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LordDewi
Level 7

SDK mrsstemplate example outdated

I downloaded the SDK back in April of 2014 so I could attempt to develop a channel that played Podcasts. I found the mrss template and it seemed perfect for what I was trying to do, since the podcasts had RSS feeds. It took some time to get it to work as there were some issues, however I finally did.

I recently started developing a new channel, using the same, slightly modified, template. Before I started I downloaded the SDK again, to make sure I had the most recent version, assuming it was updated regularly. I found that there were no changes, at least in the examples I was using. I downloaded this on 1/18/2015. So, I just used my original template and modified it for the current channel needs. I got it working great, to a point. Then I decided to research marking episodes as read and partially watched/listened to. In searching the forums, I came across this post.

viewtopic.php?f=34&t=43843&p=408510

It was originally posted in 210 but there was an follow-up post back in 2012 saying "This is a very old thread. Registry based resume was added to the MRSS template last year." With a link to a new version of of the MRSS Template. There is no version in the SDK, other than the build number in the manifest, which is 101105 and I'm not even sure that's the version. The ReadMe.pdf in the SDK has a date in 2010. The link to the new version specifically says it's version 1.2.1 and the ReadMe.pdf has a date of June 23, 2012. This is the link to the file, it's on some box.com website. I don't see any links from the Roku Developer section to getting other or newer examples from this site though.

https://roku.box.com/s/d834c57fcc831b498423

I'm wondering why this version of the example is not in the SDK, since it seems to have more functionality and code samples for new developers. I'm also curious if there are other examples in the SDK that's currently available that are not up to date.

For example, I read something recently where Roku is pretty much requiring that developers move to a Splash Screen. I couldn't find the post but it was posted by a Roku employee. However NONE of the examples I looked at, and I looked at about a dozen at least, have the splash_screen variable in the manifest file.

Of course this means if I want to use the new MRSS Template, I'll have to redo my channel. Very frustrating, especially considering that this newer example was already available last April when I first downloaded the SDK.
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3 Replies
Komag
Level 9

Re: SDK mrsstemplate example outdated

It sounds like you're basically strongly suggesting Roku improve it's documentation and upkeep of development tools and files, and be better organized in that regard to help avoid confusion and frustration on the part of us developers. Sounds like a good idea to me! Smiley Very Happy
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Roku Employee
Roku Employee

Re: SDK mrsstemplate example outdated

The latest MRSS example channel is v1.2.1 https://roku.box.com/s/d834c57fcc831b498423

The example channels are meant to be a starting point for developers to build on. We never intended them to be something people could copy/paste data into and have a finished channel. I agree we could do a better job with documentation, but as a developer you're free to develop whatever additional functionality you want on top of an example channel.

Maybe I misunderstood your last sentence, but I'm not sure why you think you need redo your channel to add a manifest splash screen. That doesn't even require a code change.
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LordDewi
Level 7

Re: SDK mrsstemplate example outdated

Thanks for your reply RokuChris. As I mentioned, I had already found the updated MRSS template in a post from 2012. I do realize that these are meant to be a starting point but as you point out, the documentation is sometimes lacking so the examples seem to be the best place for a new developer to figure out how a specific function might work on your platform. I happened to be looking into how to save the position of media when paused, as well as how to mark it as watched, and not have to make users have an account somewhere to save that information. It was only after much searching that I found this could be stored in the Registry. However, at that point, when looking at the SDK documentation, there wasn't much information on what type of data could be stored there. Regardless, this new template answered most of those questions, along with another example from another developer.

My point was just that, based on other SDKs I've used, I would have assumed that newer examples and documentation would have been included in the latest SDK.

As for my last sentence. It may have been confusing. I was simply saying that I would likely have to redo my channel to work with the new template properly. The Splash Screen was something different. Just another example of the sample code not being up to date with the current SDK.

I also posted after seeing the "SDK Docs: links to fix, missing/broken/etc " post, but I didn't think this belonged in that thread as it seemed like it was just for Documentation updates.

"RokuChris" wrote:
The latest MRSS example channel is v1.2.1 https://roku.box.com/s/d834c57fcc831b498423

The example channels are meant to be a starting point for developers to build on. We never intended them to be something people could copy/paste data into and have a finished channel. I agree we could do a better job with documentation, but as a developer you're free to develop whatever additional functionality you want on top of an example channel.

Maybe I misunderstood your last sentence, but I'm not sure why you think you need redo your channel to add a manifest splash screen. That doesn't even require a code change.
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