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Why no GUI mods ?

Discussion in 'HD/HDR-FOX T2 Customised Firmware' started by gsmetcalf, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. gsmetcalf

    gsmetcalf New Member

    I may have missed something as i'm still very much a humax pvr newbie. I come from the world of Topfield PVR5800, where there is a nice API and TAP / Plugin framework to make some rather funky changes to the actual UI on the box.

    As a developer by day, I appreciate the ( great ) custom firmware at the moment is simply modifying the linux based back end to get extra / expose functionality. Is there a reason the UI on the box has been left untouched ? Does anyone have access to the humax firmware source code / has anyone been able to build / compile ? Is is locked / encrypted ?

    Sorry if these are covered, I only managed to find posts around the customer backend/web firmware when searching.

    Kind Regards

    Gareth
     
  2. Black Hole

    Black Hole Felinos Guru

    Summary HERE (click), and more from the links in my signature panel below. All easily discoverable from the pinned topics at the top of the relevant forums.

    There is no published API, and we do not regard reverse-engineering as fair game. Any modifications have been (as far as I know) confined to the open source areas of the code (which Humax are obliged to reveal under the open source licence).
     
  3. gsmetcalf

    gsmetcalf New Member

    Thanks for the info, none of the topics covered core modifications ( that i could find ) hence the question. It sounds like its not been done for ethical reasons rather than technical ones :cool:
     
  4. ChrisDaniels

    ChrisDaniels Well-Known Member

    If we had the source code, it would have been done ages ago.
    There is no API available either.

    Last thing i heard on the subject was that af123 might be looking at it in some way.. [source] but he might be talking about something else..
     
  5. Black Hole

    Black Hole Felinos Guru

    Quite so, but possibly ethics might slip a bit if somebody came up with something clever! There is also the question of the sheer effort involved of course.
     
  6. af123

    af123 Administrator Staff Member

    That's mostly true. The Humax software binary and the Broadcom nexus library are closed source and undocumented - we don't even have the API specification for the nexus library.

    However, some extensions are very closely integrated with the closed Humax binary, e.g. undelete and redring so involved a modicum of black-box reverse engineering. There is a new one coming in the next week or so which required a little more...
     
  7. jack616

    jack616 Member

    If it wasn't for reverse engineering I gurantee you would not be sitting there today.
     
  8. Black Hole

    Black Hole Felinos Guru

    I was quoting the policy as originally stated when all this started. The vast majority of what has been done, has been done by observing the outward effects of the code and not by analysis of the code itself. "Reverse engineering" is the term used to describe disassembly and analysis of proprietary code, and is contrary to intellectual property rights law.
     
  9. gsmetcalf

    gsmetcalf New Member

    Sorry - didn't mean to kick off a storm :oops:

    ( unsquash'ing as we speak ;) )
     
    ChrisDaniels and rg001c7345 like this.
  10. rg001c7345

    rg001c7345 Member

    LOL - he's funny isn't he?
     
  11. Black Hole

    Black Hole Felinos Guru

    Storm? What storm? Business as usual. I was not aware that any significant reverse engineering of the Humax code had taken place - sorry if I was wrong, but that is always the impression that has been given.
     
  12. Black Hole

    Black Hole Felinos Guru

    If anybody were to dive into the code, being able to modify the database (and have the modifications acted on) without having to reboot would be a substantial gain.
     
  13. vortexring

    vortexring New Member

    Is it though, if all you are doing is improving functionality of a product for non-financial gain. For example if decide to put more ram in my laptop or take it apart to improve it, how would that be illegal (I appreciate it's a different medium!) So if, as a purchaser, we tweaked the code to improve the functionality of our purchased device, I don't see how that would fall foul of the law. I'm only pondering here, not stating fact or law of course.;)

    I think there are quite a few improvemnts that could be made and people's efforts shouldn't be under estimated. I know for a fact that Panasonic seriously applauded a third party firmware for one of their cameras (GH2) as it really impoved the device, so much so they made their own official firmware upgrade to incorporate some of the features of the third party firmware.
     
  14. jack616

    jack616 Member

    A very common missconception.
     
  15. Ezra Pound

    Ezra Pound Well-Known Member

    At the end of the day we have to rely on the people who are capable of making these sort of changes to the code and if they are not prepared to do it, that's where it ends
     
  16. vortexring

    vortexring New Member

    Yes, that of course is a defining factor, but if the only reason that they are not interested in doing it was because they were reluctant to put in hard graft for no reward (totally understandable!:) ) then, I'm sure that there are enough interested users willing to pay/donate some money for improvements if there are developers able to make the changes. I know I would, as I think the product could be far more user friendly with some tweaks, or even a completely new UI.

    For example I don't understand why they still rely upon the coloured buttons (legacy TV interface) to access features when it can all be done with the navigation pad, with a back and an OK/Enter like so many other interfaces. The WMC interface hardly uses the coloured buttons at all, it's all done logically and intuitively with the above set of buttons. I'm not saying using the coloured buttons is a deal breaker, but it is very dated and less intuitive way of navigating the UI.
     
  17. Black Hole

    Black Hole Felinos Guru

    I am not unfamiliar with the regulations around reverse engineering, but I am unclear where the limits of legitimate reverse engineering would be in the case of what "we" do. It was originally stated (a good long time ago now) that "we" were not going that way, although I suspect the boundaries have been pushed in the mean time.

    As to whether any of our activities would be actionable, or worthwhile actioning, I very much doubt, as long as it does not result in a competing product.
     
  18. Ezra Pound

    Ezra Pound Well-Known Member

    Is this the 'Royal - We' again. 'We' as-in you and me, are not changing the code, the people who do, make their own decisions and I very much doubt that these individuals will be swayed by a ‘group chat’ about it
     
  19. ChrisDaniels

    ChrisDaniels Well-Known Member

    If I had the tools available to me to decompile & recompile the gui app, i would do it in a heartbeat.
    I've attempted to decompile it before, but it just spat out gobbledygook.

    I've crudely hex edited the humaxtv file in the past to allow the gui to show .iso files and other similar video types just to see if they would play.
    Thats as far as I went with it though.
     
  20. RedEarth

    RedEarth Member

    Personally, I would not want to see the Humax GUI changed by the custom firmware. True, there are some bits that aren't as intuitive as they could be, but at the end of the day everyone has their own opinion and if too many people put their opinions forward for changes to the GUI, it will end up being chopped and changed constantly, with risk of being worse off for some people. Redring, for example was subject to a massive amount of debate over exactly how it should behave, to the point that the developer responsible had to include a huge amount of configuration options to keep everyone happy, and this was all to do with just changing the appearance of the LED ring and the front panel display. If the same started happening for the whole GUI, things could spiral out of control very quickly! Also, I think Humax are aware of what is being done by this community, and at the moment seem to be quite tolerant of it, because it doesn't infringe on what they've developed (and may even be making their product more popular with potential buyers). I don't think they would view changes to their GUI in the same light, and could well attempt to put a stop to it all by whatever means available to them.