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Old 04-18-2010, 12:20 AM   #2761
lrhorer
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Originally Posted by wmcbrine View Post
Yuck.
You've got to be kidding me. You *REALLY* prefer black on white to TiVoWebPlus' color scheme? De gustibus non est disputandum, I suppose.

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But, you can set your own color preferences in content/main.css. (This is pretty new -- the style elements used to be mixed in with the various templates.)
OK, I picked up the latest pyTivo tarball and installed it. I don't know very much about style sheets more than what they are and roughly speaking what they can do. I've played around with the variables defined by default in main.css, but I don't know how to change the text color for the folder links. I also would prefer the comments text to start to the right of the title text. That's a lot of wasted screen real estate on the title line. Also, is it possible for the comments text to have a different color than the title text? Finally, is it possible to insert a 1 pixel line between each program entry? This is much easier to read and less distracting than shading the background of each program field slightly differently. In short, as I said, I would prefer a layout and color scheme closer to the TiVoWebPlus NPL shown below. What .css parameters could I embed into the file to get a close as possible?

Edit: I figured out the link colors.

Link to TiVoWebPlus image

Last edited by lrhorer : 04-18-2010 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:08 AM   #2762
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Please size that pic down, or make it a link or something. It makes the whole page too wide.
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:23 AM   #2763
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Please size that pic down, or make it a link or something. It makes the whole page too wide.
It is sized down. It's only 1402 x 1187 pixels, which is less than 75% of the minimum screen resolution I employ. Nonetheless, I've made it a link.
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Old 04-18-2010, 04:31 AM   #2764
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It is sized down. It's only 1402 x 1187 pixels, which is less than 75% of the minimum screen resolution I employ.
And yet, it's still almost 40% wider than the most common screen/browser window size.

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Nonetheless, I've made it a link.
Thank you.

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You *REALLY* prefer black on white to TiVoWebPlus' color scheme?
Yes, really. By a lot. And I have issues with that screen shot beyond the color scheme.

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I don't know very much about style sheets more than what they are and roughly speaking what they can do.
There are many places to learn about CSS, and if you want to make pyTivo look more like TWP (which also uses CSS), then that's what you should do.

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I also would prefer the comments text to start to the right of the title text. That's a lot of wasted screen real estate on the title line.
I assume you mean the description. You only perceive this as "wasted space" because of your very wide screen. Anyway, to change this, you'll have to take out a <br/> tag from plugins/video/content/container.xsl.

Quote:
Also, is it possible for the comments text to have a different color than the title text? Finally, is it possible to insert a 1 pixel line between each program entry?
Yes, certainly, those things are possible. I'm not planning to do them, but you're welcome to.

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This is much easier to read and less distracting than shading the background of each program field slightly differently.
I disagree. The alternating backgrounds help you keep track of your place in the list, which the grid doesn't do at all. (Of course you could have both.)
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:04 AM   #2765
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I also think the tivoweb screen shot is more difficult to read and runs off the end of the page. The icons are cute perhaps but otherwise the pytivo screen presents an easier to reference list with proper word wrap etc.

Yes, black on white text is easier to read than white on black.
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:16 PM   #2766
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Yes, really. By a lot. And I have issues with that screen shot beyond the color scheme.
Such as? It is efficient and compact.

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There are many places to learn about CSS, and if you want to make pyTivo look more like TWP (which also uses CSS), then that's what you should do.
Reading up on style sheets won't necessarily tell me what I need to know. Indeed, from what I have been able to determine, they're pretty trivial, but triviality of the form doesn't mean it will tell me what I need to know about the system in question.

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I assume you mean the description. You only perceive this as "wasted space" because of your very wide screen.
It's not a matter of perception. It is a matter of objective fact. With the TiVoWebPlus format, I get on average about 29+ programs listed per page. With the default pyTivo format, I get about 16. That's almost a factor of two. I also find it much more difficult to home in reliably on the titles. My brother complained rather forcefully of the same thing without any prompting from me when I showed him the screen yesterday.

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Anyway, to change this, you'll have to take out a <br/> tag from plugins/video/content/container.xsl.
See my point about the style sheets above. Nowhere would learning about style sheets give me the info about which file to edit, which is what is required. The only problem I have with this is with further development of pyTivo, I'll have to re-edit the .xsl file if / when it ever changes. Copying over the old file is of course simple, but then I would lose any new functionality deriving from that file, or possibly even break something.

Thank you, though.

