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Overview of Mal Updater 3.x
MyAnimeList.net Forum »» Club Discussion »» MAL Updater 2.96 - Anime/Manga tracker »» Overview of Mal Updater 3.x

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#1
02-06-11, 5:36 PM

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Hey, new version is coming out soon, im working a lot more on it lately and I'll have an alpha version to test soon. I'll brief you a bit on what's changed etc, post your comments about it here maybe.

- New UI. Well, sort of. Things moved around, some removed, some added, different buttons and functionality. Trying to make it advanced but simple to use, with the things you use the most at very easy ready, and the rest sorta hidden but easy accessible if you need them. Some more features in the list itself as well. Less popup windows. No Aero glass thingie or wasted space around. Themes wont work cause, it's just too much work to do something at the moment. I can't define some things to be themeable just to later remove them or add new ones, limiting UI changes to some predefined options because of themes like it is at the moment. So my idea for a new theme engine is a fully customizable one in the future. I am recoding the entire UI towards that, in a way like.. hm, you can sort of program the skin, decide whats on the screen and assign this or that to call x method and such, sort of like winamp and foobar do I think. Something like that will work well cause then I wont be limited in what changes I do in the future to the main UI.

- Online/offline modes. well well, offline mode hmm.. that's a bit hard to decide how it will really work and I'm doing lots of changes everyday. MALU atm uses both the MAL API, and also some of the old ways how it worked before the API. That is, it logs in as if it was a browser, it picks a cookie, and then loads pages etc just as if it was a browser doing so. That way I have access to quite a few things far beyond what the limited API provides. Things like, being able to send a post about a certain series/episode straight from mal updater, checking if threads about a certain episode already exist and a link to it, some extra data about a series like last forum threads, members, last updates, recommendations, links, check for new messages, and other features I'd like to add. But then I'm thinking .. hmm, what is it most people actually use out of those things available only through the old ways? what others would they like? and out of those who use them, are they actually a meaningful number to keep it? If I remove those features, then I can make malu work straight with just the API. The problem with browser emulation login etc, it.. it's slow as fuck. Logging in, getting a cookie, checking it's still valid, make up for changes in login forms (some ppl had weird problems to login because of some ISPs doing some weird redirection post-login and other weird issues). Retrieving data from a series page is also really slow. That delay when you start a series in the player, and you see the window popup and "Loading..", 99.9% of that time is just retrieving all the html data, it's fucking slow really. The posterior parsing is lightning fast, but retrieving the data that is slow, and it's annoying.
But it was the only way before, and still nowadays it provides with some things the API never covered. So, I don't know. I have no hopes in the API being extended or anything related to it fixed anymore from MAL side, so dunno what to do about it. The other "online" part is the pre-login process, where malu checks with -my- server if you are running the latest version of the client and if there any updates, also maintains an online-users number, and checks how many people are watching the same anime at the same time. That sounds mostly useless, but I have some ideas to add to malu in the near future that would make use of that, to have some kind of side community based solely on MALU and some features available through being online interacting with other users etc. So that might remain, or be gone for now, I'm not sure.

The other part of the changes that are for sure into 3.x, is offline updates. Basically, you update any details like episode score etc and they are queued to be synced with MAL next time you go online. Nothing major there, other clients already do this, so malu will as well.

- Sysinfo and music-playing-now plugins are gone. Useless stuff really, so begone ^^

- Importing/exporting settings. Self-explaining.

- Easy take-screenshot-of-video-player-and-upload-with-a-single-click, kind of. Nothing major there, but I think will be nice to have. I will reuse already working and pretty efficient code from my screenshotter app for it (http://eden.fm/tinypic-uploader/). I was a bit stuck with this in the past, because tinypic kept changing their code and they provided no open api to developers, and to make it worse they finally added a captcha for uploads. Fuck them. Imageshack... well.. slow.. ultra slow. They now have an API, it's so-so. I recently added support for imgur, and it's lightning fast, I really like it, so I will go with that for the malu plugin.

