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Developers - source code?


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#1 groogs

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 07:32 PM

I am just wondering who is behind this app? I realize there are users on the forum who are the developers, but who are you? Is this a hobby project, or a for-profit company? Are you affiliated with the developers of Plex or with Samsung or something else? I see you're taking donations but that doesn't speak the licensing or possible plans to switch to a paid app model..

What is the license of this app? Is there source code available? Can I modify, compile and run this myself, and more importantly, can I contribute code to help?

I am currently using SageTV, but looking to switch to a new platform and the combination of the Plex software and Samsung hardware looks to be a really great choice -- but I want to know I won't be left high and dry (like I am now with Google's buy-out of SageTV) if something happens.

I have been playing with Plex for Roku but the UI leaves much to be desired, and I just happen to have bought a new Samsung E-series LED TV. I'd love to help make this app work on it, as well as the E-series BluRay players (of which I will buy a few assuming this can work).

I want to help, whether it's coding, testing, hardware, money or whatever.. but I don't want to invest my time and money into a dead-end platform.

#2 RockStar

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 07:56 PM

HD1080 and Orca are the devs of this app and its not open source.
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#3 hd1080

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 08:08 PM

I am just wondering who is behind this app? I realize there are users on the forum who are the developers, but who are you? Is this a hobby project, or a for-profit company? Are you affiliated with the developers of Plex or with Samsung or something else? I see you're taking donations but that doesn't speak the licensing or possible plans to switch to a paid app model..

What is the license of this app? Is there source code available? Can I modify, compile and run this myself, and more importantly, can I contribute code to help?

I am currently using SageTV, but looking to switch to a new platform and the combination of the Plex software and Samsung hardware looks to be a really great choice -- but I want to know I won't be left high and dry (like I am now with Google's buy-out of SageTV) if something happens.

I have been playing with Plex for Roku but the UI leaves much to be desired, and I just happen to have bought a new Samsung E-series LED TV. I'd love to help make this app work on it, as well as the E-series BluRay players (of which I will buy a few assuming this can work).

I want to help, whether it's coding, testing, hardware, money or whatever.. but I don't want to invest my time and money into a dead-end platform.

I started this project over 1 year as a hobby project and it's still one. This means we do all the work in our free time and we still have real jobs. At the moment Orca and me are working on this project.
We are in contact with the Plex developers, so they help us when we have questions/problems about the PMS. We are not working for Samsung or so.
The source code is not available for the public and never will be because of Samsung's policies for submitting an app. But Plex Inc. has also access to it so if we would quit working on it someday, I am sure someone else will continue on it.
Also it's up to Samsung how long they will support the SDK for their devices.

If you like our Plex App for Samsung and would like to donate you can do this here

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#4 groogs

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 01:35 AM

The source code is not available for the public and never will be because of Samsung's policies for submitting an app.


Is open-sourcing something you have any interest in at all?

I've been reading through the Samsung D forum policies and SDK and I can't find anything that sounds like it would preclude open-source apps, and in fact their certification guide specifically mentions this:

3.10.2 If content include FOSS(Free and Open Source Software), the seller/developer must comply with all applicable Open Source Software license terms. Moreover, the developer must not use any FOSS in the development in such a way that would cause the non-FOSS portions of the SDK to be subject to the FOSS licensing terms or obligations.

All this is saying is you have to respect FOSS licensing. Depending on how you're using their SDK it MAY prevent you from releasing under more restrictive licenses like GPL, but it seems to me like the Samsung API would fall under the "system library" exception, and so even GPL would be possible. Is there some other bit I'm missing?

On the other hand, if it's a decision you made to not open your work, that is of course your (and Orca's, presumably) decision and perfectly fine and acceptable. If you want to open it I'm willing to help, just let me know what you need.

#5 Orca

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 08:34 AM

We are very sorry, but it's not open source. This is by choice, not because we can't release it as open source.
As to the FOSS, the Samsung SDK uses open source frameworks in their API, such as jQuery and JSON.
Using open source libraries in your code doesn't mean the rest of the application also needs to be open source.
This is only an issue if you make a payed app. As long as it's free, and we have the developer's consent, there are no issues.

Your original concern, that you might be left with an abandoned platform, is the reason we placed the code in Plex.inc's trust.
We are both members of the Plex team and work closely with the developers of the PMS to give you the best possible expierience.
They make changes to the PMS to support our client better, and we provide them with feedback and bug reports.
Plex inc. has also made it possible to become a Samsung developer partner which gave us special advantages.
Hell, we can even see changes to the new SDK's that we reported as bugs before!

