Porting MM4 scripts

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Topic review

Expand view Topic review: Porting MM4 scripts

Re: Porting MM4 scripts

by Ludek » Thu May 23, 2019 5:00 am

OK, thank you for the elaboration.

I guess that the last changes were when I was adding 'Material design' skins two years ago.
Since then there have been minimal changes AFAIK.

Anyhow, feel free to report any skinning issue (be it regression or feature request) and we will be glad to resolve it, e.g. in the next beta build there will be new "waveform bar" -- so check that it won't broke anything in your skins. Also, we should probably test also your skins whenever we are making a change to the default /skin/ directory ;-)
Finally, it is nice to see that anyone (except for us) is making MM5 skins!! ;-)

Re: Porting MM4 scripts

by TIV73 » Wed May 22, 2019 1:00 pm

Let me elaborate on what I meant - I'm currently using a custom skin that I originally made (judging from the git log) june last year, which I based on one of the built-in skins. Since then, the built-in skins were constantly improved, which is a good thing of course, and I've been, mostly, trying to keep up with the changes.

And there were quite a lot of changes since then. From what I recall there was never anything major or stuff that was broken, mostly small stuff. A column looking incorrect because its min or max width was changed, an element having the wrong color because a selector was changed, stuff like that. To be fair, from what I can tell the frequency of changes has somewhat slowed down.

Re: Porting MM4 scripts

by Ludek » Wed May 22, 2019 5:27 am

Seriously, don't write custom skins right now, it's not worth it.
Can you please elaborate why don't write custom skins right now?
Writing MM5 skins requires just basic HTML5/CSS3 knowledge (and is more powerful than MM4 skinning). We haven't changed the MM5 skinning framework for year(s) and we don't plan any significant change(s) to the MM5 skinning framework anymore.
We are adding some new elements/features (like waveform seekbar support in 2176+), but this is not breaking the existing skins.
So why it's not worth write custom skins?

Re: Porting MM4 scripts

by TIV73 » Sat May 18, 2019 11:38 am

It's hard not to sympathize with both sides here. It's true, the backend switch kinda sucks. Years worth of functionality and support, in the form of addons, just go poof. This functionality can be rewritten of course, but that will take a considerable amount of time - and that's the best case scenario. More realistically, it's a question of 'if', not 'when'.
When MM5 releases, most people have two options - make the switch and lose stuff they got used to for close to a decade, or stay with MM4 which will eventually lose support. As a user, you are pretty much stuck between a rock and a hard place.

On the other hand I can't blame the developers for making this call. MM4 is built on technologies that are outdated, deprecated or dead. Of course they knew that a hard cut would, on top of having to rewrite the whole application from scratch, break all existing addon support, but what's the alternative? Keep supporting a scripting language that has been dead for years now? It's a bandaid they had to rip off sooner or later, and that always hurts, no way around it.

Personally, I don't really mind that much. Mediamonkey is a great media player, with or without addons. I'm not sure if I would recommend start writing extensions just yet. Right now I'm running 12 custom extensions (two of which are public) and it's very much like ZvezdanD said for MM4, stuff still gets changed around on a regular basis and it's likely that you will have to adjust your extension around these changes - especially if we are talking about skins. Seriously, don't write custom skins right now, it's not worth it.

Re: Porting MM4 scripts

by ZvezdanD » Tue May 14, 2019 2:23 am

The first MM5 version available for download was on 12 Feb 2015 (https://www.mediamonkey.com/forum/viewt ... 68#p402260). I got the information about it by MM developers through the e-mail in 19 Jun 2015, when I posted the first post in (now) this thread. Before I posted that post, I downloaded the MM5 and also I took a look at their Web site with the new scripting API reference (http://www.mediamonkey.com/webhelp/MM5Preview). Which means it was ready for scripters to write scripts for MM5 even back then, four years ago.

The first MM that got the scripting support was also in Alpha stage (MediaMonkey (Alpha 2)). I developed my first MM scripts when MM3 was in Alpha phase. Many scripters was also reluctant to write scripts for something which is unfinished even then, but hundreds of scripts by other authors was created when the old MM was in Alpha stage anyway. The situation is now the same as it was back then. There was "too many changes still going on" back then as well. Do you remember what problems caused their switching from MS Jet database used in MM2 to SQLite that was used later? Well, I know very well about that.

If you don't take a look at "downloads that come from the Addon developers sites" or this whole Forum, where else could you find MM5 add-ons? It is simple fact and you should face with it, there is not a single MM5 add-on. Anywhere. Four years after the public introduction and availability of the new API.

By the way, I am not talking here about "users holding back on upgrading to MediaMonkey 5", but about scripters holding back on upgrading to MM5. This thread (and this whole Forum) is (and should be) dedicated to the development of MM scripts, not the program.

