VDR Plugin Survey 2008 - Results part 2

Posted by Tobi Tue, 02 Dec 2008 04:09:00 GMT

The second part of the results from the VDR Survey 2008 will concentrate on the VDR plug-ins.

Altogether there were 305 plug-ins for which the participants could select, if they use the plug-in or if they would like to use it, but can't for some reason. For each plug-in it was also possible, to leave a free text comment.

493 participants took part in the plug-in survey.

The Top-20

femon holds with 330 users the first place among the twenty most used plug-ins. Also epgsearch on the second place isn't much of a surprise.

The DVDSwitch-Plugin on place 20 is directly followed by the SkinElchi-, Text2Skin, Sysinfo, WeatherNG, Director, FritzBox and TVOnscreen plug-in.

Top 20 VDR-Plugins

Among the most used plug-ins, there are some, where the development seems to be stalled (e.g. DVD, OSDTeletext and Burn) - from a Debian developers perspective a very unpleasant circumstance.

A complete list of the number of users per plug-in can be found here.

Plug-ins, which users would like to use

The list of plug-ins, which users would like to use, but can't, is lead by the IPTV-, the Burn- and the SoftCam-Plug-in.

VDR-Plugins wanted to be used

For the IPTV plug-in, the reasons why it can not be used are mostly of technical nature, like a too slow internet connection or the unavailability of useful IPTV channels and internet streams.

The Burn plug-in on the other side is simply to buggy and to hard to configure and use.

Many participants would like to use the SoftCam plug-in, if there would be no doubt, that this was legal and if it were available in the respective distribution.

All in all the main reasons why a plug-in can not be used, even if there's an interest in it, are the following:

  • The plug-in doesn't work or is too buggy
  • The installation / configuration of the plug-in is too complicated
  • The plug-in is not available for a specific distribution
  • No support for the latest VDR version / plug-in is no longer developed
  • Missing technical prerequisites
  • No time / opportunity to try it out yet

Conclusion

The main reason for me as a Debian maintainer to start this survey was, to figure out, which plug-ins are really used and which are not. This should have helped me to decide, to drop some plug-ins from the Debian / e-tobi repository where upstream development seems to have stopped and where the plug-ins are generally in bad shape.

Notwithstanding the problems some plug-ins have, they are nevertheless often in great demand, so that the survey result doesn't make it much easier for me to decide to remove such plug-ins.

Maybe some plug-in developers will take the comments left for their plug-in as a reason to continue their development.

For some "important" (because often used) plug-ins there really seems to be a lack of man power. The OSDTeletext- and the DVD-Plugin haven't been updated for 3 years and the Burn plugin for 2 years. Other plug-ins even haven't seen a new version for 5 or more years. I don't want to reproach any plug-in developers here. As the developer of the Vodcatcher, Podcatcher and Menuorg plug-in, I understand, that sometimes other things simply have a higher priority and the interest in a plug-in and its further development might simply get lost over time.

Maybe it would be a good idea, to put such plug-ins into a community maintained project, where every one can contribute. In the Gentoo and Debian packages alone, are enough patches for many plug-ins to bring them up-to-date with the current VDR version and make a new release.

I could probably organize a sponsored root server for hosting a Redmine project management with Git and SVN, so if anyone thinks this is a good idea, I can set up a project immediately.

The survey data

A summarization for each plug-in (especially for plug-in authors) can be found here:

http://www.e-tobi.net/vdr-plugin-survey-2008/

The complete SQLite database with the survey results is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike Licence 3.0 here

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