If you are a geek like me, you’re probably wondering what the future of JavaHMO is considering the fact that HME has been released. Also, as I mentioned in a previous post, I noticed that JavaHMO was one of the screenshots shown in the sample apps section of the HME website. Instead of speculating about these different things, I decided to send Leon (the creator of JavaHMO) a set of questions that he was kind enough to answer. What follows are the questions that I asked him. If you remember, I did this once before. If you’re interested in the previous interview, check it out here.
Have you had a chance to look over HME? If yes, what do you think about it?
Yes. HME is a significant improvement over HMO. It provides developers much more freedom and gives them much more control over the kinds of applications they can develop for TiVo. TiVo should be applauded for developing this protocol and making it available to developers for free. The HME SDK also does a very nice job of hiding the technical details of the HME protocol and makes it very easy to get applications up and running. Since the SDK is implemented in Java, it opens up opportunities for developing apps running on many different platforms. HME also makes it possible to develop applications to satisfy many of the frequently requested features made by TiVo users. For example, it would be possible to implement a slideshow viewer that could play music at the same time. TiVo has also indicated that they will be supporting DVR capabilities in the SDK in the future which up
to now could only be done by hacking your TiVo.
Will JavaHMO be ported to use HME?
Yes. Currently, JavaHMO 2.3 is being beta tested which includes support for ToGo. Once that version is released, JavaHMO will be ported to support HME. JavaHMO will now be able to match the original vision for the project without having being forced to use all kinds of awkward tricks.
Will HME require you to rewrite a lot of code?
HME has a very different model for creating applications compared to HMO. In fact, the SDK makes is much easier to write code than HMO. The HMO-specific code currently in JavaHMO will be discarded, but most of the JavaHMO content and media utilities can be reused. In addition, HME allows for significantly better interfaces to be created, so the look-and-feel will be dramatically improved. However, I’m not an artist, so any artists who would like to make a contribution to the project are very welcome. I’m very interested in using the animation capabilities to make the JavaHMO content look much more professional. I’m also planning to make improvements to the code to make the server much more scalable.
What do you think about the developer challenge?
Its a good idea to attract developers and create some excitement over the possible applications that could be created for TiVo. Since TiVo has decided to make the source code available for their SDK, it will probably attract other open source developers who would like to play with their TiVo. The SDK makes it quite easy to create an application whithout having to spend a lot of development time.
Being that JavaHMO is currently the best TiVo opensource software, do you plan to take part in the developer challenge?
I havent decided yet. The prizes look very nice, so I might think about doing something just for the challenge.
Will you keep calling the project JavaHMO?
No. The HME version of JavaHMO will be launched under a new name: Galleon (so I can sail to Tahiti)