Re: Porting MM4 scripts

by Lowlander » Mon May 13, 2019 2:12 pm

MMuser2011 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 2:08 pm
If you read the answer from ZvezdanD you know: This will NOT happen.
Obviously, ZvezdanD has made that very clear. Doesn't change anything about the sentiment though.

Re: Porting MM4 scripts

by MMuser2011 » Mon May 13, 2019 2:08 pm

Lowlander wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 12:20 pm
ZvezdanD obviously is a great contributor to the MediaMonkey Addon community so far, has well used Addons I often recommend and tries to resolve issues with Addons. The loss of ZvezdanD Addons would be a loss for MediaMonkey and probably have some users stick with MediaMonkey 4.I hope this all can get worked out.
If you read the answer from ZvezdanD you know: This will NOT happen.

IMHO it is more likely that more and more users find other software alternatives with better addon support or even included functionality. Some years ago, MM was really unique with his database and support to "Manage 100,000+ music and video files without bogging down."
Actually things like synchronization with other devices, NAS accessability, multi user environment, different web sources for DiscoGS, Musicbrainz, Lyrics sites, the detection of duplicate songs, the easy change of external harddrives with stored songs and many other aspects are much more important.

It doesn't look like that the developers really pay attention to all this things (many of them only solved with addons from third party developers, not getting any cent from the income of Ventismedia).

Sorry to say, but I fully understand ZvezdanD's answer and initial "charade you are".

Re: Porting MM4 scripts

by dtsig » Mon May 13, 2019 2:04 pm

Well said Lowlander ... i would expect though, some addons coming out by now if they were going to be coming out... or at least some indication that they were being started.
I hope MM5 is a success and that is why it is the only player I am using ... i do have a master mm4 but my daily player has been mm5 for quite a while. I too hope that the differences between MM and developers can all be worked out but I don't think it will be any time soon

Re: Porting MM4 scripts

by Lowlander » Mon May 13, 2019 12:20 pm

In 4 years I count 8 final release for MediaMonkey pre 5, none so far for MediaMonkey 5. The first beta of MM5 was only 6 months ago. Downloads come from the Addon developers sites, thus there wouldn't be a reliable tracking for MediaMonkey on this (obviously the forum activity for Addons is an indicator on popularity), nor would it indicate which Addons being unavailable would have users hold back on upgrading to MediaMonkey 5. And lastly the switch from Windows to cross-platform will cause issues with Addons as it has caused issues for the developers as well.

As a user of Addons I wouldn't expect developers to have Addons ready during the Alpha phase as there are too many changes still going on, but I'd hope they would get involved with the feature/bug process of Addons development. As a user I'd hope that some developers start releasing updated Addons during the beta phase, but my expectation is that this really starts happening after a final release (unless we're dealing with large corporations that can have developers dedicated to Addon development support). Adoption rates of the new software would of course go along with the increasing availability of Addons users are used to.

ZvezdanD obviously is a great contributor to the MediaMonkey Addon community so far, has well used Addons I often recommend and tries to resolve issues with Addons. The loss of ZvezdanD Addons would be a loss for MediaMonkey and probably have some users stick with MediaMonkey 4.

I hope this all can get worked out.

Re: Porting MM4 scripts

by dtsig » Mon May 13, 2019 10:26 am

Bravo :lol:

Re: Porting MM4 scripts

by ZvezdanD » Mon May 13, 2019 3:06 am

Ha ha, charade you are! The MM developers are playing naive here as politicians. I am pretty sure that they know very well which add-ons are the most popular and they don't need some users to tell them that. It is even more depressing if they really don't know that, 15 years after they introduced the scripting support in MM, because that shows how much they care about scripts and scripters who support their own program.

You cannot conclude about popularity of some add-ons from the opinion of one or two users who are willing to participate in this farce. There are several ways to determine that, beginning with the number of downloads of add-ons from their site. However, MM developers want you to think how they are doing their best to remedy this ugly situation in which they put us on all. They want from users to blame scripters for this fiasco, as it is our fault why there is no MM5 add-ons four years after their announcement.

First of all, you should know that I am not the one who gave the subject of this thread. Actually, I haven't even started this thread, although my post is now the first one in it. I posted it as a response to the announcement about MM5 in one other thread while this Forum was still opened only for a few scripters and hidden for public, but some moderator created this new thread and moved my post to it. Why I am mentioning this? Simply because the subject of this thread is misleading and I wouldn't called it like that. There is no such thing as "Porting MM4 scripts" to MM5. Well, maybe it could be done, but only with very small and very simple scripts.

Just for your information, Magic Nodes has 1 MB of source code before obfuscation (not including its masks full of SQL queries), RegExp Find & Replace has 650 KB (again, without its presets full of code), and my other scripts have in total another 1.5 MB. That is not small amount of source code at all. I have spent more than 10 years developing MM scripts, they are not developed for one lazy afternoon or one free weekend.