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I disagree. The alternating backgrounds help you keep track of your place in the list, which the grid doesn't do at all. (Of course you could have both.)
They're closer to being camouflage. It's even worse when the window is narrow. I found myself searching for the titles, rather than seeing them instantly. Ignoring the description is much easier if the description text is a different color. I'm not entirely certain what you mean by "keep track of your place in the list". I don't really need to keep track of my place in the list, per se. After all, for the most part all one wants to do is read the title and then go one to the next title. Finding that next title is much more difficult when the screen is both filled with additional lines and alternating colors. I find it takes me easily three times as long to scan the page for titles, and because my eyes have to jump around a lot, it even gives me a bit of a headache.
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:34 PM   #2767
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I also think the tivoweb screen shot is more difficult to read and runs off the end of the page.
Nothing runs off the end of any page. Both utilities are HTML based, and the fields in question are simple text, and so both behave identically as far as formatting is concerned.

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The icons are cute perhaps but otherwise the pytivo screen presents an easier to reference list with proper word wrap etc.
Word wrapping is the same on both.

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Yes, black on white text is easier to read than white on black.
If one is speaking of flat text, then this is true. We're not talking about flat text, though. We're talking about differentiated text. It's vastly easier to categorically visually ignore a particular information type if the text for the type is a different color. Since far more that 90% of the text in this case is constituted by usually irrelevant* descriptions, making it easy to ignore is paramount. One could do this by making the text background different, but that would really be visually confusing. Barring this, it effectively means the background needs to be dark and the foreground light colors.

* - I'm not saying having the description text available isn't handy or desirable. Indeed, it is essential. Having to drill into each listing of interest to see what it might be is dreadful. It's just that most of the time it isn't of interest, and needs to be easily ignored. When it is of interest, it needs to be there without user intervention.

Last edited by lrhorer : 04-18-2010 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:59 PM   #2768
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And yet, it's still almost 40% wider than the most common screen/browser window size.
But demonstrating some of my points calls for it to be closer to my screen sizes. I don't have any monitors capable of less than 1920 pixels horizontal resolution, and both of my TV displays are 1080i.
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:17 PM   #2769
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Given N number of people, there will be at least N+1 opinions on what makes a UI good.

The source code is available so those that want to customize it can do so. Don't expect the primary caretaker of the code to accept your change requests based on your opinion. If you want to get changes worked back into the mainline codebase, make the effort and try to understand the underlying code. Propose constructively and try to work cooperatively.

For instance, what is the minimum display resolution that should be required for a UI to operate efficiently? Remember that not everyone has a massive desktop work area. Is 1024x768 enough or does it have to be bigger?
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:51 PM   #2770
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But demonstrating some of my points calls for it to be closer to my screen sizes. I don't have any monitors capable of less than 1920 pixels horizontal resolution, and both of my TV displays are 1080i.
lrhorer, we respect your opinion, but realize you are in the minority when it comes to browser display size. Here are the w3schools stats (based on people who visit their site):

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_display.asp

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/br...ion_higher.asp

The stats show that the sweet spot is between 1024 and 1280 horizontal.

My primary computer displays are 1920x1080 or 1920x1200. However, I rarely allow my web browser to take up the full screen. Normally, I've got one open to half the horizontal screen size.

Some layouts lend themselves better to dealing with resizing, but creating these aren't easy and normally involve annoying trade-offs.

We remind you again that pyTivo is free. If you want things your way and the devs don't feel it's a priority, then as reneg said, dig in and figure out how to do it. Or sponsor someone to do it.
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Old 04-18-2010, 04:35 PM   #2771
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Given N number of people, there will be at least N+1 opinions on what makes a UI good.
That doesn't make much sense. Someone has to vote twice in order for it to be true. It's also an exaggeration in any case. There will tend to be groups of people who like certain things a certain way. Nevertheless, regardless of how many of these groups there may be, the more flexible - which is usually to say, "User configurable" an interface is, the better.

Perhaps more fundamentally, however, an opinion is just that, an opinion, and often it is a personally based one. What's important (not only in this forum) is that people express those opinions and defend them - one would hope effectively. I have expressed my opinion and its related desires, along with the justification for same. 'Not that you or anyone else is required to express their opinions, and no offense intended, but I have to wonder why you decided to lecture me on the nature of opinions instead of posting your own opinion and defending it.

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The source code is available so those that want to customize it can do so.
Yes, and I already have. Based on William's input, I have edited the files to more closely approximate the desired target result. The main point is, unless some provisions are made in the primary code to make these changes a user configurable option, then every time I download a new version of the software, I will have to go back and modify the code once again. Code modifications grow cold on one, especially when one isn't the primary maintainer and doesn't modify the code but once every few months or so. Of course I can do so, and if I have to I will, keeping a small changelog on my system so I don't have to spend as much time searching for the files and the code segments which need to be changed.

