Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I really don't like remote debugging

Last week I sent out a notice to the v4l mailing list saying I would debug Linux support for any em28xx based devices for the cost of shipping the device to me for a week. I restricted it to ATSC/NTSC based devices since I don't have ready access to DVB and PAL. I also restricted it to users in the US, to avoid the customs issues.

Well, I got quite a few responses, but of them:
  • All of them were out of the country
  • *Almost* all of them were for DVB and PAL
  • The one user reporting an issue with an NTSC device was in Canada.
So now I'm in a difficult position - do I attempt to debug and get working a bunch of devices I don't have physical access to? Even dealing with experienced linux-dvb/v4l developers takes an extraordinary amount of time. Dealing with end-users is an outright nightmare.

No disrespect to any users I'm dealing with who might have just read the above sentence.

Obviously, I can't afford to go out and buy all these devices. Kworld, Artec, Asus, Dvico - Even at the low cost of $40-$50 each, there are just too many of them. Not to mention that I only need them for a relatively short period of time to get them working (a few days) and then they join the pile of tuners I already have which I don't need.

On the upside, the em28xx driver in general is continuing to improve. Things are getting cleaned up, edge cases are being ironed out.