Summary of MobileMate 0.1 and Ideas about Future MobileMate 0.2

MobileMate is a Bash script open source command-line tools and integrated in a self-starting Linux LiveCD, used for audio and video conversion. For details, see the project home page: Project goal is to make the open-source tools more useful, and explore a way to get benefits from open source projects. Over the past two years has basically completed the development of version 0.1, due to 0.1b1 has no necessary to improvement, so skip the official version 0.1, now is just for thinking about the design of version 0.2. This article is the summary of version 0.1 and the idea about future version 0.2.

MobileMate developed from two years ago but has not received any useful feedback. And there are few downloads from project page. And, no one is interested in the online customized service I created at Taobao and Ebay. MobileMate 0.1 did not achieve the expected goal. I summed up the reason for the failure. In short, the complexity of the tool exceeds the effect of the use of tools that can be obtained. Universal audio and video conversion software has been too much, MobileMate functionality similar to them, but with bad usability. The advantage of Shell scripts is able to complete a specific task efficiently use only few command lines. But I made a full conversion tool with Shell Script. For the average user, the return of this tool can’t exceed the complexity of usage; For some experienced user, using it has no more better than writing their own scripts for a specific task. Although, in MobileMate 0.1, I tried to build the entire system use object-oriented thinking, but Shell is not, after all, an object-oriented language, makes some experienced users want to reuse code becomes difficult. For example, for use of an “object” in MobileMate, you have to import the configuration file, import initialization parameters at least. The object-oriented thinking in MobileMate can only helpful of MobileMate 0.1 functional partitioning and maintenance.
Of course, from MobileMate 0.1 developing. I am more familiar with the system construct principles of Linux, familiar with scripting. it can be considered a little harvest of it.

I write some ideas of the development of the future MobileMate 0.2 briefly below.

1, the project goal and the overall technology roadmap:
Keep unchanged, still using the Bash script command-line tools integrated in a Linux LiveCD for the audio and video conversion. And, search a way of how to obtain benefits from an open source project.

2, Linux LiveCD the tool based on:
Since version 0.1 was originally created for the conversion of video watching at mobile phone. So I tried to make its size as small as possible. Used customized TinyCore Linux LiveCD as Linux OS platform. Now I will focus on the usability of the toolkits script, the LiveCD size isn’t too important now. Plan to adopt the customized mainstream Linux distribution LiveCD as the toolkit platform. So, it is easy to install application package to expand functions. And, has a more friendly user interface. For example: using LXDE desktop Ubuntu LiveCD.

3, the organization of the shell scripts:
Version 0.1 is to make an universal audio and video conversion tool. The idea of version 0.2 is to divide the audio and video conversion functions into each individual gadget. Each individual gadget may be even only include one small command line. Each gadget can complete a separate function, you can put multiple gadgets together to complete a series of complex functions. You can use the command line in a terminal alone, you can also customize to pass parameters to the graphical user interface (eg: Zenity), then you can operate audio and video conversion with mouse click.
Below use an application scenario to explain this idea.
For example: I have a set of violin DVD, each DVD contains several chapters, each chapter has music with a scenery video background. Music is double-channel, piano accompaniment in left channel and right channel is violin solo. There is a still 3 seconds’ picture describes the name of the chapter and other information at the beginning of every chapter. The purpose of the application is: extract mp3 from every chapter, mp3 is divided into three kinds, namely: piano accompaniment, violin solo, ensemble. Every mp3 requirements plus the cover image, it is the still image at the beginning of every chapter, plus channel description (such as: violin solo).
The application requires functions can be divided into: Extract music of every chapter from DVD, separate them by channel; Extract picture from every chapter’s beginning still image; The picture plus channel description form mp3 cover picture base; Convert the base cover picture into appropriate size and format; Plus mp3 cover picture and mp3 music separated by audio channel.
Each individual function above can be done with a single command line. Then you can put the individual pieces of the command-line functions together get the automated conversion script. Or provide a standard graphical interface that allows user use the mouse to complete the conversion purpose.

Imagine, even a very skilled Linux user, he also need do some internet searching and read the command line manual to finish the job above when the first time. Our aim is to let everyone to save the time of finding and learning as much as possible. And, just open our toolkit, look at corresponding directory for a specific task will be easy to write aultomated processing scripts.

So, which way to organize and document our script is a special request, to facilitate the users to find the function modules and the corresponding function usage as soon as possible.

In short, MobileMate 0.2 will be made use mainstream Linux distribution LiveCD as a platform, a collection of various audio and video conversion command-line script gadget, combined with a well-organized and well-documented, perhaps coupled with the other popular open source audio and video conversion tools, such as: ffmpeg GUI front-end WinFF, making DVD video command-line tool DVDWizard, etc..

About the future vision of MobileMate 0.2, I hope you can make comments and suggestions. Thank you.

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