- Windows, more windows, more extra windows.. most gone. batch tags editor and season browser are now embedded into the main window.

- Batch tool to assign folders to the series, it's a big mess, I doubt many are using it right now. I'm making a big change into that, something actually useful and very easy and straight-forward to use and understand, it should be intuituve and not have users wonder "how the fuck I use this?"

- Scanning for new episodes on the hard disk. Right now you can only do this manually, and 2 ways. one way is faster than the other, and more accurate, but it can easily miss some valid matches. The other is a bit slower (still quite fast though imo), and finds more stuff, but also false matches. Also it doesnt detect if you have episodes 2,3,4,5 or x series, only the last one, so it be misleading in that you have more episodes than you actually do. I want to change that, mostly through an improved recognition engine. Also, the scanning for files and folders will be done in the background automatically. It will do an initial scan, and then keep monitoring from then on, all on its own and you wont have to click anything or wait for the scan to finish etc, will be quite on detect-as-you-go; but for that we need more accurate recognition first, so that you dont have to choose for a method or another.

- Airing shows. I added some options to that, so you can filter out those series not in your list. Also it's kinda integrated in the main anime list, so you won't have to switch tabs to check how long it is until the next episode of your fav. shows. I need a little help there though. The airing data is all edited manually through an admin control panel in my website. Basically, me and some others who helped before log in as admin and review a list of airing shows, and theres options to edit/add/delete and such. I'd need some more dedicated people to keep that list updated. Ideally this would be provided by MAL itself, but I don't see that happening.

Okay, I think that mostly covers it. There's of course a lot more behind but no need to explain a lot more.

So anyway, leave your comments and such, I read everything in these forums etc even if I dont seem active the last few months or dont always reply.

ps: oh yeah, I see the preview of the topic and thought to myself as well, "omg fucking boring long wall spam of text with barely any paragraphs , I wouldnt even read it myself", but anyway, there it is if you go through it ^^

ps2: ohh one more remark: no osx/linux ports in the near future, seriously, no. I dont have a mac. I know shit about linux programming. And I wont waste my time on something a couple people would use. it's not that I hate those platforms ^^
Modified by Kotori, 02-06-11, 5:45 PM
 
#2
02-06-11, 6:58 PM

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Joined: Apr 2008
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Thanks for the hard work!

Maybe some teaser screenshots? ;)
Twitter: @devgum
 
#3
02-06-11, 8:17 PM

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forgot to add:

- New plugin for custom lists, like what videogames you've played, tv series/movies. Not related to MAL but probably useful to most users :)
 
#4
02-07-11, 12:06 AM

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Looks awesome :)

Cant wait for the test version ^^
 
#5
02-07-11, 1:38 AM

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Looking forward to a test version too! Did you fix Twitter by chance?
 
#6
02-07-11, 7:42 AM

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First of all..
Kotori said:

far beyond what the limited API provides. BLA BLA BLA I have no hopes in the API being extended or anything related to it fixed anymore from MAL side,

Is it really worth to keep MALu a Myanimelist exclusive tool? anidb API is a lot better than anything MAL has to offer... if you want to get animeInfo and stuff like that It'd be better to get it from there imho.

Kotori said:
The other part of the changes that are for sure into 3.x, is offline updates. bla bla bla

YAY

Kotori said:
- Batch tool to assign folders to the series, it's a big mess, I doubt many are using it right now. I'm making a big change into that, something actually useful and very easy and straight-forward to use and understand, it should be intuituve and not have users wonder "how the fuck I use this?"

I was just using it when I noticed the message to check the forum at the bottom of MALu :P

Kotori said:

- Airing shows. I added some options to that, so you can filter out those series not in your list. Also it's kinda integrated in the main anime list, so you won't have to switch tabs to check how long it is until the next episode of your fav. shows. I need a little help there though. The airing data is all edited manually through an admin control panel in my website. Basically, me and some others who helped before log in as admin and review a list of airing shows, and theres options to edit/add/delete and such. I'd need some more dedicated people to keep that list updated. Ideally this would be provided by MAL itself, but I don't see that happening.