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Don't expect the primary caretaker of the code to accept your change requests based on your opinion.
Oh, that's nonsense! All feature requests are nothing more or less than a request for a code change based upon the opinion of the user making the request. It's ultimately the developer's decision whether or not to honor that request, but nothing more than a desire on the part of the user is required to make a feature request reasonable.

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If you want to get changes worked back into the mainline codebase, make the effort and try to understand the underlying code.
'And that's just ridiculous. In my case, I don't mind doing just that, but then I am an engineer. Expecting the average pyTivo user to undertake that sort of burden is patently absurd.

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Propose constructively and try to work cooperatively.
I'm afraid I quite fail to see how I have done anything else. I have neither sought to insult or belittle anyone (certainly not William), nor have I made any unreasonable demands of anyone, nor have I refused to offer any additional information or undertake any specific tasks - not that anyone has asked.

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For instance, what is the minimum display resolution that should be required for a UI to operate efficiently?
That's more or less an irrelevant question given the nature of HTML paragraph structure. Ideally, the code should work effectively with any display resolution. For it to work more poorly with greater resolutions is not the best solution, but the current solution also works more poorly with narrow screens. The fact placing the text on one line and the description on the other results in less of an impact on efficiency with narrower windows doesn't mean it is not impacted at all even with narrower windows. With narrow windows (depending on the actual length of the descriptions), the difference may be an average of, say, four lines per program entry instead of three. With a wider display, the average falls toward one line per program entry if the text is all placed as a single paragraph, whereas the absolute minimum for formatting it as two paragraphs is two lines. In the limit of descriptions shorter than the available line length after the title is displayed, it represents a factor of two to one.

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Remember that not everyone has a massive desktop work area.
That's completely irrelevant. Putting all the text in a single paragraph, rather than two, results in greater efficiency even for the very narrowest windows. It's just the difference between one paragraph and two is not as great for a narrow screen as it is for a wide screen. What's more, the desktop work area doesn't necessarily limit the size of the window.

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Is 1024x768 enough or does it have to be bigger?
Some applications, like calculators or terminal emulators, can't benefit from an expandable window. Such applications don't need to worry about the maximum window size, only the minimum window size. Some can even effectively employ a fixed window. This is not one such application. When I am using a Linux workstation, I may expand the window to 3000 pixels or more. Of course, being the goofy OS that it is, Windows doesn't allow this, but I avoid Windows as much as possible.

Last edited by lrhorer : 04-18-2010 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:10 PM   #2772
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lrhorer, you win.
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:20 PM   #2773
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lrhorer, we respect your opinion, but realize you are in the minority when it comes to browser display size.
Well, first of all, not all that much. By the stats you posted, more than 22% of users have screen resolutions of 1440 pixels or greater. That's a very significant minority. More to the point, however, we're not talking about a request which works better at high resolutions and poorly at low resolutions. We are talking about a request that works significantly better at low resolutions and much better at high resolutions. That means everyone benefits by my suggestion, not just the 20+% who have large windows.

You may want to argue that my criteria for "better" are different than yours or the average users, but as of yet I haven't seen anyone else offer a competing criteria for "better". My suggestion puts up as much as twice the amount of information on the screen as the default with no negative impact to read-ability, and by my criteria a considerable positive impact to same. (The coloration is a different issue.)


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My primary computer displays are 1920x1080 or 1920x1200. However, I rarely allow my web browser to take up the full screen. Normally, I've got one open to half the horizontal screen size.
Why anyone would do that is beyond me. At best, you're just wasting a good chunk of the money you spent on the monitor while simultaneously limiting the amount of information available to you without intervention. You are free, however, to handle your apps any way you like. I am only asking for the same privilege, or are only people who work like you do to be considered? In this specific instance, however, I am asking for something which would benefit YOU as well. 'Not as much as it benefits, me, perhaps, but really, what's the down side to making this work for everyone?

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Some layouts lend themselves better to dealing with resizing, but creating these aren't easy and normally involve annoying trade-offs.
This is one which most readily does so. Other than changing the style sheet in plugins/video/content, all I had to do was remove one line in the code and make tiny changes to two others. Making it user configurable will only require a few additional lines of code.

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We remind you again that pyTivo is free. If you want things your way and the devs don't feel it's a priority, then as reneg said, dig in and figure out how to do it.
As I mentioned, I already did so. It took less time than posting in this forum, and most of that was due to my unfamiliarity with style sheets and my very modest capability with HTML. The point is, it won't stick unless the main code is changed.

