Opened 9 years ago

Closed 9 years ago

#10824 closed Bug Report - General (Upstream Bug)

Modal dialog box prevents viewing of recorded programs

Reported by: ewilde@… Owned by: stuartm
Priority: minor Milestone: unknown
Component: MythTV - User Interface Library Version: 0.25
Severity: medium Keywords:
Cc: Ticket locked: yes


On MythTV 0.25, when a system error of some sort occurs, a modal dialog box is popped up asking user whether they want to submit a bug report.

This new behavior is admirable and certainly the best way to gather the information necessary to make MythTV more robust. However, the approach taken is wrong.

The modal dialog box can only be dismissed by a click with the mouse or selecting the button with the keyboard. Now, picture a real user trying to watch a recorded program. They don't have a mouse or a keyboard. They have a remote control which has no effect on the modal dialog box. Even if they do have a mouse, the mouse pointer is invisible since the frontend app covers most of the desktop and it has hidden the mouse pointer. They are not Linux hackers so for all intents and purposes they have no way of answering the question or dismissing the dialog box. Probably the MythTV frontend keeps running, under the dialog box, and even responds to the remote (since the LIRC process knows nothing about the focus). Thus, they are trying to watch a recording with a dialog box, that they can't dismiss, popped up in the middle of the screen.

Popping up anything on top of the MythTV frontend application is to be avoided at all costs. The proper way to handle this feature is to ask the installer once, when the system is installed or set up, on a settings menu page, whether they want bug reports submitted or not. Then, when the critical system error, or whatever else requires a bug report, happens, the decision is already made and it can be carried out in the background without the user ever even needing to know a thing.

One might think that usability problems such as this are trivial, not even worth reporting. But, usability is what its all about. MythTV is mostly a product that is supposed to record TV and let the user watch the recordings. If it doesn't do either of those two things flawlessly, its basically junk. The proper way to think about it is not as a Linux Box that happens to record TV but as a TV recorder that happens to run Linux. Considering usability problems will help to change this mindset and make MythTV a much, much better product.

Change History (3)

comment:1 Changed 9 years ago by Raymond Wagner

Resolution: Invalid
Status: newclosed

MythTV has no such feature. Sounds like something your distro is running in the background.

comment:2 Changed 9 years ago by ewilde@…

Resolution: Invalid
Status: closednew

The distro is Mythbuntu (i.e. a packaged system).

I'll submit the bug to them but therein lies the rub. MythTV points the finger at the OS and the OS guys will probably point the finger back at MythTV. Nobody wants to take responsibility for the problem.

When I write applications that run on top of Linux or an OS from some evil empire, if this kind of behavior happens, my users expect me to take care of it. I don't send a message to the evil empire and say, "Your OS does this stupid b.s." They'd probably laugh at me. And, I don't tell the users that they made a bad choice of operating systems so they should fix it themselves. They'd definitely get a different software engineer. Instead, I figure out how to fix it and then work around it or whatever it takes.

For example, MythTV, being aware of the fact that Ubuntu has this bad behavior, and being aware that Mythbuntu, a pre-built bundle of MythTV and Ubuntu (i.e. everything you need to set up a working product) is very common, could take steps to disable this feature of the OS at startup. Sure its a feature of the OS but MythTV looks bad when it happens.

If your goal is to simply close bugs quickly, leave it closed. If your goal is to make a more usable product, maybe you could figure out how to convince the OS that it shouldn't be so obtrusive.

comment:3 Changed 9 years ago by stuartm

Resolution: Upstream Bug
Status: newclosed
Ticket locked: set

We can't disable it, we don't necessarily want to disable it. It's a feature of Ubuntu and one that needs fixing at their end, it cannot be fixed here and neither do you really want dozens of workarounds for distro specific problems in the MythTV code, it would be unmaintainable - it's the responsibility of the Ubuntu/Mythbuntu? developers. In much the same was as the fact that I don't expect my car's manufacturer to repair a broken road sign.

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