Again, I'm fairly sure AniDB has it. Both for the "anime of the next season" and "next episodes" kind.
http://anidb.net/perl-bin/animedb.pl?show=calendar&do=schedule
http://anidb.net/perl-bin/animedb.pl?show=calendar

Kotori said:
ps2: ohh one more remark: no osx/linux ports in the near future, seriously, no. I dont have a mac. I know shit about linux programming. And I wont waste my time on something a couple people would use. it's not that I hate those platforms ^^

Lies, you hate them :D
Needs to fix this sometime but I'm lazy - since 11/05/2009
 
#7
02-07-11, 6:30 PM

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Kotori said:
forgot to add:

- New plugin for custom lists, like what videogames you've played, tv series/movies. Not related to MAL but probably useful to most users :)


HOLY SHIT
Will this support Visual Novels? I've always wanted to do this.
 
#8
02-07-11, 9:22 PM

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Posts: 61
no updates for the mangalist ? only been asking about it for like....a year now :(
 
#9
02-07-11, 10:01 PM

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Posts: 19
Unable to retrieve my list, it's popping up with an error in the taskbar telling me to 'Sync with the website'. How the hell do I do that, wish I didn't update now.
 
02-07-11, 10:04 PM

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Is the website having issues at the moment maybe?
 
02-08-11, 5:04 AM

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Not sure if it was mentioned, but could the custom plugin support handle eventual plugins with which a user can auto-update his AniDB or Anime Planet status?
 
02-08-11, 6:12 AM

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Maguspk said:
Unable to retrieve my list, it's popping up with an error in the taskbar telling me to 'Sync with the website'. How the hell do I do that, wish I didn't update now.

That update was still for MALu 2.x it's totally and utterly not related with this thread :P
You should post about it in the [Bug Reports / Help] thread, and if it keeps doing that you could do even a formal bugreport on the website: http://malupdater.com/support.php?go=bugs&report
Needs to fix this sometime but I'm lazy - since 11/05/2009
 
02-09-11, 4:38 PM

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Posts: 15
Bard said:

Kotori said:
ps2: ohh one more remark: no osx/linux ports in the near future, seriously, no. I dont have a mac. I know shit about linux programming. And I wont waste my time on something a couple people would use. it's not that I hate those platforms ^^

Lies, you hate them :D


so true :3
 
02-13-11, 2:12 AM

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Posts: 5
hi, i was sad to read the entire post and not see anything along the lines of "3rd party plugin support", but thats cool its a great app as is. Just when i read the part on programming an interface or something of that nature i though id put my idea in.

so i was thinking you could design a standard interface library, then make a plugin witch will add the theming support and additionally using this method will allow 3rd party plugins.

theme support plugin would be something thats reads a theme file and when activated will utilize the UI library to load picture1 at x, y for a basic example


let me know if you want some examples, and on the cross-platform posts/comments you could, "could" implement some sort of WebUI? as an solution
Modified by mxxir, 02-13-11, 2:22 AM
 
02-14-11, 2:04 PM

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3rd party plugins has been on my mind for a very long time, however, dont really see the point at this time with such small userbase (~15K), would be a lot of work just to have noone make anything for it.
 
02-15-11, 10:07 AM

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How about different language packs too? Can offer my translation into german language ;)
 
02-15-11, 11:43 AM

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initially thought about adding languages, but decided against it. waste of time and resources and overcomplicating things by having any language other than english, not really a suporter of localization in general.
 
02-15-11, 6:23 PM

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Kotori,

Thanks for fixing the twitter plug in :D
 
02-17-11, 7:57 AM

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I don't think other languages need to be supported, MAL is english anyway.

Did you thought about adding the options to organize the cols in the Lists?
I will think about other features.
 
02-19-11, 8:30 AM

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Posts: 65
when the expected version 3.0?
 
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