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Or sponsor someone to do it.
I have no problem with donating a few dollars, although funds are tight for me right now. That said, it is not appropriate that non-configurable changes be made on my behalf just because I have more money than someone else. Making them configurable, or making them because a very large majority of users feel them to be useful, is appropriate, IMO. Either way, the donation is appropriate, but I don't want William to go about making unpopular absolute changes just because I fork over some cash.

Last edited by lrhorer : 04-18-2010 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:31 PM   #2774
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lrhorer, you win.
I hope not because you feel dispirited about continuing a debate, but because I have convinced you of the merit of my position. It's your absolute right to bow out for whatever reason, of course, and your motivation for doing should not be criticized by me or anyone else.
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:55 PM   #2775
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Such as? It is efficient and compact.
Frankly, I think it's hideous. Very busy, and poorly laid out.

If there's a visual model for the Push and ToGo screens, it's the TiVo's built-in web server, not TiVoWebPlus.

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It's not a matter of perception. It is a matter of objective fact.
No sir. "Wasted" is a subjective judgment. Some people actually value well-placed white space over maximum information density.

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Ignoring the description is much easier if the description text is a different color.
The titles are in boldface, and in a larger font than the description. They should stand out dramatically. Are you really not seeing this? Maybe I need a pyTivo screen shot from your system as well...
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:06 PM   #2776
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My suggestion puts up as much as twice the amount of information on the screen as the default with no negative impact to read-ability, and by my criteria a considerable positive impact to same. (The coloration is a different issue.)
Some of us prefer NOT to be overloaded with that much information on one page. Your opinion of read-ability does not match mine. Nor does it appear to match the others who have commented.

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Why anyone would do that is beyond me. At best, you're just wasting a good chunk of the money you spent on the monitor while simultaneously limiting the amount of information available to you without intervention. You are free, however, to handle your apps any way you like. I am only asking for the same privilege, or are only people who work like you do to be considered? In this specific instance, however, I am asking for something which would benefit YOU as well. 'Not as much as it benefits, me, perhaps, but really, what's the down side to making this work for everyone?
First of all, I multi-task so my web browser is NOT the only window I have open at a given time. Sometimes I have two browser windows open so I can cross reference data. Other times I have other apps open filling the rest of the space. Not to mention that most of the sites I visit purposely choose to eat up the extra space with empty borders on the left and right - maintaining the proportions of the center area where the text is. If a line goes on too long before wrapping, I find it fatiguing to read because my eyes lose their place when they finally reach the end of the line and have to find the beginning of the next. Maybe it's a consequence of all the portrait oriented text I've been accustomed to in my life, but that's how I'm wired now. And I suspect many would agree with me wrt line length.

"what's the down side to making this work for everyone?" Opportunity cost. Developer resources are finite and are prioritized how the developer sees fit for an open source project. Even small changes have consequences. Either someone will come to depend on the functionality and complain if it later gets broken, or it could constrain other uses or evolution of that code that you may not be thinking about. I'm not saying your changes will have these consequences, but I'm just saying there may be other factors you're not considering that the dev has.

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This is one which most readily does so. Other than changing the style sheet in plugins/video/content, all I had to do was remove one line in the code and make tiny changes to two others. Making it user configurable will only require a few additional lines of code.
I'm happy you figured out how to make the changes you wanted yourself. Now if you are inclined to make it configurable, you can either ask wmcbrine to include it or you can post it to the pyTivo forum under Hacks. Personally, I don't need or want this so I could care less.

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I have no problem with donating a few dollars, although funds are tight for me right now. That said, it is not appropriate that non-configurable changes be made on my behalf just because I have more money than someone else. Making them configurable, or making them because a very large majority of users feel them to be useful, is appropriate, IMO. Either way, the donation is appropriate, but I don't want William to go about making unpopular absolute changes just because I fork over some cash.
I never said that you could pay to have the changes foisted onto the majority. What I was trying to express was that if you didn't have the expertise or the time to do it yourself, you could sponsor someone to do it for your use. If those sponsored changes were or weren't accepted by the pyTivo developers, then that is a different issue.

Now I'm done procrastinating what I'm supposed to be doing, so I'll shut up and let this die.
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:50 PM   #2777
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I've done a little bit more with moving style elements into CSS, and I think lrhorer should be able to do everything he wants via content/main.css now (although I haven't tried to replicate his preferences). These were changes I needed to make anyway (well, I probably wouldn't have done the one that will let him move up the description, but I'm fine with it); I've been working towards themability for a while, but it wasn't quite ready yet. It's still not, really, but whatever.