I think you can see the advantage this has, over being an open source project!

Have you checked if your answer might be in the User Manual?
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#6 groogs

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 01:49 AM

Using open source libraries in your code doesn't mean the rest of the application also needs to be open source.
This is only an issue if you make a payed app. As long as it's free, and we have the developer's consent, there are no issues.


Sorry, these statements are false. Using open source libraries means you need to follow the terms of the licenses. Some licenses just state you have to acknowledge the original copyright and license in derived works (eg, MIT) while others actually require you continue the same rights and license your code under the same model (eg, GPL). Either way, whether you charge for the app or not is entirely irrelevant, and giving the app away for free absolutely does not absolve you of your obligations to follow the licenses of other code/libraries you've used.

We are both members of the Plex team and work closely with the developers of the PMS to give you the best possible expierience.
They make changes to the PMS to support our client better, and we provide them with feedback and bug reports.
Plex inc. has also made it possible to become a Samsung developer partner which gave us special advantages.
Hell, we can even see changes to the new SDK's that we reported as bugs before!

I think you can see the advantage this has, over being an open source project!


Are you saying that Plex Inc would not support this effort if it was open source? Otherwise I can't see the relevancy of your comment. The main Plex client is GPL, why would they care if other clients are GPL?


Anyway, sorry to bring it up again; it's just frustrating watching this effort continually and slowly fail to deliver an update for a platform that was available to consumers 8 months ago.

If you don't want to open source, it would be much easier in my opinion if you'd charge money for it. At least then I wouldn't feel as bad complaining. I'll assume the two of you already have this running on your own hardware and so it doesn't seem like there's much incentive to put in the time. If you get paid for the app, maybe that would help with motivation and maybe it would help buy a wider variety of hardware to test on.

On the other hand, if you want to open source it, I and likely many others are willing to help (whether that be code, testing, etc), and the community at large will always have a wider variety of hardware to test with and much more time (collectively) to do so. Plus you get to benefit from others contributing fixes and improvements.

I really do mean this as constructive feedback so I hope you don't take it negatively. From what I can see it looks like you've done good work -- I just cannot actually try it yet!

#7 RockStar

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 07:52 AM

Dude. For whatever reason, they dont want to give you (or anyone else) the source. Let it go. None of the other plex clients are open source either, so im sure there is a good reason.. Buy a C or D series Samsung if youre so eager to try this app now, or wait and hope that the ES series eventually is supported. Or track down the old ES version that were floating around here.
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#8 hd1080

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 01:46 PM

Making the app a paid app wouldn't change a thing. It would make people more angry if they pay for it and then don't get an update for a long time.

If you like our Plex App for Samsung and would like to donate you can do this here

Get the latest news via twitter @plexforsamsung
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Plex for Samsung TVs / BD-Player Wiki (include screenshots)

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#9 eduo

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:21 PM

Sorry, these statements are false. Using open source libraries means you need to follow the terms of the licenses. Some licenses just state you have to acknowledge the original copyright and license in derived works (eg, MIT) while others actually require you continue the same rights and license your code under the same model (eg, GPL). Either way, whether you charge for the app or not is entirely irrelevant, and giving the app away for free absolutely does not absolve you of your obligations to follow the licenses of other code/libraries you've used.


I'm sorry, but this thread has left this statement which reflect a confusing view of copyright that is becoming too pervasive. Mainly because these arguments keep being repeated without thinking they don't address all situations.

Developers own the right to their code and can assign different licenses as they see fit. You're bound by the license of the code you use. If you contact the developer of a GPL codebase and ask him to cut you a break you may get permission to use their code in your non-gpl application regardless of the license the code has everywhere else.

This is exactly what he meant by:

we have the developer's consent, there are no issues.




I understand what you're going for but your statement, while correct in its majority, doesn't address the most important part. You started by "these statements are false" and they are not. They're different situations covering different scenarios but the very last one trumps all. If you have the developer's consent you're not bound by the "usual" license of the code.


In projects with lots of developers this may become an issue but doesn't change a thing: Developers own their code and, as such, own the license that code is ruled by in its different instances. A developer could release the very same code under three different licenses and let a friend include it in an iOS app even if one of the three before is GPL.


After the VLC fiasco I would've thought this is common knowledge to all.






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