just looking for a app to run and do searches on my computer

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slideways666
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 3:03 am

just looking for a app to run and do searches on my computer

Post by slideways666 »

Hi all... I at my wits end... Im not a programmer --rather im just a guy that wants to do searches on my computer so i can find what racing is on... Everything is either linux or have to program this or that.. I tried the freeguide but that is tooo far the other way.... Ugly interface.. and didnt seem to have a very good description of stuff.. very vague.... Tried to get xmltv and tvg going-- that was a joke... I wish programmers would realize that people dont want to have to struggle to use something.. make it easy... anyways that is another topic for another time..

I dont have a pvr, nor do i want one.. just want to search and look on my computer for upcoming races-- simple...

All im looking for is a nice looking easy app for my windows xp computer... a good description for the show... and something that is easy to use.. PUt username and password in.. and that is it.. Easy...

any help is appreciated.. Thanks

rmeden
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Re: just looking for a app to run and do searches on my computer

Post by rmeden »

I recommend TVG. (I think I mentioned Freeguide in another thread.. I just needed a TV Guide and realized it was TVG I played with)

Why don't you work with the TVG folks to get a working system and then contribute to the project by providing instructions for someone in your position?

That's the way Open Source Software often works. The programmers get something that works for them and are willing to share it. That's a *GIFT* and should be appreciated, not complained about. Yes, there is often not a lot of "spit and polish" but that's because it's not a priority to them ( It's usually not a good idea for a programmer to document his/her own work anyway).

Calling someone else's work "ugly" and criticizing is not a good way to ask for help. Honest/polite reviews are also welcome here.

People *will* help, if you ask nice and be patient. Remember, you're getting a *GIFT*.

Robert

unixd0od
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:09 am

Re: just looking for a app to run and do searches on my computer

Post by unixd0od »

I'm the author of TVG. Robert is very accurate in saying that open source programmers tend to create something that's "good enough" for their use and then just stick it onto the net to let other people play with. I don't watch a lot of TV, so I don't dedicate a whole lot of time to TVG since it has met my needs for quite some time.

However, I realize it is not the easiest application to setup and lately I've had some free time to fix that. I have a version that's almost ready that I've been working on that I think greatly simplifies the installation/configuration process. I've also added some new features that I think are pretty cool. So maybe give it another chance in a week or two.

rmeden
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Re: just looking for a app to run and do searches on my computer

Post by rmeden »

unixd0od wrote:However, I realize it is not the easiest application to setup and lately I've had some free time to fix that. I have a version that's almost ready that I've been working on that I think greatly simplifies the installation/configuration process.
Some suggestions...

1. A "configure XMLTV" button is a good idea (to run XMLTV --config).
2. running XMLTV --configure --gui. That will cause a TK popup for most apps (not very pretty though)
3. use the recent "find grabbers" and "capabilities" options. http://xmltv.org/wiki/howtousegrabbers.html
4. I think #3 is still raw, check the XMLTV-DEVEL archives and/or power on the XMLTV-DEVEL list if you need help.

Robert

rshendershot
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:19 am

Re: just looking for a app to run and do searches on my computer

Post by rshendershot »

I looked at a couple of results from a search on "NASCAR" and it looks like we're not getting the detail from TMS. Comparing TV-Guide to Zap2It listings, the former has nice informational descriptions but the latter just says Sports Event. Maybe someone from Schedules Direct can verify; Are we not getting what we should?


And Slideways.... my gramma used to say "B4 you posts on the interweb, take two deap breaths and call me in the mornin'"

Ok. She didn't really, but seriously, setting up Freeguide is pretty much that simple. And you can find "race" (but will get a lot of results you don't want" or you can search on more specific terms (like NASCAR) but you're then going to miss some. As for descriptions, all we can show is what we get. You can change an option so you get a tooltip (hovering window when you put the mouse over a show) that describes the show. Or you can see the entire detail in a separate pane once you click on a show. When you click on a show in the search results the guide moves to that show. If you like it you can add it to your reminders or favorites. Once you have selected some you can print the guide and go on to other things with your computer.

Ugly? Is that like utilitarian/small/simple ugly like the VW Beetle or ugly like the VW Thing? Actually, making Freeguide polished *is* a priority from us. Completing documentation, providing a FAQ, trying out all the XMLTV grabbers; there are several people who do that every release just in the hopes that you don't hit a defect that keeps you from using it.

I slightly disagree with rmeden on that; most open source have a cadre that do look into those things. But yes, the core development is driven by "What do I need it to do?" not "What is the best marketable feature?"

So, wit's end, you have two choices. Buy a windows program for your windows machine -OR- use the fruits of the OSS labour. Bitch if you want at the program you bought, but don't come knocking at something you got for free. In that latter case, just tell us what could be improved. It likely will.

rmeden
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Re: just looking for a app to run and do searches on my computer

Post by rmeden »

I did some searches using TVG...

#1. Searching for NASCAR via title and no category gives 3 30-minute shows with NASCAR in the title (surprise, surprise)
#2. Category "Auto-Racing" gives lots of choices.
#3. searching for Racing in the title also gives lots of choices.