The changes are only on my netbook right now, and will be uploaded to my repo later tonight.
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:02 AM   #2778
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Frankly, I think it's hideous. Very busy, and poorly laid out.
Well, I disagree. That said, it's a personal preference.

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If there's a visual model for the Push and ToGo screens, it's the TiVo's built-in web server, not TiVoWebPlus.
That's horrible in the extreme to my eye. So, for that matter is TiVo Desktop, yet there are plenty of people out there who - quite inexplicably to me - prefer it to pyTivo.

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No sir. "Wasted" is a subjective judgment.
All judgments are to one extent or other subjective. What is not subjective at all is that scanning from the beginning to the end of the NPL can take twice as many keystrokes and considerably more time at 16 programs per page than at 29, even if everything else were equal. When 3 to 6 people (occasionally more) are reading the list, top to bottom, trying to decide what to watch tonight, the difference is significant.

Let me ask this: Do you actually read, in the ordinary sense, the page? I do not. All my family and I do is scan quickly the titles, pausing only to read (independently) a synopsis here or there. When 3 to 6 people are reading the list, it is important the screen hold as much information as possible, or else it quickly becomes quite tedious. With the TiVo NPL, it's often difficult to get beyond the "F"s before people start to get frustrated. Using the default pyTivo list, it's difficult to get beyond the "C"s before people begin to fidget. Last night, using the default pyTivo scheme, we couldn't make it beyond the "B"s. With the TWP screen, at least we can usually get to the "J"s or the "K"s before the sighing and moaning starts. If I stretch the window beyond the screen borders, we get even further, although then, of course, reading any description becomes much more tedious, so it's not the best trade-off imaginable.

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Some people actually value well-placed white space over maximum information density.
In the best of worlds, wouldn't it be that both camps can choose according to their desires?

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The titles are in boldface, and in a larger font than the description.
They are.

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They should stand out dramatically.
Not so much, especially when there are many lines of description text and doubly so if one is not sitting directly in front of the TV, especially when they are projection sets, which mine are.

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Are you really not seeing this?
I see there is a difference between the two texts, yes, of course. Merely being a different font does not, however, make it easier to accurately jump from one title to the next in a fraction of a second, all the way down the screen. I have to search to find the next title. Yes, it only takes a half second or so, but do it 4000 times, and it adds up in a hurry. If almost all the programs only take up one line and the titles are by and large the only thing on the left side of the screen, it just makes it much easier on the eyes and the brain. When there is only very occasionally any text or variable space vertically between the sets of titles, it's easier still.

It's very hard to discern emotional context in a forum like this, so at this point I want to emphasize that I am not saying your choices for your application are in any sense "wrong". For your purposes, they may suit the application better than my requested options. What's more, as the developer, it's entirely your right to decide for or against any options you wish. It's also not as if I cannot edit the style sheets to better suit my own purposes every time I download a new version, or that I won't do so. If I have to, I most certainly will. Nor will it lessen my opinion of you as a developer, a forum participant, or a human being if you decide unilaterally against any support whatsoever for my request.

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Originally Posted by wmcbrine View Post
Maybe I need a pyTivo screen shot from your system as well...
OK. Of course, it's variable depending on what window size and text magnification I choose (the living room screen is both much smaller and further away from the viewers than the screen in the theater). Note also the degree of difficulty in distinguishing the two fonts varies with the text magnification. It's much more difficult in the living room than in the theater.

Here is a sample of the default config.

Here is a sample of the config I created this morning.

Both of these are at font magnifications I might use in the livingroom.

Here is an example of a text magnification I might use in the theater. Note it is much easier to differentiate the two fonts - even given the different colors, but the description text would be too small for many people to comfortably read in the living room.

Note with the default scheme at the same magnifaction shown here, it's much easier than with the very first image above, but still more difficult than with the image just previous.
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:11 AM   #2779
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You're displaying it on a TV, and going over it with your family? That's strange to me. Why not just view it from the TiVo, then?

The web interface is not designed with TV viewing in mind, no.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:34 AM   #2780
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Well, I disagree. That said, it's a personal preference.


That's horrible in the extreme to my eye. So, for that matter is TiVo Desktop, yet there are plenty of people out there who - quite inexplicably to me - prefer it to pyTivo.


All judgments are to one extent or other subjective. What is not subjective at all is that scanning from the beginning to the end of the NPL can take twice as many keystrokes and considerably more time at 16 programs per page than at 29, even if everything else were equal. When 3 to 6 people (occasionally more) are reading the list, top to bottom, trying to decide what to watch tonight, the difference is significant.

