FreeGuide 0.10.5

After over a year, and several U-turns, the next version of FreeGuide is out.

I was dead-set on getting recording functionality into it, and when some students turned up asking to help, I directed them towards doing that. They produced a reasonable framework for how to do it (without any of the dirty details of actually recording stuff), but we ended up throwing it away in favour of the way Alex wanted to do it, which was as an extension of the current reminder code.

This way of doing things never reached a stable state, so the trunk was festering for a long time with broken code in it that lost your settings, and tried to record programmes but started too late, and with loads of other usability bugs that I’d hesitate to call minor since any one of them could put off someone trying the program for the first time and persuade them never to come back.

In the end, since this just wasn’t getting fixed, I decided we needed to give up on recording and get back to what we’re good at, which is being a TV guide. There is, of course, quite a lot of overlap in these two functions, but I just didn’t have time to think through properly what a recording program should do, and how to move FreeGuide over to a sensible model.

So, I reverted the recording code, and it’s there in the SVN history if anyone wants to resurrect it.

Meanwhile, the thing that motivated me to do this and actually get a release out was the fact that the US listings provider Zap2It has wound up their service, and it’s been replaced with a new one, called Schedules Direct, for which you have to pay money.

Hopefully, any US and Canadian users of FreeGuide should be able to download the latest version of FreeGuide (and update to the latest XMLTV if they’re on Linux) and start viewing their listings as soon as they’ve paid for them from Schedules DIrect. Do let us know on the mailing list if this isn’t the case.

So, hopefully the crisis has been averted, and now we can get back to doing things right. I’ve implemented the Benevolent Fascist Dictator rule, and so far, trunk is better than 0.10.5, and we could make a release from it any time. I plan to make one every couple of months, to keep things ticking along.

FreeGuide 0.10.5 contains millions of small features and bug fixes, that I didn’t manage to keep up with while trunk was broken. The next release will be after a much shorter delay, and will have a much better change log.

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