If you think that I am just stubborn and don't want to waste my time anymore on such things as "porting" to MM5, you are wrong. I was always ready to implement features of new versions of the program into my scripts, even when that required a lot of my time. My scripts are full of conditional executions allowing the same script to be used in different versions of the program because I want them to be vertically compatible as much as possible. Many of my add-ons still works with MM2, as well as with the newer versions.

However, this time it is really impossible to allow them to work with MM5 without writing them from the scratch, and most probably not even then. It is not because of me, but because of MM developers and their decision about the application programming interface with the scripts. This new API is completely incompatible with the previous versions, it is very unintuitive, poorly documented and I think it is severely crippled comparing to the old one. That is the main reason there is not a single MM5 add-on four years after they announced the new API in the Forum.

If that fact doesn't tell you anything, here is another story. I jumped on the MM bandwagon back in 2006 when I learned that MM has added scripting support, which was my main decision factor to switch to another software. I cannot know for sure when MM exactly added that support, but I searched Internet and here is the information from MM whatsnew (https://www.mediamonkey.com/sw/whatsnew.txt):
"MediaMonkey (Alpha 2)
- Added scripting is now part of MediaMonkey standard functionality"
Unfortunately, there is no specified date of that release, but it is mentioned in the Forum on Nov 30, 2004 (http://mediamonkey.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2870), so I suppose it was released immediately before that.

Now, take a look at that how many MM scripts was created four years after November 2004 when MM added scripting, i.e. until November 2008. I don't know about others, but I will tell you about myself. I developed four scripts in that period (even with my late start by two years): Magic Nodes, RegExp Find and Replace, Invert Selection/Select None and Export/Create Playlists for Child Nodes. It is a little bit more difficult to check out the initial release dates of scripts by other authors, but there is an old thread with the list of scripts (http://www.mediamonkey.com/forum/viewto ... f=2&t=5803) where you could see that there was hundreds of them created in just that period.

MM developers, please compare that number with the number of MM5 scripts created in the last four years and ask yourself why is such difference. Do you really think it is a fault of the scripters why there is still no MM5 scripts? If your whole excuse is that "the original ones (scripters) don't have spare time to do this job", how do you explain that the old MM got so much scripts for the same timeframe of four years? Do you think that the scripters had more spare time back then than now? How many years should pass further before you figure that?

I think the explanation is obvious to all, but MM developers: the new scripting model is an unsuccessful experiment and complete failure. The MM developers should forget about it and try to make their application as much compatible with the old scripts as it is possible. There is no point in adding something that nobody sees a real benefit of it. Is it really better to have something full of empty promises that nobody is using instead of something else that already works fine?

Re: Porting MM4 scripts

by Peke » Sun May 12, 2019 6:10 pm

It is up to Trixmoto to port it, but many things should be possible in MM5 new ART&DETAILS window and Playing tree node.

Re: Porting MM4 Scripts

by dypsis » Sun May 12, 2019 12:18 am

A MonkeyRok port please. :)
It's hard to live without once you've been using it.

Re: Porting MM4 scripts

by Peke » Sat May 11, 2019 8:20 pm

dtsig wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 12:14 pm
Thanks Peke .. that just about does it for Backup. Is there need to backup the registry info as Backup6.0 does. Is there anything that defines how the windows look and the process works?
I would rather leave UI Settings to do manual backup as that id just UI that can be unique to each PC eg. Moving UI settings from 4k display to HD (1080p) can and will make a lots of issues, but script for that should be easily made later.
Snofru wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 5:03 am
Being able to mark songs in MM5 and just copy/paste their tag information into a spreadsheet (like iTunes does) would be nice to have but no necessity for me.
Didn't knew iTunes can do that, but from brief looks it looks like spreadsheet app is handling Clipboard data set by iTunes not other way around. So it is matter of format, not a bad for future versions if there is a bigger demand for it eg. spreadsheet (Column) Selection mode.
Snofru wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 5:03 am
a) is what I usually do but b) would also be a very interesting solution. c) is not so important for me as my database is pretty much tidied up finally.
THX for info, personally I have more need for b) as after I bought NAS and put large HDDs I wanted to rerip all CDs in FLAC and retain my old statistics from my older MP3 Rips. c) is more for new users and users that migrate their library to new PC/HDD/NAS

Re: Porting MM4 scripts

by dtsig » Sat May 11, 2019 12:14 pm

Peke wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 3:06 pm
added as https://www.ventismedia.com/mantis/view.php?id=15663
Let me know if I got it correctly.
Weatherman wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 3:32 am
Unfortunately it is up to ZvezdanD for port his scripts.
Thanks Peke .. that just about does it for Backup. Is there need to backup the registry info as Backup6.0 does. Is there anything that defines how the windows look and the process works?