Let me ask this: Do you actually read, in the ordinary sense, the page? I do not. All my family and I do is scan quickly the titles, pausing only to read (independently) a synopsis here or there. When 3 to 6 people are reading the list, it is important the screen hold as much information as possible, or else it quickly becomes quite tedious. With the TiVo NPL, it's often difficult to get beyond the "F"s before people start to get frustrated. Using the default pyTivo list, it's difficult to get beyond the "C"s before people begin to fidget. Last night, using the default pyTivo scheme, we couldn't make it beyond the "B"s. With the TWP screen, at least we can usually get to the "J"s or the "K"s before the sighing and moaning starts. If I stretch the window beyond the screen borders, we get even further, although then, of course, reading any description becomes much more tedious, so it's not the best trade-off imaginable.


In the best of worlds, wouldn't it be that both camps can choose according to their desires?


They are.


Not so much, especially when there are many lines of description text and doubly so if one is not sitting directly in front of the TV, especially when they are projection sets, which mine are.


I see there is a difference between the two texts, yes, of course. Merely being a different font does not, however, make it easier to accurately jump from one title to the next in a fraction of a second, all the way down the screen. I have to search to find the next title. Yes, it only takes a half second or so, but do it 4000 times, and it adds up in a hurry. If almost all the programs only take up one line and the titles are by and large the only thing on the left side of the screen, it just makes it much easier on the eyes and the brain. When there is only very occasionally any text or variable space vertically between the sets of titles, it's easier still.

It's very hard to discern emotional context in a forum like this, so at this point I want to emphasize that I am not saying your choices for your application are in any sense "wrong". For your purposes, they may suit the application better than my requested options. What's more, as the developer, it's entirely your right to decide for or against any options you wish. It's also not as if I cannot edit the style sheets to better suit my own purposes every time I download a new version, or that I won't do so. If I have to, I most certainly will. Nor will it lessen my opinion of you as a developer, a forum participant, or a human being if you decide unilaterally against any support whatsoever for my request.


OK. Of course, it's variable depending on what window size and text magnification I choose (the living room screen is both much smaller and further away from the viewers than the screen in the theater). Note also the degree of difficulty in distinguishing the two fonts varies with the text magnification. It's much more difficult in the living room than in the theater.

Here is a sample of the default config.

Here is a sample of the config I created this morning.

Both of these are at font magnifications I might use in the livingroom.

Here is an example of a text magnification I might use in the theater. Note it is much easier to differentiate the two fonts - even given the different colors, but the description text would be too small for many people to comfortably read in the living room.

Note with the default scheme at the same magnifaction shown here, it's much easier than with the very first image above, but still more difficult than with the image just previous.

Geez, man, give it a break.

It's quite apparent that you're the only one who wants this change.
If you feel like making the change to your local setup, feel free.
That's what open source is all about.

However, continually harping about this change with your multi-thousand word dissertations isn't doing anything but polluting this thread. Can you please take it off-line ?
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:25 AM   #2781
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... with your multi-thousand word dissertations isn't doing anything but polluting this thread. Can you please take it off-line ?
Just 767 words, according to a cut and paste JS word count page. While I don't personally agree with the color choice, lrhorer has been polite and as he pointed out, has tried suggestions and provided examples as requested. wmcbrine has already done some work to make it easier for lrhorer (and others) to accomplish what they want and has indicated that theming is something he still has intentions to complete:
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I've done a little bit more with moving style elements into CSS, and I think lrhorer should be able to do everything he wants via content/main.css now (although I haven't tried to replicate his preferences). These were changes I needed to make anyway (well, I probably wouldn't have done the one that will let him move up the description, but I'm fine with it); I've been working towards themability for a while, but it wasn't quite ready yet. It's still not, really, but whatever.

The changes are only on my netbook right now, and will be uploaded to my repo later tonight.
It's extremely rare that any program has exactly the features and design that is perfect for everyone. I think wmcbrine does a good job of evaluating requests and accommodating them if they make sense to the overall pyTivo picture. I don't think it's appropriate to ask lrhorer to 'take it off-line'. If his posts are that unhelpful to you, use the ignore feature; but personally I'm following this particular discussion in this thread closely and am interested in his continued commenting. While I pretty much agree with wmcbrine that TiVoWebPlus has a cramped and visually unappealing page layout, I think the goal of giving pyTivo the ability to look good (and operate well) at various resolutions and in various contexts (cell phone, small and large browser windows, tv, etc.) is a highly desirable one.
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:35 AM   #2782
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It's extremely rare that any program has exactly the features and design that is perfect for everyone. I think wmcbrine does a good job of evaluating requests and accommodating them if they make sense to the overall pyTivo picture. I don't think it's appropriate to ask lrhorer to 'take it off-line'. If his posts are that unhelpful to you, use the ignore feature; but personally I'm following this particular discussion in this thread closely and am interested in his continued commenting. While I pretty much agree with wmcbrine that TiVoWebPlus has a cramped and visually unappealing page layout, I think the goal of giving pyTivo the ability to look good (and operate well) at various resolutions and in various contexts (cell phone, small and large browser windows, tv, etc.) is a highly desirable one.
Mostly agreed. William has done a phenomenal job with pyTivo, and he has my sincere thanks. There isn't a day that I don't use pyTivo. While I would fully endorse a move to beautify or extend pyTivo, I would hate for it to end up looking like TiVoWebPlus (IHMO a cramped mess).

