more mythtv ramblings

I hate the MythTV frontend program. It goes fullscreen for no reason, the mouse-pointer is invisible most of the time and it's insanely slow on a 1600x1200 resolution.
But what's bothered me most about it, is that is segfaults when I started it the last couple of times. Result ? A whole bunch of programs were recording in the background that I didn't want to record (and was deleting manually). All of this because the interface sucks.

Well, that was gonna end today. A colleague at work advised me to try the MythWeb plugin, which provides a webinterface, instead. It doesn't go fullscreen since it's in a browser, the mousepointer stays visible (again in a browser...) and it doesn't have problems with high resolutions because again, it's in a browser.

Installation is a horrorstory though. The MythWeb plugin comes with almost no documentation. It has 1 README file, and it looks like that one was supplied with the original code. No word from the packager.
After installation (which goes fine, praise Ubuntu/Debian!), I surf to the webinterface located at http://localhost/mythweb/.
It shows me an error "can't connect to database". Apparently, I need to configure the MythWeb plugin separately from the MythTV setup. I have no idea why, because they belong to the same logical unit...
In any case, after filling in the correct information, I get the error "data directory is not writable by www-data. Please check permissions."
No word on what data directory that might be though. As I find out, this directory is /var/www/mythweb/data/ and it contains a bunch of symlinks to other places (all empty). Neither this data directory, not any of the referenced directories under there are owned by www-data or writable by it. So I chmod a+rwx the data directory and look in my browser again. Now it's another directory under that that needs to be www-data writable. Bleh! I just deleted all the symlinks and created directories under the data directory, all writable by everyone.

And it works ! I can finally delete all those recording schedules for programs I don't have time to watch :) Yay!

In all my years of using Debian and Ubuntu, I think I have never seen such a sorry-package, configuration-wise. The idea of a package is not that it just puts the binaries in the correct place people! The idea is that it takes care of the configuration and permissions as well. Otherwise, I could just as well use tarballs.

The MythTV people will probably not care about these ramblings (I was pretty much turned off by their attitude when I last tried to get some information from their channel on freenode. But it doesn't matter.
I've had it with MythTV. Sure, it could be a nice system if setup correctly. The problem is that setting it up correctly takes up too much time and effort. MythTV has a whole bunch of configuration parameters (all in the frontend btw), of which I have no clue what they do and will probably never use. The configuration is slide a slideshow, where you are presented with all the options on separate screens, and have to click "next" all the time. There's no "quick configuration change" there... Furthermore, the configuration options I would care about, I can't find them in mythfrontend: I want to start recordings 5 minutes earlier and keep recording for 5 more minutes (yay for commercials and tv-stations who can't keep a clock).

Blah! In any case, I think I will ditch MythTV entirely and just write my own thing based on OnTV. It's lightweight, docks in the gnome menubar and it's written in Python (which I mean to learn this summer).