Thoughts on xmule

So, I’ve had xmule recommended. Herewith, some notes as I start it up for the first time. I’m apparently running v1.8.4, from the Debian unstable archive.

Ooh, “for system tray integration to work, you must specify which desktop you are using“. On the one hand, it’s nice to see that they care about integration. Also, Gnome 2.x is already selected. On the other hand, it might be selected because it’s first on the list rather than because it’s what I’m running, and secondly the whole damned point of the freedesktop.org stuff is to make system trays work fine with either desktop, no? Nothing else—Gaim, Skype, Rhythmbox—has ever had to ask. Not good.

Ah. This happened to me last time I tried a P2P client; there are no servers in the server list, so I can’t connect. How do I get a list of servers? Ah, “update server.met from URL“, and an “Update” button. Good stuff. On the other hand, why doesn’t it do this by default the first time you load it? Not good.

“You have a lowid. Please review your network config and/or your settings“. Wonder what that is? I suspect that this is a “forward a port on your firewall” issue. (fx: reads @/usr/share/doc/xmule/README.gz@) Ah-ha! “If you are behind a firewall or router, be sure that ports 4662 (TCP) and 4672 (UDP) are unblocked, or you will always receive a low ID.” Don’t know what a “low ID” is, but I suspect it means “people can’t connect to you“. I’ll forward the ports.

And searching seems to work! Good stuff!

Stone me, there are a lot of buttons here. Does anyone really want more from a P2P application than a textbox to enter searches and a listbox for clickable results, I wonder? And probably one “preferences” window, which doesn’t need very much in it at all. I am spoiled by Gnome, I think. Not good.

There’s a “method” dropdown for searches, with things like “FileDonkey (Web)” in it. No idea what that means.

OK, I lied, you need a separate bit showing you what you’re downloading, perhaps. Starting a download seems to work. Good stuff. No progress being made on said download, though. The thing I’m downloading has “Availability” of 2, which I assume means “two people have it“?

So, how do I hide the window, just leaving the notification area icon? (NB, developers: it’s not a system tray! It wasn’t even called that under Windows! It’s the notification area.) If I click the cross, will it shut down the application? Blimey, the notification-area-icon menu is a bit odd, isn’t it? Not at all a standard looking menu. And “Hide” in it doesn’t work, either, which isn’t all that promising. Not good.

Bugger. Clicking the cross closes the whole application. Not good. Restarting, it seems to have remembered downloads in progress, though, although that doesn’t deserve a point because it’s supposed to do that.

So, so far, more “not good“s than “good stuff“s. Investigation will continue.