Introducing the online MythTV book

When parts of the first edition of the MythTV book became out of date, I decided to take the book online and ask others to help me improve it and bring it up to date. There is a blog for announcements, at and if you’re interested in helping out, please visit the Help Wanted page.

This book does not aim to be a complete reference to MythTV or a guide for how to develop plug-in modules for MythTV. Although we include a brief overview of the major features of MythTV, we explore only those parts of MythTV that are relevant to the projects in this book, which will include all the parts of MythTV that an average user will be interested in. It will also give you an excellent grounding for further projects with MythTV as well. This book is intended as a hobbyist’s project guide, providing suggestions about what sort of projects you could take on and how we went about implementing our own versions of those projects.

Instead of including exhaustive coverage of features that few people use, we’ll provide pointers to how to find out about those features, and we’ll cover the 80 percent of MythTV’s functionality that everyone will find useful. That way, this book will be genuinely useful to people setting up MythTV, instead of being a boring reference manual.

However, because the book is a wiki, anyone can add content if they want to. If there is genuine interest in the book being something other than what I envisage, then that is fine. The only barrier I have imposed is that chapters which become “official” (in other words are listed in the table of contents on the front page of the wiki) must go through both a technical review and a copy edit review. This will ensure that they’re technically accurate, as well as being sufficiently well written. I am applying the same review criteria to my own chapters as well. I like to think of this as much like a code review before a patch is committed to an open source project.

You can follow along with the progress of the project at the current events page, and if you’re interested in helping with the authoring or review process, I suggest that you join the editors mailing list, which is much like the core developers list for a coding project.

This is the first time I’ve tried a collaborative authoring project like this before, so I am very open to suggestions and comments. Additionally, I’d love some help getting the work done, and wouldn’t mind some help with graphic design tasks as well.