Wednesday, December 14, 2005

GUI is here!

You have all waited long enough so just go and download it, version 0.9 is here and it has our flash based GUI as well as support for command line interface for those of you that prefer it (anyone?).

A few words about the GUI, you can run it from the start menu, the desktop shortcut or from any web browser on any machine on your network. The latter is done by putting into the address bar the URL http://ip:port/, where the ip is the ip address of the computer running TVersity and port is the port used by TVersity (the default would be 41952). So if your TVersity server is running on a computer that has the ip address 192.168.1.100 and on the default port, then you need to use the URL http://192.168.1.100:41952/. This means that you should be able to open the GUI from a Pocket PC device, but this was never tested. If anyone does test it, please let us know how it goes.

We will have the release notes page updated later so you can all read what is new, but for now we want to tell you about the new tagging feature. Every URL that you add can have from now on tags associated with it. These tags will affect how you see it on your TV, so e.g. if you add the tag madonna to some URLs you will have on your TV the ability to browse your URLs by tags and when you choose that option, you will be able to see the madonna container under which every URL that has the madonna tag will be shown. But, this is not all, we also support hierarchical tags (we are probably the first to ever come up with the term hierarchical tag, so remember when everyone else adopts it you saw it here first!). So, with hierarchical tags instead of just saying madonna, you can say artist.madonna and some other URLs can be tagged by artist.pearl jam. Now when you browse your URLs by tags, you will see in the first level the term artist, and when you dive in you will see both madonna and pearl jam and under each one of them all the URLs associated with them. This is, in our opinion, a very exciting feature since it lets you organize your URLs in a very flexible manner that goes beyond placing them in folders. This is because the same url that had the artist.madonna tag, can have as many tags as you wish, so e.g. it can also have the tag genre.pop or even genre.musicvideo.pop, and so on. Of-course as before, you can always browse the full list of URLs, if this is what you wish to do, but you should know that the nice thing about tagging is that in a future release they will be used by the TVersity web site to make all the user generated content searchable and accessible to others (unless you turn off the public flag that each URL now also has).

One more thing to know about the GUI is that, being a flash application that runs inside the browser it has some limitations that prevent us from doing things that normal applications would do. The two main issues here are:
  • The inability to browse for files when running on any browser other than MSIE.
  • The inability to do conversion of pathnames that use network mapped drives to UNC automatically.
Those limitations will of-course be addressed in future releases, but for now we suggest using MSIE (which will happen automatically when you start the application from the start menu) and to keep using UNC.

Finally, be sure to drop us a note and tell us how you like the new version.

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