Maybe if you can search categories "Auto-Racing" and "Sporting Event". TVG doesn't seem to allow compound searches (which is a nice feature to suggest BTW)

I looked at the NASCAR web site and the next race is in February. Maybe that's not a good example.

Robert

slideways666
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Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 3:03 am

Re: just looking for a app to run and do searches on my computer

Post by slideways666 »

OK ok ok ... first off.. You guys are 100% correct... My bad for how i went about my post.. I belong to enough forums to know sugars gets more results then salt... So apologies to the freetv guys... To be honest-- Its a great program and was SUPER easy to setup... I guess i was just wanting a little more eye candy to which that program wasn't designed for in the first place.. Its all business and i can appreciate that totally... cudos to you guys.. in fact the response i would have had for me-- is -- OK if its so bad-- you make something better.. Again-- freetvguide worked great...

As for tvg... Lol Unixd0od..... i wanted to strangle you that night.. But not cause of anything you did.. I was just at my wits end trying to get that thing to work and so very very very unsuccesful... lol... and with that-- there are a ton of guys out there that could figure everything out just fine.. So who is the dingdong-- (raising hand right now)...

But with that said.. Let me offer up what i would love to see if i may... So you can get the perspective of a complete noob... When i used to run a group to produce websites and programming i always told them its easy to make a hard site-- and hard to make a easy site.. The devil is in the details... What I would love to see is a program that works with Schedules direct right out of the box(or a list where i would select SD as my guide provider)... All i have to do is put in my username and password(which I'm prompted to do) .. then bam it runs... has a nice looking interface and a options area where i can select or deselect the things we want or don't want.. Ahhhh life would be great...

UnixD0od.. I look forward to your new update and hope you announce when its ready so we can all give it a try.. Oh and thanks for your work..

Regarding the info SD gets for description vs tv guide-- do they not use the same info we get? It would be great to get just a bit more into but i understand we can only work with what we get... But can we ask for more? Just wondering...

unixd0od
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Re: just looking for a app to run and do searches on my computer

Post by unixd0od »

slideways666 wrote:UnixD0od.. I look forward to your new update and hope you announce when its ready so we can all give it a try.. Oh and thanks for your work..
I've finished the features I've planned for this release and I'm hoping to have it out this coming weekend.

Compound searches is a great idea Robert, I'll have to add that to the next release. The current "advanced search" in TVG is pretty crap now that I think about it. Probably because I never actually even used that feature myself.

rmeden
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Re: just looking for a app to run and do searches on my computer

Post by rmeden »

slideways666:

New User impressions are very helpful to developers.... such feedback is usually very valuable.

The problem with a "simple" config is you assume everyone uses Schedules Direct. They don't. XMLTV alone has almost 30 grabbers for different countries. There are also other XMLTV grabbers not part of the XMLTV distribution.

The config should certainly be "simpler"... or at least have a nice "HOW-TO" document to follow. Let's see what TVG looks like after the new release.

But it's Wed... let's not have you wait so long.. here's a quick start

1. Download xmltv-win32 from http://files.xmltv.org and install it in a folder without a space in it (say c:\xmltv)
2. open a command prompt (start->run->cmd)
3. cd c:\xmltv
4. xmltv.exe tv_grab_na_dd --configure
5. xmltv.exe tv_grab_na_dd --output tv.xml
6. start TVG.
7. select "Load Backup Listings".. point to \xmltv\tv.xml
8. Profit.

Robert

rshendershot
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:19 am

Re: just looking for a app to run and do searches on my computer

Post by rshendershot »

I'd like to elaborate a little on what Robert said, but first, thanks for the note about Freeguide working for you. But apparantly it didn't do what you want so I invite you to email me or post what exactly the failing was. If it's about configuration then this might help.

You stated you wished for an application that let you set up just by giving it your user/pass info. Robert gave you a glimpse of what the applications have to do. AFAIK there isn't any guide application that just talks to Schedules Direct. So mostly they use XMLTV to handle the part where we want to get scheduling information.

In step4 (xmltv.exe tv_grab_na_dd --configure ) you see the choices that are necessary. the tv_grab_na_dd part of it is where you choose which grabber to use. This one is for North America and DOES communicate directly to Schedules Direct as that is the only option. Each of the other dozens of grabbers handle their locale differently, some by HTTP GETing web pages from online guides and I think some even expect files to be present.

In any case, to make sure things line up correctly part of the --configure is setting your time zone and other such necessary details. But these are saved in a file and you only have to do that once. After that the applications do something similar to Step 5 where they just use the configured grabber to download current TV schedule.

It is possible to have an application not use XMLTV since Zap2It-Labs, and now Schedules Direct, offered a direct access to the information (a web service). But you still have to provide; 1) username, 2) password, 3) time zone, 4) select correct listings provider for your zipcode, 5) that you set up on SD account.

I'd suggest trying out one or a few of the TV Guide applications. Give them each a week. I think the setup part had you frazzled that night ;) That's actually a small part of what our applications do.

Good Luck,
-Richard

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