My request to take the discussion off-line was directed at lrhorer simply because the thread has devolved into a back-n-forth between lrhorer & wmcbrine, and ceased to be a community discussion. If this were a feature request that seemingly had more support, I wouldn't mind. However, lrhorer's long-winded posts and continuous posting have simply dominated this thread, to the point of nearly excluding everyone else.

There's a dedicated pyTivo forum for just this reason. This topic could easily be continued there, or via PM, or via mail.
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:43 AM   #2783
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Mostly agreed. William has done a phenomenal job with pyTivo, and he has my sincere thanks. There isn't a day that I don't use pyTivo. While I would fully endorse a move to beautify or extend pyTivo, I would hate for it to end up looking like TiVoWebPlus (IHMO a cramped mess).

My request to take the discussion off-line was directed at lrhorer simply because the thread has devolved into a back-n-forth between lrhorer & wmcbrine, and ceased to be a community discussion. If this were a feature request that seemingly had more support, I wouldn't mind. However, lrhorer's long-winded posts and continuous posting have simply dominated this thread, to the point of nearly excluding everyone else.

There's a dedicated pyTivo forum for just this reason. This topic could easily be continued there, or via PM, or via mail.
Agreed it's probably best broken off as a separate discussion, preferably (for me) in the pyTivo forum so that others can participate as desired.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:11 PM   #2784
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At this point in the thread, I would think that any discussion about pyTivo is fair game, be it feature request, bug report, jeers or accolades. A couple/few posts discussing (customizable?) cosmetic changes is a very small percentage, and is hardly dominating a 93 page thread.
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:42 PM   #2785
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You're displaying it on a TV, and going over it with your family? That's strange to me. Why not just view it from the TiVo, then?
Because the TiVo only updates 7 programs at a time on the screen, with no descriptions up top. Not only that, but the screen update, especially for network sources like pyTivo shares, is dreadfully slow. What's worse, many titles are chopped off by the TiVo NPL.

If pressing <PgDn> more than 200 times to view the list is tedious, doing it 600 times is horribly so. What's worse, inevitably about every 20th title or so, someone will want to know more details of the program. In the TiVo NPL, that means drilling into the info screen. If the program happens to be one of a large series (i.e. Star Trek: The Next Generation with 178 episodes), you know what happens. Even if not, everyone else has to sit on their hands until Curious has taken in the information. With upwards of 20 titles on a screen, the impact is much smaller. While Curious is reading her program description, most of the others are just browsing the titles. There's also a good chance that while Curious is reading about The Abyss, Inquisitive might be musing over the description for Absence of Malice. This cuts the "details" time by more than half.

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Originally Posted by wmcbrine View Post
The web interface is not designed with TV viewing in mind, no.
The distinction between "Computer Monitor" and "TV Display" is blurring rather quickly. Certainly I do a lot of computer work having nothing to do with video in my living room and my theater. In any case, the pyTivo web interface really serves no other purpose for me. If I want a listing of the videos on the server for my own use, I can just type `ls *.mpg | more`
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:59 PM   #2786
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Some of us prefer NOT to be overloaded with that much information on one page.
Twenty-six titles, typically less than 780 characters (including white space), isn't an overload of information in anyone's book. The whole point of making the description text diminutive and indistinct is to make it readily ignored by the brain out of hand. It becomes wall paper; not even perceptually part of the information at hand.

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Your opinion of read-ability does not match mine. Nor does it appear to match the others who have commented.
What's your point? I can also just about guarantee I drive a different car than anyone else here. Was GM foolish for making the car I drive? Many of us have somewhat unique preferences.

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First of all, I multi-task so my web browser is NOT the only window I have open at a given time.
That's not relevant. Unless I have just rebooted within a short time, I rarely have fewer than 20 windows open. At work I often have more than 50, and often 4 or 5 active desktops.

