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View Full Version : What is the development model?



awy
2007-04-05, 08:08
I started using SlimServer and SoftSqueeze at the end of last year. The functionality of the server convinced me, at least for some part of my audio requirements, that buying some hardware SlimDevices products was worthwhile. I have since acquired a couple of SliMP3s off eBay and am looking for another one and a wireless SqueezeBox.

I am not however, likely to become a significant SlimDevices customer. The price point of an SB3 (never mind a Transporter) does not pass the value-for-money test for my personal requirements. With the possible addition of wireless, the SliMP3 has just the functionality I need I guess that is an SB1. I particularly like the ease with which one can remove the supplied facia and built it into some other enclosure.

I am very interested in improving the functionality and usability of the complete solution. I am an experienced programmer, including the delivery of commercial solutions written in Perl. My current major point of interest is multi-player synchronization (see http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?p=192235), but I suspect that I am likely to be interested in other issues too.

I am struggling to understand the development model for SlimServer. How much is it a SlimDevices piece of software (leaving aside plugins), developed and maintained (almost) exclusively by SlimDevices staff, versus an open-source community project? I understand the commercial issues involved here, having previously worked for an company whose product was part community-developed and maintained. What I would like to get a better feeling for, is the practical reality with regard to the degree of cooperation and involvement of non-SlimDevices staff.

I have posted a few messages on these forums. I have had some constructive answers but insufficient response to make me feel that my contributions would be welcomed. This could be for any one of a number of reasons - I cannot really judge. I certainly do not get the impression that there is a significant, active set of contributors to the core SlimServer from outside of SlimDevices staff. I hope that I am mistaken. Before starting on any significant work in what is - how should I put this? - not the cleanest-architected chunk of software around, I should like at least to have a better warm-and-fuzzy feeling about how this would be accepted.

On the specific subject of multi-player synchronization, it makes sense to develop a solution which supports all the different players. Clearly SlimDevices' focus will be on their current products. From my point of view, a solution which does not include SliMP3 players, and preferably also SoftSqueeze, is of little interest. Am I likely to get the necessary support, including possibly a firmware upgrade for the SliMP3, if I go down this route?

This is not a moan. This is not a plea for significant resources from SlimDevices. I just want to make sure that I am not wasting my time.

Alan.

mherger
2007-04-05, 08:38
> of reasons - I cannot really judge. I certainly do not get the
> impression that there is a significant, active set of contributors to
> the core SlimServer from outside of SlimDevices staff. I hope that I am
> mistaken.

Have a look at the graph (commits since 2003): kdf, adrian, bklaas, grotus, mherger, others aren't staff. While there's imho always been a paid leader of the project, contributions are quite a big part of the whole code.

As for the interest of Logitech in improvements for "old" players like the SliMP3 I can't say. I'm only a contributor :-).

IMHO SlimDevices staff has been very open to improvements from the community. Eg. most of the display code has been contributed by Adrian. I can remember that before his work there was a comment in the code saying something like "highly optimized - don't touch this". They changed their mind and happily accepted Triode's contributions as it proved to be better.

Dan Sully
2007-04-05, 08:51
* awy shaped the electrons to say...

>This is not a moan. This is not a plea for significant resources from
>SlimDevices. I just want to make sure that I am not wasting my time.

Any community involvement is most welcome. I would suggest start with small
patches, get them reviewed then checked in. Pretty soon you'll have a commit
bit. Post discussion here first, if something is new or could be considered
"controversial". Start writing a lot of code, you're apt to get hired. :)

-D
--
Adobe Photoshop - When you want the truth. Real bad.

Ben Sandee
2007-04-05, 09:46
On 4/5/07, awy <awy.2okoin1175785802 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> On the specific subject of multi-player synchronization, it makes sense
> to develop a solution which supports all the different players. Clearly
> SlimDevices' focus will be on their current products. From my point of
> view, a solution which does not include SliMP3 players, and preferably
> also SoftSqueeze, is of little interest. Am I likely to get the
> necessary support, including possibly a firmware upgrade for the
> SliMP3, if I go down this route?


I think it's safe to say that you're not going to get firmware updates for
anything but SB2/SB3 devices. I have two SliMP3's myself that I use every
day but I don't blame SD for no longer maintaining these devices at that
level. You might petition to have the firmware source released for these
older devices, but that would do little good without the hardware's SDK
which is very expensive (many thousands of dollars).

I do not take for granted the fact that to this day bugs I've raised against
the current SlimServer which only impact older devices are promptly fixed.
Usually by paid SD developers no less but sometimes by uber-contributers.

Ben

Dan Sully
2007-04-05, 09:53
* Ben Sandee shaped the electrons to say...

>I think it's safe to say that you're not going to get firmware updates for
>anything but SB2/SB3 devices. I have two SliMP3's myself that I use every
>day but I don't blame SD for no longer maintaining these devices at that
>level. You might petition to have the firmware source released for these
>older devices, but that would do little good without the hardware's SDK
>which is very expensive (many thousands of dollars).

That is correct, there is no active development, nor any plans to do new
firmware for SliMP3 or SB1s. That being said, the SliMP3 firmware has been
released here:

http://svn.slimdevices.com/trunk/slimp3/firmware/

-D
--
Adobe Photoshop - When you want the truth. Real bad.