* that we have a GNOME-y media center
> like this- Apple is going to do this with their Apple TV; Microsoft is
> doing this with XBox. We must push forward and innovate in this space
> if we want to remain interesting/relevant in home spaces in the
> future. But we shouldn't hobble it by being any more 'GNOME-y' than
> good, seamless integration requires.
> Luis
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> desktop-devel-list gnome org

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