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Thread: Front Ends and "stability"

  1. #1
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    Front Ends and "stability"

    Well, folks, as I go down the path of redoing my CarPC setup, the eternal question popped up, as to which front end to use. For various reasons I think I'm gonna end up with Road/Ride runner, but that is actually immaterial to my question.

    The $64,000 question, is how STABLE are all these front ends, once loaded with all sorts of skins, add ons, Autoit scripts, xports etc etc.....??

    We're talking about a moving car here, and when we hit a button, we don't want/expect glitches to happen, we don't wanna have to go through hoops, we just want that button to do what it does, and without fail, every single time.

    Now, that being said, I realize ANY software will have bugs, but it's a question of how "bad" are the bugs. Anybody can write "software", writing good, STABLE software is a lot more complicated, and requires way more designing, development methodologies, coding standards, good coding practices, lots of testing.....I could go on.

    How have been people's experiences with the popular front ends as far as STABILITY is concerned?

  2. #2
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    The more skins and plugins you have, the more unstable it will be, there is no way around this, so you should probably research the plugins and skins you are interested in, list them here, and then allow people to comment on them, because there are literally hundreds if not more plugins, skins, and frontends each of which is a variable in the stability question.
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    Quote Originally Posted by malcom2073 View Post
    The more skins and plugins you have, the more unstable it will be, there is no way around this, so you should probably research the plugins and skins you are interested in, list them here, and then allow people to comment on them, because there are literally hundreds if not more plugins, skins, and frontends each of which is a variable in the stability question.
    By this I assume, what you're trying to say is that some skins/plugins/add ons, may not be written as well as others?

    And the logic of "more plugins = more instability", is a lil..well, disappointing. If the plugins are done correctly, they really "shouldn't" be unstable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kapone View Post
    By this I assume, what you're trying to say is that some skins/plugins/add ons, may not be written as well as others?

    And the logic of "more plugins = more instability", is a lil..well, disappointing. If the plugins are done correctly, they really "shouldn't" be unstable.
    Yes, some plugins and skins are written better and more stable than others. Just like some software is written better and more stable than other software.

    If software is done correctly, it shouldn't be unstable. Plugins are software just like a frontend, they're just not as complex. Skins are, slightly less directly, under the same rule, due to the fact that the skin support in most frontends give them enough access to cause issues.


    By instability, I don't necessarily mean the ability to cause the program to crash, I simply mean undesired operation.
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    Two of the popular front ends use thread sandboxing or process isolation to prevent an unstable plugin from taking out the whole system. That said even with the best coding standards its impossible to test every interaction of plugins with one another and every combination of hardware. Thats the area that usually leads to instability or at least undesired operation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by justchat_1 View Post
    Two of the popular front ends use thread sandboxing or process isolation to prevent an unstable plugin from taking out the whole system. That said even with the best coding standards its impossible to test every interaction of plugins with one another and every combination of hardware. Thats the area that usually leads to instability or at least undesired operation.
    Oh, I understand at the technical level, that any of these skins/plugins/add ons etc etc "shouldn't" cause serious stability. But theory and practice are two different things. How about some real world scenarios? People who actually do a media library, radio, GPS, phone etc actively, on a routine basis using these front ends?

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    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    Okay, I'm going to give a "layman" input here, since I'm not a programmer.


    But, after installing carputers in two cars, the no.1 source of instability in my experience is hardware related, by that I mean I/O ports: USB but also serial, if used.

    Those who build Motherboard, PSUs and peripheral can f* up a simple thing like resuming from hibernation...Don't you think they should have figure that out already? If x than turn yourself on, if y, turn yourself off?


    And what makes I/O ports to behave badly? Bad written BIOS, and poor drivers. It's amazing how much damage these can do for instability.

    If you get past that, you'll see that software errors are much less nerve wrecking, it's consequences less severe and most likely fixable. Just post here, and people will help. Now try to get Intel to write a new BIOS for a two year old board that does not work well with peripheral X...

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    I think RipplingHurst has hit the nail on the head. Buggy software doesn't last too long in the marketplace. I don't think Centrafuse (versions 2 and 3 plus a variety of betas) has every "crashed" my PC. In fact, almost all the misbehavior I've seen has been the result of beta plugin code I wrote.

    Hardware has definitely been my biggest problem, but that's also something that sorts itself out over time. If you have a piece of hardware that doesn't agree with your motherboard, one or the other will get changed...or removed. I went through 4 different MB configurations before I found what I wanted.

    Just keep in mind that they call it the bleeding edge for a reason. The more exotic the hardware or software, the more effort it takes to get it and keep it running right. Read and follow the recommended hardware/software configs and most of the major FEs will perform OK.

    VegasGuy

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    Mine was stable for sometime with CF2 until i started to drive more on our crappy roads with all the pot holes and stuff, the HDD started to freeze the pc, now with SSD, it should be bullet proof!
    New Car PC Build list in progress

  10. #10
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    I think most folks who have a car PC install for any length of time will tell you that the front ends are generally pretty stable. The main pain is configuring them. Once you get them like you want them, they usually work pretty well. I've experienced lots of incompatibilities during configuration but can't think of a time when the whole thing ever froze or hung because of the software.
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