MLGenericDevice Plugin

A plugin that allows for end user development of multiple RS232 device control systems.
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cborod
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Postby cborod » Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:59 am

Smooth, no doubt everything is subject to interpretation ....

May I ask a comparison then?

How is a plugin as mature and functional as MLGD "beta" when its sister plugin MLHAI, is sold as production level, by comparison is far less mature, far more undeveloped, and reliability-wise less capable....but is sold with a permanent license?

I guess my request is to simply ask that if the product has a timeout, then state it, sell it as such, and show the timeout on my license.

What's your "fear" about MLGD? Sure, the old plugin went south....and we all suffered with that. But everything we've been told and sold is that MLGD is a Cinemar product, is a supported Cinemar product, and really, isn't that all we can hope for anyway?

Has anyone expressed dissatisfaction with MLGD? I'd say likely it's one of Cinemar's best~! It's flexible, extensible, reliable (except for license timouts) and a workhorse plugin! Compare that to the reactions to MLHAI and I daresay we in the user community would advise you to call MLHAI beta and release MLGD to production......

Why not release it?

If it's the hex module? fine....we can wait....the expectation will be set and no one beefs.....

Conversely, if you want to keep it MLGD as a beta ...that's okay too. Just let me know to expect imeouts, when to expect them, and I too will consider it beta.....
ChrisB


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DavidL
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Postby DavidL » Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:24 am

MLGenericDevice we believe, is close to being ready for production.

The decision to "go production" is mostly based if the product meets the capabilities that were originally targeted, and as far as we know (from testing, from beta results) will not cause damage to one's system, performs the stated job in a reliable way, has a reasonable amount of docs for installation and core use (something MLGD might need some tuning on) and Cinemar is ready to support it once launched (difficult when we are consumed with development (read: DVDLobby375 et al)).

We spent most of a night two nights ago with a dealer with a possible MLGD issue. We still are not positive that it is a hardware issue. These are the kind of factors that go on behind the scenes that not everyone is aware of.

If the planets were aligned (I see a pattern with MLGD coming up), Cinemar would be the first one to like to see it in production.

Glad it is working for you. Please keep the feedback coming in.

ricks
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Postby ricks » Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:19 pm

So when is the next scheduled expiration date? Would be good to know so we don't spend time searching for problems elsewhere when things break.

Also, unfortunate that the SDK will no longer be provided to non-Cinemar developers. Of all the companies I work with Cinemar is the only one that restricts SDK distribution.

Next MLGD expiration date? Only seems fair.

Rick

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DavidL
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Postby DavidL » Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:58 pm

We will look at the code to see the next date. Most of the time, it's 60 days out.

As mentioned in PM to you, we are not currently distributing the SDK because each developer that has gotten it, requires additional support by Cinemar. We currently don't have that bandwidth.

The great majority of plugins that MainLobby supports are created and supported by Cinemar. This is a different strategy than our software competitors have taken. But, this is the same strategy that our hardware competition employs. I doubt Crestron and AMX will provide you an SDK for their internal systems.

We have gotten burned by 3rd party developed software that becomes popular with the community, that the developer decides he doesn't have the time or interest to maintain its support and keep up with the evolution of MainLobby. We then end up with a dissatisfied customer, or we end up having to rewrite it. MLGenericDevice is one of those rewrites for exactly this reason.

Now, that's not to say that we have stopped distributing the SDK to qualified software developers (the SDK is written for a developer, not a proficient end user / dealer), we just can't do that right now as we are slammed with trying to keep up with the stuff we are getting done for our customers now. We need to dedicate those same resources on projects that affect all of our customers, then to spend that valuable time on just one. Hopefully a short term problem.

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Postby RonX » Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:44 pm

smoothtlk wrote:We will look at the code to see the next date. Most of the time, it's 60 days out.

As mentioned in PM to you, we are not currently distributing the SDK because each developer that has gotten it, requires additional support by Cinemar. We currently don't have that bandwidth.

The great majority of plugins that MainLobby supports are created and supported by Cinemar. This is a different strategy than our software competitors have taken. But, this is the same strategy that our hardware competition employs. I doubt Crestron and AMX will provide you an SDK for their internal systems.

We have gotten burned by 3rd party developed software that becomes popular with the community, that the developer decides he doesn't have the time or interest to maintain its support and keep up with the evolution of MainLobby. We then end up with a dissatisfied customer, or we end up having to rewrite it. MLGenericDevice is one of those rewrites for exactly this reason.

Now, that's not to say that we have stopped distributing the SDK to qualified software developers (the SDK is written for a developer, not a proficient end user / dealer), we just can't do that right now as we are slammed with trying to keep up with the stuff we are getting done for our customers now. We need to dedicate those same resources on projects that affect all of our customers, then to spend that valuable time on just one. Hopefully a short term problem.


smoothtlk,

Without a SDK, what could be the best way for a proficient user to take advantage of the Mainlobby internals for example if I have a .net library and routines to talk to a specific device and want to send messages to the device and display the returned messages inside Mainlobby?

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DavidL
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Postby DavidL » Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:43 pm

More specifics are needed to answer that question, but if it were an RS232 hardware device, then MLGenericDevice was built for that purpose. If the device is HEX, then the MLGenericSerial (third party and unsupported).

There is the MLDatabase application that can connect to an external database. Not sure if your app can / does use a database.

The above are very powerful plugins that insulate you from the "guts" of MainLobby and you don't have to be a software developer as we took on that work.

Take a look at those two to see if it meets what you are inquiring about.

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Postby RonX » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:24 pm

I'm referring specifically to the Control Point UPnP API. There are a lot of devices that aren't RS-232 enabled that can be controlled this way, ex. the new Denon iPod dock, netgear or d-link media players, philips streamium, etc. Maybe MLTCPSend could be used to send low-level UPnP commands, but it's impractical since there are UPnP APIs at a higher level, and it would require a lot of TCP/IP sniffing and debugging.

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Postby DavidL » Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:10 am

Plugin updated for additional scripting capability

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Postby ricks » Tue Apr 08, 2008 9:50 am

The dreaded MLGD expiration should be approaching soon. Can we get an updated version before that happens?

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EXPIRED AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!@@@@@@#####

Postby tpate » Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:16 am

Message:
Invalid Activation Code with invalid License Key. You must obtain a valid Activation Code to enable this software. Your 30 day evaluation period has expired. You have now used MLGenericDevice for MLServer for 36 days.
Software is licensed for 0 units and 202 units have been activated.

Used Installer to download and install latest version... still "Expired"

Smooth... This is piss poor support!!

How do I reactivate?????
Tom

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Postby DavidL » Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:30 am

You need to send an email to dave at cinemaronline dot com and request a license extension.

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Postby CinemarDave » Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:24 pm

Version 3.0.468 of the MLGenericDevice plugin has been released. This version permanently removes the hardcoded cutoff date that has been in previous releases. This plugin is now officially out of beta.

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Postby ricks » Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:01 pm

=D>


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