Posted by: ben | January 24, 2010

Enna January 2010 Status Report

It’s now has been 3 weeks only that Enna first official release has been out and I’d have to say the project received a warm welcome. The news spread around the world and a lot of people have manifested a huge interest in it. We’ve been helped by many volunteers that gladly extended the internationalized pages so that next release will be available in much more languages. Unfortunately, no new developer came out so our team still is pretty low numbered. Though, the various projects (libplayer, libvalhalla, Enna …) seem to please people as many distributions (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Slitaz …) have started packaging our libs.

Meanwhile, we’re still trying to stabilize a bit more the GeeXboX distro so that you should be able to test Enna on our alpha1 release of LiveCD. But let’s focus a bit more on Enna itself. As said, only 3 weeks have passed and still, many improvements have been made, based on some user requests and feedback we just received (plus other features that were meant to be done anyhow). So let’s have a look at what’s already done and which you’ll see in next 0.5.0 release.

  • Massive rework of the libvalhalla-based database browser. It is now much more generic and can be used in both music and video activties.
  • Addition of a new UPnP A/V (and DLNA) browser plugin. It is based on GUPnP libraries and will allow you to automatically discover and your network devices and browse their content. Unfortunately, it uses the very latest version of GUPnP API, which is not available in Ubuntu 9.04 Karmic. It is however in Lucid 9.10 and future users will be able to use it by this time.
  • HAL being mostly deprecated and most of distribution tending to remove it, the volume auto-detection plugin is now based directly on libudev, which turns out to provide the same level of features which much less overhead.
  • Many users have complained about the difficulty to find the configuration file and to edit it, and for good reason. This was a known issue, but not a release-blocker though. Efforts are spent to try to provide a fully GUI-based configuration. In this intend, we’ve added an .ini-style configuration files parser/dumper. This allow us to load and write configuration at any time. Hence, at Enna run, a default configuration is loaded and this one will be saved back to file at shutdown. Also, we’re now following the XDG specifications in order to store the configuration and data files (so you’ll have to modify a few things at 0.5.0 release).
  • The weather module was very well appreciated but also a source of multiple complaints. Well, good thing is that you’ve been heard, as it was improved in many ways. The module now allows multiple cities to be specified and, if none is specified, Enna tries to perform IP geo-localization in order to know where you are (based on your Internet provider’s information). Also, this may sound stupid, but it is now possible to force temperature metrics, between Celsius and Fahrenheit.
  • Many changes also have taken place in libvalhalla, which now allows you (through Enna) to choose which grabber(s) you want to run. It also fetches the various information much faster and gives priorities to certain type of metadata based on their origin (e.g. if available, we’d better take the movie backdrops from HD-compatible sources such as TheMovieDB than Amazon). The database format has changed a bit though, so the current one won’t be compatible with next Enna release.

That’s pretty much all for now on, regarding Enna new features. However, if interested, you’d be glad to know that the GeeXboX team will held a 15mn lightning talk conference at next FOSDEM (Brussels) on 6th February 2010. We’ll speak about Enna, libplayer, libvalhalla and of course GeeXboX. Feel free to come, especially if you’ve already planned to join FOSDEM.

Oh and by the way, I’ve just registered GeeXboX and Enna on Ohloh. So if you’re pleased by our software and proud to use them, just let us now 🙂


  1. For the changes in the database; I will implement an “upgrader” with libvalhalla-2.0.0. But the effect will be that all metadata will receive the same priority. If this functionality is not yet available, that is because I want to add the support for languages too. Then the database will change a bit..

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