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Sometimes I have two browser windows open so I can cross reference data.
So do I. When I am doing comparative work, I make the active window smaller. When I'm not, I maximize it. That's what that little box in the upper right corner of the window does. As it happens, I never do any comparative work when using pyTivo's web interface. If you do, more power to you. Why are you trying so hard to make the way I prefer to do it less effective, when it doesn't impact you? If for some reason I want to use a smaller window, then I would:



Why I would do that when we are trying to accomplish absolutely nothing more than decide what program we are going to watch this night is beyond me, but I could if I wanted, and no one is stopping you from making it your norm. It's horribly inefficient, but even so, I still prefer it to the default:



Note that even in this narrow and somewhat short window, the default shows four fewer titles than my preference. With more than 3000 titles from which to choose 11 per page versus 15 per page is an important difference. Even so, I never suggested it should be cast in stone either way. I only requested that it be configurable. Why is it such a horrible notion to you that I and others might be allowed to do things differently without a lot of trouble to ourselves?

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If a line goes on too long before wrapping, I find it fatiguing to read because my eyes lose their place when they finally reach the end of the line and have to find the beginning of the next.
This would be a valid point if it we were talking about reading a book (although I seem to be more tolerant of longer lines than many people). Excessively wide text can be difficult to read, especially if it is small and the "paper" has no rulings. For this application, however, it's largely a moot point. I don't think many people spend hours pouring over their pyTivo share list, reading every single line of every description. We certainly never do. Quite to the contrary, generally none of us reads more than 1 description in 20. For the most part, the descriptions are ignored, until every once in a while, one isn't. Not only that, but as often as not, one may only read the first sentence or two of the text, so the return scanning error is not relevant. This especially since, if you will notice, with a wider screen, many of the descriptions only take up one line.

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"what's the down side to making this work for everyone?" Opportunity cost. Developer resources are finite and are prioritized how the developer sees fit for an open source project.
We're not talking about a major re-write, here. It took me less than two hours to read up on style sheets, find the areas I needed to change (with a nudge from William for which I am grateful) and make the changes. It wouldhave taken me a fraction of that time to make the changes if I had ever edited a style sheet before in my life, or had ever previously browsed over the style sheets in pyTivo. Adding an additional if statement or two would of course take a bit more time, but William is vastly more adept at editing this code than I am. Of that I am quite sure.

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I'm not saying your changes will have these consequences, but I'm just saying there may be other factors you're not considering that the dev has.
I've done development work. I know what is involved.

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I never said that you could pay to have the changes foisted onto the majority.
I did not for a moment think that was your intent. I just wanted to make sure everyone knew that it was neither your nor my implication.
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:12 PM   #2787
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Agreed it's probably best broken off as a separate discussion, preferably (for me) in the pyTivo forum so that others can participate as desired.
The pyTivo forum was my first choice for the initial post, but when I went to submit it, the forum was down. After trying several times over the course of two or three hours, I gave up and posted here. I would be happy to move the discussion over there, or to another thread on this forum, if it is deemed most desirable. Since William has very graciously decided to implement some of the variability for which I asked, I would agree the content of the discussion may have dwindled in topicality for this thread.
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:17 PM   #2788
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The distinction between "Computer Monitor" and "TV Display" is blurring rather quickly.
Not for me. I see them as very different. I was actually thinking that your preference for light text on a dark background (as the TiVo itself uses) made more sense in the context of a TV display.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:38 PM   #2789
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Not for me. I see them as very different.
I think maybe I understand what you mean. You're saying your intent is very different when you say you are going to use one or the other? Certainly the hardware is not so different. Indeed, many people use their computer monitors to watch TV, and vice versa. If I do take your meaning correctly, then I would tend to agree. The nature of the task at hand induces one to change the environment almost without thinking about it, or at least it does me.

In that same vein, though, I'm using pyTivo's web interface as an integral part of watching the content on the server, not as a part of managing the software or administrating the content. I use other tools for that.

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I was actually thinking that your preference for light text on a dark background (as the TiVo itself uses) made more sense in the context of a TV display.
Well, yes, I hadn't really thought about it, but there's that, too. At the very least, I don't do "computer work" in a darkened room, but we are usually in a darkened room when we are picking out a program using pyTivo's web interface.

It's interesting to me that you, as a principle developer for the app, apparently never really considered integrating it into your TV watching. To me, it seems the most natural idea in the world, especially given the TiVo NPL's shortcomings, and the fact the use of pyTiVo in the first place suggests a potentially larger video library than the TiVo NPL can really handle effectively.
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:16 AM   #2790
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If you have a PC hooked up to your TV... why do you need pyTivo? Why wouldn't you just play the videos on the PC?
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